Finalist category: Community Impact Award
Community Impact Award, Finalist, 2017
Making a smarter, greener city with the people
“Our MK empowers citizens of Milton Keynes to put forward ideas that will impact the community and help shape the future of MK. It’s a website open to all citizens to innovate, collaborate, share ideas and build projects,” said Anna Klis-Davies of Our MK.
Over the last two years, this organisation has been using technology to bring the community together and create real change.
Our MK has been helping local people solve problems in their communities using technology or data. They have been focused on finding out their ideas about how to change their communities for the better.
Hundreds of ideas have been gathered with 13 of these projects turned into a reality.
Many of the funded projects are tech-based. For example, a cycle path treasure hunt app and another app which promotes breast-feeding-friendly locations. They’ve also supported a food passport scheme to promote independent food and an advertising scheme for low cost solar panels.
To help them understand the community better and to get people talking to them online, they have employed Community Mobilizers. They support local people to take-action within their socially disadvantaged areas.
They also developed an app to help Community Mobilizers record their conversations with community members. Over 11,359 recordings were captured, providing invaluable data about what people living in the area think and feel.
So far over 8,500 people have visited the site or attended their face-to-face events.
For them, it’s about using technology to create sustainable projects and they are very positive about the future.
Anna Klis-Davies from Our MK said,
“We are working with the citizen-led projects to ensure that at least half of them are sustained beyond our involvement- thus having a legacy of change within the city. Seven of the 10 projects already have sustainability plans in place. With 5 projects exploring setting up social enterprises or community interest companies.”