eight weeks. We recommend thismethod of gathering data collectivelyon a blog. It was also the optimal soilin which to create an administration-citizen dialogue and potentially deeperbehavioral transformations.
The MobiLab experience alsoreminded us to consider that ourprojects do not end up with eitherresearch results reports or a prototype.We should not only co-construct ideasor prototypes with the users, but alsotry to co-implement them, as this iswhen the real challenges emerge.
Finally, many other initiatives of“augmented citizenships” have beenlaunched worldwide. As far as we canobserve, they tend to specialize interms of objectives. Some concentrateon gathering testimonies from citizens,for instance, “Fix my street” [ 3], andothers on co-constructing solutionsand visions, as in Singapore [ 4] orStrasbourg [ 5]. As mentioned earlier(see the “virtuous circle”), withMobiLab we aimed for a broader rangeof impacts. The size of our projectenabled us to do so. We neverthelessencourage other, even larger projects towiden their ambitions, as they alreadyhave many results they can build on.
MOBILAB STEP BY STEP
Here are more details behind these keylearnings.
1. A sincere and motivated community
Impact: MobiLab was first of all a
community of people. Leading such an
experiment required people who are
sincerely motivated, open-minded, and
positive. We recruited 85 members, of
whom 35 were active contributors and
10 were facilitators. Our communitywas heterogeneous: between 25 and
70 years old; living either downtownor on the outskirts of Geneva; single,with families, or in couples; andusing a wide range of transportationmeans. The common points were thatall had smartphones, were used toonline technology, were interestedin the topic of mobility, and wantedto make their town evolve. We alsocreated a community within the publicadministration service in charge ofmobility (our extended MobiLab team):state employees open to discussion withtheir end-customers and who agreedto spread this approach within theirorganization.
Key success factors:
• Recruitment of the externalcommunity. We recruited membersof the public through existing,well-known, open-minded Genevacommunities.
• Recruitment of the internalcommunity. We recruited and motivatedstate employees by adapting the projectgoals to the needs of an existing project:Mobilities 2030, the multimodal [ 6]strategy of the State of Geneva.
• Trust. We managed to foster trustby being transparent about our goals,not promising what we could notdeliver, and always delivering what wehad promised. We also guaranteed theconfidentiality of the data through acharter binding all participants.
Areas for improvement: Even thoughour sample was varied enough forthis experiment, we believe its spreadshould be broader to gain a completeoverview of mobility habits [ 7].
2. Daily life testimonies
Impact: At the end of this two-monthexperience, we had explored six facetsof the mobility experience in Geneva(choice of transportation means,parking, comfort, budget management,security, and ride-sharing). For each ofthese facets, we provided a report givinga picture of the situation in Geneva atthat time. This is as if we had completedsix mini ethnographic studies within asingle research project.
Key success factors: “Speakconcretely.” We always asked peopleto provide concrete details—“Can youplease tell us what happened precisely?Where was it? When?”
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5ActionsFigure 3. The virtuous circle dynamics.
Figure 4. The conversation can bring the participants to ideas generated elsewhere (here, to theWalk [ Your City] initiative).