As many of you know, IdeaScale submitted a proposal to share the stories of State of Michigan and NYC in a SXSW panel. You can vote to have this panel included in the 2014 conference schedule. However, in order to preview a small part of the story that we would share at the conference, IdeaScale created an opportunity to interview the State of Michigan’s Social Media Specialist: Nikki Sunstrum. For a sneak peek of our SXSW session, please read the interview below.
IS: What sorts of change has Michigan embraced since launching their forum?
NS: Since launching our first State of Michigan Ideascale community, crowdsourcing has now become a part of many regular communication strategy discussions. We are continuously asking ourselves how can we incorporate interactive engagement, solicit public comment, create focus groups, and overall leverage a larger audience to solve problems and create the more effective solutions.
IS: Is there anything unique about the voice of State of Michigan employees?
NS: Our State of Michigan employees are our very best resource. They know their work and our processes better than anyone else. There is no one more capable of identifying areas of improvement or innovation than them.
IS: How does open innovation pair with other social media engagements?
NS: Currently, the State of Michigan actively maintains over 140 traditional social media accounts across six various platforms. The addition of open innovation through crowdsourcing to this roster provides us the ability to target specific demographics, highlight particular initiatives, and also allow those within the community to work together to set priorities though voting.
IS: The State of Michigan originally just engaged their employees; tell us about their plans to engage citizens.
NS: Bureaucracy Busters, our initial community, was created to provide an innovative way for employees communicate with leadership and foster discussions among themselves. To date, it has resulted in over 2,000 ideas posted and 134,000 votes cast by over 10,000 users. As a result of these efforts and suggestions transformational change projects have been launched statewide. We have seen an enhanced focus placed on engaging front line employees, the implementation of new more effective means of communication such as, audio visual projects, live town hall meetings, increased leadership interactions and overall inclusion.
As a state focused on providing outstanding customer service to all citizens, use of an Ideascale crowdsourced community externally would enable us to provide these same opportunities to anyone interested in innovating the way in which they interact with their government. Potentially making it easier to provide services, solicit feedback and foster idea generation on topics of interest.
We’re excited to see what is next for the State of Michigan and excited to share their story at SXSW. Vote for our panel “Democracy Took Over My Government, Now What?” today.