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From crowdsourcing to public engagement: involvement technologies in communications

The round table on the issue "From crowdsourcing to public engagement: involvement technologies in communications" was held during the second day of Baltic Weekend 2014. The discussion was moderated by anchorman of radio station "Silver rain" Sergey Efremenko.

Vladimir Medeyko, Director of "Wikimedia RU", revealed the basics of volunteers’ motivation at the project Wikipedia. Altruism, a sense of freedom, seeking of something new and useful recreation together with sincere desire to expand the "big ideas" were among the top motives. Vladimir Medeyko thiks that the identification of such intangible assets can greatly help find volunteers to projects.

Valeriy Sidorenko, CEO of "Interium" spoke about crowdsourcing in the context of building a dialogue between the public sector and online community. The main barriers in communications of government institutions and public are closed nature of executive, opacity of the legislative activity and lack of analysis of proposals from citizens. Speaker illustrated with anexample of crowdsourcing platform DIALOG.MBM.RU. This project was able to attract mass audience to discuss and develop programs which improved entrepreneurial activity in Moscow. As a result the platformgenerated more than 700 original ideas and formed a group of entrepreneurs who are ready to participate in projects of the platform.

Olga Kachelkina, Head of CSR, CROS, and Christina Belavich, expert at festival "I'm helping the city", discussed formation of new communities and promotion of social entrepreneurship ideas through  development of thematic field forums, conferences and fairs.

Based on the experience of TMK, Ilya Zhitomirsky, Communications Director, TMK, introduced two additional points of staff involvement in the company's activities: youth scientific conference (effect of some works’ implementation is tens of millions of Rubles a year) and creative festival .

Alexander Tsypkin, PR Consultant, presented a new technology of staff’s integration to a project in developing corporate strategy. He states that using survey techniques, questionnaires and working in focus groups, it is possible to define and improve staff involvement, thier complicity to common goal, and develop logical, executable development strategy which is supported be the staff.

At the end of the round table Vasiliy Burov, Vasiliy Burov, Advisor to the WikiVote! Public Opinion Fund, spoke about work with challenging audiences in crowdsourcing. Vasiliy studied Sberbank project on improving service package for small businesses, public examination of the draft law "Recreational fishery" and a program of public consultation on the aproximate educational programs for secondary school. An important moment in the crowdsourcing process, according to the speaker, is not only the presence of audience’s interest in such projects, but also the audience's trust to the one who invites to participate. The motivation and ability of people to participate in the project are also important.

The media role in promoting crowdsourcing should also be stated. Irina Drozdenko, Charity Foundation "Place under the sun", formulated this idea: "If the work, done pro-bono and for people, revieves considerable coverage, it becomes a role model for other socially active companies and for activists, volunteers and participants of social initiatives".