CitizenLab is an online civic engagement platform where citizens co-create their city. The platform facilitates a two-way communication between the city and its citizens. Citizens post ideas, discuss them with each other and upvote the best ideas — in a fun and easy accessible way. On the other end, city officials use CitizenLab to consult the opinion of their citizens via polling or to ask their creative solutions to an existing problem. This 'sofware as a solution' model helps cities to tap into the collective intelligence of the citizens and become more responsive to their citizens’ needs.
CitizenLab aims at making tomorrow’s governments more citizen-centric, through their user-friendly cloud software, insightful data analytics and focus on mobile.
Citizens want to engage, but often lack the means to do it in an easy accessible way. Today’s citizen participation possibilities in cities are limited to bureaucratic "pen and paper" forms, time-consuming in-person visits and town halls meetings, and a single vote every X years. However, in addition to these 'traditional' forms of engagement, existing technologies now make it possible to create an interaction between city and citizens that is less time-consuming, is much cheaper and reaches a wider audience.
CitizenLab's goal is to make the most user-friendly cloud software for cities to get closer to their citizens. We take a data-driven approach in order to provide cities with the most insightful analytics on their citizens. CitizenLab wants to help cities to not only become reactive to their citizens’ needs, but also predictive. The organization is committed to providing the resources necessary for governments to adopt cloud software and unlock the collective brainpower of their citizens.
Specializations and Activities
CitizenLab's 'citizensourcing' software is ready-to-use, yet fully customisable in an easy-to-use admin panel. The city can easily change the design of the platform, as well as pick its language out of already more than 20 available languages. The platform stands out by its user-friendly design, making it possible for every citizen to participate. The organization works with clean cards, different categories and an intuitive user interface on both desktop and mobile — submitting, commenting or upvoting is never more than two clicks away.
In addition, CitizenLab makes use of gamification in order to incentivise the citizens. Every time their posts or comments get upvoted, they will earn points (resulting in new badges) and will move up in the citizen leaderboard. The city gets quantified insights on which citizens are most engaged and can reward them for their valuable input with real-life benefits. Citizens analytics are not only coming from the online platform - they also allow the user to export and integrate them with any other product. This method gives cities a 'one-stop portal' to get insights on their citizens’ needs.
HistoryCitizenLab was started in July 2015 by Wietse Van Ransbeeck and Aline Muylaert.
Incubated by the Belgian accelerator iMinds with 25k EUR in funding.