Recognising and rewarding social good
The social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges we face in our cities are increasingly complex. They cannot be tackled by the state alone. Cross-sector collaboration and citizen engagement are needed to unlock human and material resources.
Our CityMakers recognition and reward programme engages citizens and organisations across all three sectors in a city to tackle the challenges they face.
By reinforcing positive behaviour and by offering reward points as incentives, our progamme can help organisations to build relationships, take action, change attitudes and behaviour, and communicate their work internally and externally.
We have completed a pilot programme in Brighton & Hove here: www.sunshinebank.co.uk. You can download our evaluation report from here: www.thegoodlifeforall.com
Problem The social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges we face in our cities are increasingly complex. They cannot be tackled by the state alone, any more than they can or should be left to markets and the business sector alone. Greater cross-sector collaboration and citizen engagement are needed to find new solutions and to unlock human and material resources.
Our solution is an online recognition and reward programme that engages citizens and organisations across all three sectors and facilitates the expression of thanks and congratulations between them using virtual tokens of appreciation. These token of appreciation (or social reward currency) can be redeemed for rewards from spare city authority and local businesses capacity; for example, a swim in the municipal swimming pool, a cup of coffee at the local café.
By reinforcing positive behaviour and by offering reward points as incentives, our progamme can help organisations to build relationships, take action, change attitudes and behaviour, and communicate their work internally and externally. These can be public services working with their service uses, companies with their clients and staff, and charities with their volunteers and members.
We have been piloting this programme in Brighton & Hove in the UK, using the Sunshine Bank brand, see: www.sunshinebank.co.uk. You can read our evaluation report here: www.thegoodlifeforall.com
Our programme can be rebranded to suit local situations. The idea of ‘CityMakers’ is that everyone (individual, company, charity, public service) can make a contribution to a city and be recognised and rewarded for the part they play.
The programme can generate revenue by selling the points to the organisations.
Our company is a social enterprise (not for private profit). We plan to sell our programme on a social franchise basis.
Impact on economy
Our programme uses spare city authority and local business capacity as rewards for social good, making better use of idling resources.
Local business can reward their customers through our programme, helping to grow the local economy. City authorities can incentivise local production and more sustainable consumption patterns.
Public services can support their service users in finding work, getting more active, going on courses, attending appointments. This can help to mitigate wealth and health inequalities.
Our social reward currency can join other local complementary currencies to create alternatives to the mainstream economy.
Impact on culture
‘CityMakers’ is the generic name of our programme. It is intended to be used with the name of the city it is running in (‘Barcelona CityMakers’, for example), to create a sense of belonging, purpose, meaning and pride for its citizens by recognizing the contributions they make to their city.
The term is inspired by the Olympic’s Games Makers – the 70,000 volunteers who made the Olympic games in the UK possible. We want to capture their spirit of warmth, friendliness and commitment and to ensure a legacy for a city, so that the torch of their contribution can be handed on to generations to come.
Our programme can be used to get people involved in a wide range of health-giving activities; for example, quitting smoking, taking more exercise, and eating better food. It can be used to promote participation at cultural and other events and in learning activities by offering points to those who attend and engage.
By acknowledging individuals for their achievements and contributions, our programme can help to build self-esteem, lift low mood states and contribute to the general well-being of a city.
Impact on ecology
Brighton & Hove in the UK has committed to becoming a more sustainable city by setting targets in 10 key areas of activity as part of the One Planet Living initiative (http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1267674).
Our programme can help to the city to meet its targets by engaging citizens and organisations in reducing carbon emissions and waste, developing and using more sustainable transport, using more sustainable materials, creating local and sustainable food, ensuring sustainable water, preserving land and wildlife use, promoting culture and community.
Impact on politics
Brighton & Hove is piloting two projects to devolve decision-making opportunities to local people in different parts of the city, giving them greater power to make decisions about services and budgets, addressing issues relevant to them. These are called Neighbourhood Councils (http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1267675). They feature a range of online and offline opportunities for discussion and decision making.
Our programme can help to engage citizens, service providers and local businesses in find new solutions to the problems they face and in helping them to take action and communicating this action.