Online democracy reinvented using social media
Keren Flavell and Tamir Berkman, attended Town Hall meetings in their local precincts and saw a very limited representation of the community attending.
“Most people are too busy to attend Town Hall meetings, or wade through lengthy documents on council websites”, says Ms Flavell.
As online engagement specialists, Flavell and Berkman, decided to build a better way for citizens to engage. Their focus was on making the simplest and most fun way for citizens to contribute their views and ideas to decision-makers.
In January 2013 they launched the TownHall Social civic engagement platform that integrates seamlessly with Facebook.
Moreland City Council was the first customer, fielding a range of questions as part of their 2025 Community Plan.
This was followed by a consultation on whether the council should install CCTV cameras, which was shared by 97% of the participants, demonstrating people’s desire to spread the word and encourage their friends to also express their views.
The phenomenon of sharing within social media is key to the success of the tool and points to a future where more people can connect and collaborate on local issues.
"We are excited about growing the relationship between citizens and local authorities to build trust and a two way dialogue that will eventually change the democratic process", says Berkman.
TownHall Social has been used by political parties, MPs, advocacy groups, local and state governments, including the Department of Premier and Cabinet in South Australia, Greens MP Mark Parnell, City of Holdfast Bay and the Wikileaks Party.
With the growing demand for more participation in decision-making by the community, and the advancement of technology solutions that streamline the process of engagement, TownHall Social is demonstrating that e-democracy will change the way we make decisions together in the future.
For more information contact Keren Flavell:
Phone: +61 3 9013 7272 / 0402 831 228
TownHall Social is an innovative new community engagement platform, based in Richmond, Melbourne. The main intention behind TownHall Social is to encourage and enable the community to become involved decisions related to local and government organisations. This is achieved through allowing the town hall experience to be online. The co-founders of TownHall Social are Keren Flavell and Tamir Berkman.
240 Burnley Street,
Richmond, 3121 VIC
Phone: +61 3 9013 7272
Fax: +61 3 9013 7272
Contact: Keren Flavell
Phone: 61 3 402 831 228
Contact: Tamir Berkman
Phone: 61 3 405 689 210
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