Want to venture out on an expedition to changing decision making to be more open and engaged with people? With the Topicalio project, you can! The project aims at getting political decision making and decision makers accessible and familiar to everyone. We’re also offering a better channel for decision makers to seek out guidance from people, local residents or anyone else. Today we’re opening our Facebook page where we’ll be sharing more of the ideas behind the concept and through which anyone can join in and influence the direction.

Schools closed, no dog walking in parks, new apartment blocks onto the shoreline?

Sure, there are lots of global and state topics that get people worked up, but what’s really engaging is the “backyard” topics – city planning, schooling, recreational facilities and so on. These are all decided through a political process, even though people don’t always think that.

But some topics people care about more than others, and very often it’s things closely related to peoples’ lives through location or other kind of association, such as topics for families. This is a key force driving Topicalio forward – vision of a medium that shows you what’s going on in your particular neighbourhood as well as who is making decisions about those topics. It’s also possible to take action on those decisions by influencing through solicited feedback or directly contacting the local representatives.

Ok, but so what?

You have an opinion – check if your local residents agree with you or not. Vote yay or nay, or definite maybe. You could voice that opinion or ask a question everyone thinks about but is afraid of asking. you could help others understand what a topic is all about. Using Topicalio is simple: land on an interesting by panning the map around, or via a link shared by someone else, and take part. No sign-in required!

As of today, Topicalio isn’t there yet. It will be developed with focus on what people find interesting and necessary. We’re developing the service out in the open, on open source volunteer basis and help is appreciated! Joining in is real easy: just like our Facebook page and take part in the conversation. You can channel even more valuable insights and feedback by signing up as a tester, directly linking with the development team!

We’re especially looking forward to getting international participants to our project. Government agencies, policymakers, journalists, social sciences experts. The vision behind Topicalio is to enable intelligent citizen guidance for decision making and we’re excited to be building technology towards a direction that will help achieve this. Thanks for all the support so far – cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Jyväskylä, as well as Yle open data!

Election theme month at Topicalio

Naturally, the current theme at Topicalio is the General Election in Finland. In addition to local decision makers one can see the candidates for the upcoming election. Even though at the moment, election survey are the best source for information on candidates, but Topicalio can help you narrow down on a candidate close to you, should you want to vote for someone who knows your neighbourhood inside out.

Just click on through and get to know what’s going on in your backyard!

Topicalio team

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