A partnership between the city of Jackson and the U-M School of Information aims to develop mobile apps and social media sites to help citizens interact with their local government in new ways. The three-year project, Citizen Interaction Design, takes lessons learned in the business sector – namely that social media and technology can help people communicate and work together effectively – and applies them to local civic life.
“In recent years, we’ve seen an explosion of new information and communication technologies that have proven to be very effective in business settings,” says project leader Clifford Lampe, assistant professor of information. Those same technologies can be used to influence local governments, he notes. “Our goal is to implement new information tools that help inform citizens, help them become engaged in local issues, and get their feedback to policymakers in effective ways. We believe these efforts could revolutionize local citizenship.”