Sustainable Cleveland 2019 communications meeting wrap-up

Yesterday was the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 meeting.

Andrew Watterson, the head of the Cleveland’s department of sustainability, asked: What sort of technological tools and features does the online infrastructure need to maintain communication, share knowledge and resources to enable the groups to work more effectively and reach the goals of Sustainable Cleveland 2019.  

As marc Lefkowitz at GCBL previously noted, some groups at the summit had not maintained communication amongst themselves and had not done much. Groups were not well informed of each other’s activities and progress.

At yesterday’s meeting, atttendees split up into several groups based on areas of communications [between groups and the city, within groups and the group participants, among multiple groups, and externally to the general public].

What should a communication system look like ?

There were several ideas that had a common consensus for the online infrastructure among the groups :

Asset Mapping: A way for the institutions and participants involved or related to each group need to layout what their expertises, their existing relationships with other institutions and what they can help other groups with, what the group needs help in accomplishing.

For example (on a very micro level):
I found a grant that would be really good for another group to pursue, they should know about it.
Or I have some ties with a certain city department through my father. If you have questions who to talk to there about their sustinability policy, I can find out for you or I already know.
One member of my group yesterday, Sudhir, is developing one type of framework for asset mapping.

– A project management system with core features including:
– a page that can concisely give a summary of the group: current initiatives, members, main contacts, and timelines.
(GCBL has a great model of this already) The setup of this page would be a template and used by all groups.

– group calendar with meeting events

– doc repository (possibly a wiki)

– people’s profiles

– ways to track other groups’ assignments, responsibilities, goals, and milestones (and their progress on them)

– feeds, alerts [RSS?]

– privacy/access guidelines

Two possible consensus tools mentioned were basecamp and ning. With these suggestions, a design team including GCBL, Marc Canter, and couple other individuals (and possibly myself) will be determining which online tools and platforms will be used for Sustainable Cleveland 2019.

Personally, I haven’t explored ning as a platform very much but it does appear to be limited its features for collaboration (or I don’t have administrative access for them. Additionally, the site does not look very nice aesthetically. However, since the ning site has the most information of SC2019 and members of SC2019 on it [compared to the GCBL’s blog [based on drupal] and the wiki (using pbworks) ] completely ditching the ning site may slow the existing discussion there if a transition to a new platform isn’t done smoothly.

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