enough to bring answers.” They haveshifted from an engineering perspectiveto a much more open attitude towardthe public. And they are convinced thatexpanding the project to include moreof their colleagues would be a benefit fortheir organization.
Key success factors:
• Relevance of the project. One key forsuccess was constructing our internalcore team or community around atopic that is of real concern to theadministration.
• Internal communication. We sharedour project results with the rest ofthe department through two internalnewsletters and a presentation duringa department meeting. We also spentone day per week in the open space ofthe mobility service offices to directlyanswer any questions about the project.
• Top management support. Theproject was launched with thefull agreement and support of topmanagement.
Areas for improvement: Thetransformation of an organizationthrough a project like MobiLabrequires careful thought about howto “evangelize” the organizationduring four phases: before the blogis ready, when the blog is open toparticipants, after it is closed (sortingand deepening), and when the resultingideas are implemented. In a similarproject, we would certainly invest moreof our energy in the third phase than wedid.
Figure 5 shows the optimal planningfor such a project. Activities in thesefour phases, such as allowing employeesto spend time on the blog, shouldbe planned by the project team andapproved by the organization’s top andmiddle management at the very start ofthe project
THE STATE OF GENEVA
To the best of our knowledge, MobiLabis the first experiment of this kind inSwitzerland’s public sector. Its successexceeded many of our expectations. Theresponse to MobiLab demonstrates thata part of the population expects thistype of (online) co-creation process andthat it should be tested on a larger scale.
A first battle has been won toward
more public-centric policies, but there
is still much work left to do. The public
needs to learn how to make best use
of this new opportunity provided by
the state. Within the administration,
the virtuous dynamics induced by
MobiLab will deploy their full potential
only when it is integrated into the daily
operations of the organization. We
hope that MobiLab will inspire similar
projects in other services of the State
of Geneva and be a driver to propagate
such experiments and instill new
dynamics in the public administration.
To build on a Dott Cornwall’s report
[ 8], after the ages of stone, bronze,
iron, and today’s “information age,” we
hope we are entering the “age of social
Many thanks to the rest of the MobiLab
team: Dorothée Zarjevski (project head
and communications specialist for the
State Councillor in charge of mobility),
Adrien Vieira de Mello (specialist in
information systems), Vincent Galley
(geomatics specialist), and all mobility
specialists (Mathieu Baradel, Julie
Guinguene, Delphine Fontaine, Rémi
Wurtz, and Damien Cataldi, Yann
But big thanks especially to ourMobiLab community members, whosincerely invested their time and gaveso much positive energy to make thisexperiment a success. Let’s go onconstructing the future of our regionstogether!
1. Michèle Künzler, State Councillor incharge of the Department of Mobility,Home Affairs, and the Environment for thecanton of Geneva.
2. Walk your city; http://www.kickstarter.
4. OSC Our Singapore Conversation; http://
5. Carticipe, a territorial participative tool:
6. Being multimodal means attemptingto think and choose the optimaltransportation means for a given trip.
7. One of the goals of this project was toperform qualitative (and not quantitative)research about mobility habits inGeneva. This is why we did not seek arepresentative sample of people, butinstead a varied one.
8. Siodmok, A. Big society by design:Working with citizens and communitiesin a collaborative process of innovationand enterprise. Dott Cornwall, U.K.,2010. http://dottcornwall.s3.amazonaws.com/big_society_by_design_b6753e123b189d6e.pdf
Valérie Bauwens is the founder anddirector of Human-Centricity (http://www.
human-centricity.com), a company thatco-creates solutions with cities, companies,and other institutions based on daily lifeobservations of clients, users, and employees.She specializes in management of behaviorchange for the following domains: technologyadoption, future cities, and work-practicesevolution.→
Patrick Genoud works for the Observatoire
Technologique of the State of Geneva, where
he is involved in strategic planning for the
information technology department. He always
considers technologies from a global and
user-centric perspective. His current domains
of interest mainly concern open content, co-
creation, and innovation in the public sector.
DOI: 10.1145/2642749 © 2014 ACM 1072-5520/14/09 $15.00
→ ( 15 ideas) Short-term issues thatshould be solved quickly: e.g., thisparking lot is dangerous and shouldbe redesigned
→ ( 15 ideas) New mobility solutions: e.g.,the 10 euros cardboard bike
→ ( 15 ideas) Creating more enjoyableplaces: e.g., transform some parkinglots into gardens
→ ( 10 ideas) Opening mentalities togreener mobility behaviors: e.g.,encourage artistic projects that willmotivate people to walk more
→ ( 10 ideas) Opening mentalities to morerespectful behaviors: e.g., alternativecivility currency
→ ( 10 ideas) Guaranteeing security,health, and protection against theft:e.g., distinctive traffic lights for bikesand cars
→ ( 10 ideas) New services supportingmobility: e.g., communication hubs,like park-and-ride stations, offeringmore varied services such asemissions testing
→ ( 5 ideas) More user-friendly paymentand service interfaces
→ ( 5 ideas) Price plans encouragingmultimodality
→ ( 5 ideas) Maintaining the dialoguebetween the state and the public