Tooling & technology

In this last module we discuss the different types of tools and technology you can use to support, augment, catalyse and – very important – safeguard your work. There are many solutions available on the market and many more to come, or you can build them yourself. The power and success of our project partly lies in the adequate composition and creative richness of your toolbox, from very simple and analogue tools to advanced and data-driven platforms. And of course, in the adequate implementation both in the area and in your own organisation.

What do you learn?
> understand which different roles tooling can have in your overall transformation process
> consciously choose your tooling to support, augment and safeguard the different parts of your process
> rapidly kickstart your urban process with simple, analogue, cost-efficient tools
> make smart combinations between different tools and activities for maximum impact
> understand how different functionalities for urban collaboration can be connected into one platform
> critical insights in developing and scaling interactive tools and platforms for urban collaboration
> practical tips for choosing or building your own interactive tool or platform for urban collaboration
> effectively embed urban collaboration tooling in your own team and organisation
> effectively activate urban collaboration tooling in your area, setting up for sustainable adoption
> make urban collaboration tooling a natural part of your multi-channel communication strategy
> use urban collaboration tooling to build collective local ownership and make your own work lighter
> build your own hybrid (online and offline) toolbox for your collaborative urban transformation process
> inspirational overview of ideas from our hybrid development roadmap to enrich your own local toolbox

What do you get?
> 11 video-chapters (total ca 2,5 hours of content)
> + bonus video ‘Transformcity online platform’
> all video is on-demand, so you can replay and keep content as a reference book
> follow on your own pace or use one of our program templates incl assignments: steady, speedy or pressure cooker
> download 1: inspirational brochure ‘tooling for engagement & collaboration’
> download 2: information sheet (functional map) of our Transformcity online platform
> download 3: checklist ‘choose or build your own online platform’
> download 4: manual ‘agile implementation front-end (in the area and community)’
> download 5: manual ‘agile implementation back-end (in your own team and organisation)’
> 1 hour of (online) live individual Q&A!

You get one personal login. In case you like more logins for your team or organisation, please contact us for a quotation.

! Make sure you profit from our special introduction price: now only € 1050,- ex VAT p.p. !

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Course Content

In this chapter we introduce the topic of this module, make a first sketch of the context and explain the contents of the module. Including 3 templates with suggested timelines & assignments for your optimal learning experience.
Using tools and technology to support your overall strategy and process is a broad topic. The list of different tools - big or small, advanced or DIY, digital or analogue – is endless. In this lesson we will dive into the types of tooling and where and how they fit in your overall process, so that it will help you to pick the right tooling for your own toolbox. We roughly distinguish three categories of tools for your urban projects: 1) tools for single actions or events (one-off), 2) tools that enhance or even automate one specific part of your process in a new and smart way (single-purpose), and 3) tools that facilitate and enhance your overall process in a new and smart way (multi-purpose).
How do you translate complex urban processes into digital tooling? Which topics, user groups or functionalities should be integrated into one tool and which ones can be added separately? We do a deep-dive into the ideas and reasonings behind our own digital platform based on what we wanted to solve and achieve in our Amsterdam field lab. Including a checklist for choosing or building your own online platform.
How did the online platform that we built work? This lesson is an elaborate screen recording of the Amstel III platform installation. We walk you through the platform and all its functionalities, from datasets and interactive maps to idea sharing, interaction and support for realising local initiatives. We critically reflect and give the reasoning behind our design or technical decisions and explain how they were implemented and connected with our other activities. We explain what did and did not work and also share some planned upgrades and new functionalities from our development roadmap. Including an information sheet (functional map) of our Transformcity online platform.
What did we learn from our years of research and development ánd from our journey to scale the online platform as a global SaaS-business? After our first pilot release in 2016 we won various (inter)national awards and cities, developers and community organisers from all over the world reached out to us. Investors and incubators were interested as well. However, the further we proceeded towards the actual decision to buy and implement, the more often the conversations stalled. Later we learned this is a common experience with new (smart city) solutions. We observed a few thresholds that prevented our platform from scaling. We share them with you as you may recognise some of them and hopefully our learnings can help you to tackle them.
Defining the owner or sender is a key question that many – public and private – organisations struggle with when considering implementing an online platform for urban collaboration. On the one hand you may want to take the initiative but on the other hand you don’t want to claim the initiative too much by being the explicit sender. This could possibly leave the other stakeholders as mere recipients rather than active partners. How can you tackle this through for example choosing a good name with a corresponding tone of voice and visual identity? And how can you shapeshift along with the evolution of the local process and collaboration, growing collective ownership over both the process, the organisation and the tooling over time?
How you implement your tools in your overall process and organisation (the back-end) depends on whether you are dealing with one-off, single-purpose or multi-purpose tools. Especially the last category requires a very conscious implementation strategy. They are like a digital swiss army which means different people in your team and different departments in your organisation will need to commit to and work with the same tool. They may need to share data, upload project information and keep it updated, process information uploaded by the community plus feed it back into the internal planning process, manage the community, etcetera. This is essentially a question of organisation and is strongly linked to the platform-thinking from our orgware module. We first share crucial high-level insights and considerations and then zoom in on a number of very practical solutions and steps. Including a manual ‘agile implementation back-end (in your own team and organisation)’.
How do you launch and activate tooling in the area (the front-end), especially multi-purpose tooling with a strong community engagement and collaboration component? How do you cleverly embed it in your overall external communication and connect it with your other communication channels, keeping your work as light and efficient as possible while maximising your outreach and impact? You can see this lesson as a very actionable checklist for your community manager or urban curator. We help you to activate your platform step by step and share crucial insights and (both practical and soft skill) tips with every step. We also include a downloadable summary in the download section. Including a manual ‘agile implementation front-end (in the area and community)’.
Building an urban collective forms an ongoing and organic process that you keep catalysing through your structural activities, communication, and moderation. Building a collective is usually the toughest in the beginning. Then relationships become stronger, and with the right tooling stakeholders will be able to find each other directly - without you having to connect them. The role of community manager becomes lighter over time as the tooling will relieve you from part of the work. It is a snowball you first make in your own hands and get it rolling and then it picks up speed, size and impact from there, needing less effort from you to keep it going. We show you the different phases towards collective ownership and what this means for you as a community manager or urban curator.
Over the years we have been developing a lot of ideas to keep improving and enriching our own digital platform. At one point we paused our development but we continued our research – and a lot of these ideas are still relevant. Therefore, we now give you full disclosure by opening up our complete development roadmap, explaining and visualising all our ideas so that you can cherry pick from them when choosing or building your own tooling. In this chapter we first focus on the most technical ones: data & analysis and interactive maps & models.

In this chapter we shift our focus to the user interface, content and also hybrid (online + offline) activations to improve local engagement and collaboration. We have been involved in a lot of research and education, some theoretical and methodological and others very hands-on and practical. This helped us to sharpen and enrich our development roadmap by immediately prototyping and testing some of these ideas on-the-ground in our field lab. We show you the best ideas, from smart improvements and new functionalities for the online platform to creative content ideas. And we discuss various hybrid extensions or connections with sometimes very simple analogue tools to engage and activate a larger and more diverse group of people in the area. Including an inspirational brochure ‘tooling for engagement & collaboration’.

Tooling & technology | Transformcity