Our participatory budget programs including Budget Games, Zero-Based Budgeting, and Community Decides have been successfully implemented in cities around the world and over many years by San Jose, CA starting in 2011. We use serious, social, collaborative games and techniques to bring ordinary citizens into the conversation with governments, nonprofits and industry to solve intractable problems.
District 3 Participatory Budgeting (#d3decides): Nov. 2015 to Apr. 2016
This project emphasized citizen input by soliciting ideas from residents using an open-source mapping application for crowdsourced info-gathering, “Shareabouts“, shaping these ideas into projects, and then using Decision Engine to allow residents to directly prioritize how the city will spend $100K.
Citywide Budget Engagement: Feb. 20, 2016 and the week of Feb 22, 2016
This project enabled San Jose residents to collaboratively prioritize how the city should invest the portion of its budget devoted to programs and services that affect San José’s neighborhoods. This was “zero-based” budgeting opportunity in which the budget allocation from the prior fiscal year stayed the same, but the set of programs and services were changeable based on resident feedback. We ran the biggest in-person session attended by over 200 residents and invited residents to participate online the week of Feb 22, 2016.