Changify: A New Way for People to Improve Their Cities
Most people are never satisfied, and complaining is a way to express it. We keep complaining about our job, study, city, country, and the list goes on. While some might take action upon their dissatisfactions and make changes, some don’t even know where to begin with. Have something you don’t like about your city or neighbourhood? Well, there is a platform for you to share it and actually do something about it, called Changify. An article in Network World by McNamara (2014) discussed the fact that there had been a trend of using the –ify suffix in company names for several years, including Changify. This trend was thought as the result of Spotify’s success which some startups wanted to follow. According to its Facebook page, Changify was created in November 2012 by a social impact business called D4SC (Design for Social Change). It’s a place to share things you would like to change or love in your cities. These shared posts are called reports and users are able to rate others’ reports. It’s not just about sharing, it’s also about bringing people together to solve the issues. Once people have an idea to make a change, they will pitch it to local business to get the funding. Hence, it allows people to be actively involved in making a difference, starting from where they live. This platform is currently available in Zurich, Barcelona, Hamburg, and London. So, how do you Changify? Here’s an example of a few steps to do it:
Changify is Business + Crowdpower + Fun = Better Cities
Based on the example steps in the video, Changify adopts crowdsourcing in identifying issues in the cities as well as in creating a solution for it. The term crowdsourcing itself is quite a recent concept, thus it has various definitions. Estellés-Arolas and Gonzalez-Ladron-de-Guerva (2012) analysed the existing definitions and defined it as a type of participative online activity in which an individual, an institution, a non-profit organization, or company proposes to a group of individuals of varying knowledge, heterogeneity, and number, via a flexible open call, the voluntary undertaking of a task which always entails mutual benefit. The paper also provides more details definition of this concept.
The idea of encouraging citizens to care more about their cities and taking action to improve it instead of just complaining is quite fascinating. However, only a few reports and ideas are posted on the website. There is a video of making changes in La Boqueria market in Barcelona, but it was not clear whether the changes are going to be implemented or not. And if it was, when it was going to happen was also unclear. In my opinion, the platform might lack of users which made it inactive. That being said, word of mouth would play an important role in bringing this platform to “life”. Changify should expands its users database and encourage them to spread the words about the platform to their friends and family. Would you be a Changifyer?
Estellés-Arolas, E., Gonzalez-Ladron-de-Guerva, F., 2012. ‘Towards an integrated crowdsourcing definition.’ Journal of Information Science, 38 (2), 189–200
McNamara, P. (2012). ‘Namifying has gotten out of controlify’, Network World, 17 October [Online]. Available at: http://www.networkworld.com/article/2835011/data-center/namifying-has-gotten-out-of-controlify.html (Accessed: 2 May 2015).