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In August, KJA welcomed Savannah de Savary, CEO of Built-ID to discuss the role that technology in property (or PropTech) will play in shaping the future of community engagement in Australia.

In late 2018, London-based Savannah and her team launched the GiveMyView platform which has made a splash among local government policy-makers and property developers in the UK.

GiveMyView is a digital tool designed to increase engagement with groups that sit outside of the so-called ‘vocal minority’ that tend to be over-represented in public consultation exercises.

With a well-designed interface, geofencing and a gamification element, that allows residents can raise money for local charities by participating in a consultation programme, it has generated significant levels of engagement from young people and “hard to reach” groups in the community.

Keen to explore new engagement tools, KJA was pleased to organise a programme of meetings for Savannah with community engagement specialists in New South Wales and Victoria, as well as stakeholder groups including the Committee for Sydney. During her time in Australia, Savannah also gave an interview with Emma de Jager from the Fifth Estate about the gamification about the community engagement process.

Here is what our team learned during Savannah’s visit:

1. After some initial reluctance, developers in the UK are increasingly looking to use tools to engage with communities during the consultation programmes associated with Development Applications.

2. Digital engagement methodologies complement physical engagement methodologies. When it is commissioned, the GiveMyView tool can form part of a suite of engagement tools used during a campaign, and it can be more effective than traditional engagement approaches at reaching those who historically do not get involved.

3. Agencies in both NSW and Victoria are increasingly looking for ideas to reach those groups that they have found it difficult to engage with historically, including younger and culturally diverse audiences who Savannah and her team have successfully engaged with in the UK.

The KJA team consistently looks to learn from, and partner with, organisations that bring forward innovative engagement tools that can supplement the existing engagement methodologies we deploy on projects. Gamification is an area of methodological innovation that offers great potential to increase engagement with hard to reach groups, and one that we believe could be applied in physical engagement as well as digital engagement activities.

After a highly successful visit, everyone at KJA is looking forward to working with Savannah and the Built-ID team on a project soon.