Montreal - Transforming the economy of a city through open innovation
It all started in 2012 when Jacques Ménard, President of BMO Financial Group, distressed by Montreal’s gloomy future commissioned a report on 7 international cities that had reinvented themselves. His goal was to demonstrate that Montreal is also capable of a turnaround. That is how ‘Je vois Montréal’ (‘I see Montreal’), a grand movement to give Montreal new prosperity was born.
A public platform for change
It began with a mission of mobilising citizens and encouraging them to submit self-led projects that could benefit the greater Montreal area. The highpoint, a large rally in fall 2014, bringing together project leaders committed to making their projects a reality.
As the projects involved creating a new citizen movement, success would hinge on driving mass participation. Canadian communications agency TP1 were tasked with coordinating the campaign and selected Crowdicity to power the public open innovation community which would sit at the heart of the initiative.
The ‘I see Mtl’ Crowdicity community was launched giving Montrealers an intuitive, multilingual open platform where they could submit projects, vote for their favourites and collaborate with other project leaders.
In the first 6 weeks the community received more than 130,000 visits, 7000 citizens created profiles and 17,000 votes and comments were registered around priority themes such employment, business and the living environment. Crowdicity’s seemless integration with social media enabled a further 23k Facebook fans and 3000 Twitter subscribers to join the conversation.
Rarely have we seen so many businesspeople, academics, politicians and residents under the ‘same roof’ working for the same cause. And this cause is Montréal.
Discovering the ideas to propel Montreal into prosperity
On November 17th 2014, community leaders and more than 1500 people from a variety of background; political, cultural, entrepreneurial, participated in a day long event to finalise a unique sustainable recovery plan for the city.
On that Monday, the ‘Je vois Mtl’ hashtag topped the list of trending topics on Twitter in Canada but more importantly Je vois Montréal received more than 360 project submissions via Crowdicity of which an incredible 180 were selected by the City’s leaders for formal engagement in the presence of Montreal’s Mayor, Denis Coderre. Québec Prime Minister Philippe Couillard called Je vois Montréal “a great gathering in the history of contemporary Québec and Montréal.”
The diversity and quality of those projects are surprising in many ways, but also reassure me about the future of Montreal