Bang the Table provides online platforms to facilitate debate and discussion in public decision making.
Mission and Purpose
Bang the Table's mission is "to improve the quality of public debate and level of community involvement in public life" (Bang the Table 2016). The organisation was founded in 2008 and provides software for online community and stakeholder engagement.
Bang the Table's online platforms provide a range of methods to engage online including discussion forums, surveys, polling, Q&A tools, crowdsourced ideation, geospatial engagement via online mapping and placemaking tools, storytelling, and participatory budgeting software. Further efficiencies are gained in the platform via participant relationship management tools and approaches to measuring and reporting on community engagement analytics unique to Bang the Table and EngagementHQ.
Their website states:
"Bang the Table’s vision is to operate in a world where all of its citizens have inexpensive and accessible opportunities to learn about and contribute intelligently to the decisions that affect their daily lives.
Bang the Table was established because no matter how well designed the off-line consultation processes, inevitably it only reaches only a small segment of a community or stakeholder group.
The online space provides the opportunity to give vastly more people access to information and enable them to have their say. Bang the Table is a company that offers a range of digital tools to engage in collaborative learning, discussion and debate" (Bang the Table 2016)
Origins and Development
The organization was founded in 2008 by Matthew Crozier and Dr Crispin Butteriss. Both had worked in and with government for many years with experience in planning and community engagement.
Bang the Table was founded in Victoria, Australia but now also has offices in Canada, the United States, India and the United Kingdom.
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
Bang the Table is private, self-funded and profitable.Specializations, Methods and Tools
Specializations, Methods and Tools
EngagementHQ is described as an 'engagement toolbox' that enables different client groups (public or private sector) to engage with stakeholders and citizens on their topic of interest. The platform facilitates a variety of online functions including a newsfeed, images and videos and newsletterws. The aims are twofold: firstly, to enable a client to share the relevant story with their target audience and ensure reach, and secondly to enable engagement with the story through discussion forums, quick polls and surveys, Q&As and brainstorming.
There are also tools integrated into the platform that enable recording and analysis of the data collected, and the ability to generate reports from this. The platform is moderated by EngagementHQ, who also provide training and tech support.
Budget Allocator is a software for participatory budgeting. The software can be personalized and used for different types of budget decisions from allocating small community grants to deciding local government budgets.
Major Projects and Events
Bang the Table software has been used extensively in Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand, and The United Kingdom. Often EngagementHQ is used as part of a broader engagement strategy utilizing both online and face-to-face approaches. The platform works well in these environments and results indicate very little audience crossover - suggesting online and face-to-face augment and complement one another rather than compete for the same participation input. Bang the Table's overall global reach is significant, with dedicated local resources and personnel to support customer needs.
- United States: Various agencies at the Federal, State and local levels. Some examples include the WA Department of Labor, State Library of VA, The International Joint Commission, and major metropolitan areas including New York City, Boulder, Kansas City, and others.
- Canada: Canadian Federal Government (multiple agencies), Province of Alberta, Province of Nova Scotia, Government of the Northwest Territories, Province of Ontario, and major metropolitan areas including Mississauga, Oshawa, Halifax, Montreal, and dozens of others. Also, school districts, private enterprise and non-profit associations.
- United Kingdom: Major municipal government including the City of Westminster and other local government agencies.
- Australia: Significant support at all levels of government throughout the continent in major market verticals including transportation, planning, finance, housing, environment, energy and more. Hundreds of customers serving thousands of projects.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
- 100 Ideas to Help Engage Community (PDF) http://bit.ly/100P2Ideas
- Bang the Table's Guide to Online Engagement (PDF) http://bit.ly/BTT-Guide
- EngagementHQ Software Brochure (PDF) http://bit.ly/EHQFeatures
- Spectrum of Online Engagement Tools (Infographic PDF) http://bit.ly/toolspectrum
- Bang the Table Blog: http://www.bangthetable.com/practice/
- LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3900594/profile
- Twitter https://twitter.com/bangthetable
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bangthetable
- Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/BangtheTable
- Training / Support http://community.engagementhq.com
- Github: https://github.com/bangthetable/
- Bang the Table
- Engagement HQ
- Budget Allocator