When Cornwall Council wanted to find a practical way to address local issues it started a Big Design Challenge to give communities the power to come up with solutions. The Council worked with a local social design agency, Sea Communications, to develop a website where citizens could list local problems and challenges and collaborate to solve them.
The initial website prompted hundreds of challenges and ideas, but those with legs were taken forward by the Council offline. It wanted a way to give communities this power, using online to facilitate initial engagement.
Through Nesta’s Creative Councils programme the partnership accessed support to develop the website from a crowdsourcing tool for ideas into a more user-friendly project management and collaboration mechanism for solving local problems. Public data was added to help people better understand local issues, along with a database of Councillors and MPs to engage.
Our joint vision was, and still is, to create an open and collaborative environment for the people and communities of Cornwall to design and access better services; where the best ideas can be co-developed to improve the quality and reach of public services, inspiring innovation and enterprise.
Shaped By Us was conceived with this in mind and, despite Cornwall Council withdrawing from NESTA's Creative Council programme, Sea has continued to develop this vision on behalf of Cornwall Council into a unique digital platform that could transform the way public services are delivered in the future for Cornwall, and elsewhere.
Science Environment Arts Ltd (trading as Sea) now own and operate the website and all enquiries to be directed via the contact details here.