Accelerating the TransitCamp community!

Pleased with the validation of having our TransitCamp article published in Harvard Business Review (co-authored by Eli, Jay and I), we were looking for ways to continue to develop the TransitCamp community from that first event exactly 1 year ago. We wanted to spread the idea far and wide. Well, it looks like we’ll have our wish – and on a bigger scale than we were imagining.

On the anniversary of the first TransitCamp, I am excited to announce that Remarkk! Consulting, working with a stellar cast from the TransitCamp and OpenCities communities, has been engaged by Metrolinx (aka, the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority) in order to adapt and extend the TransitCamp community across the vast city-region of the GTA and Hamilton and from transit into all aspects of integrated regional mobility, including roads, bike routes and pedestrian experiences.

What is TransitCamp?

TransitCamp is a solutions playground, not a complaints department. TransitCamp is an open creative community.

As described in the Harvard Business Review article [Sick Transit Gloria], we will use open source tools (including unconferences) to bring together community members from across the GTA and Hamilton to participate in intense, participatory and fun face-to-face and online happenings to reimagine the future of the region’s transportation system. This will be, above all, a community-led experience. While we are helping to build the platforms, it is people passionate about transit and transportation issues in the region who will provide the content.

We were delighted to discover that Rob MacIsaac, Chair of Metrolinx and the Metrolinx planning and communications staff are open to new ideas and approaches. The community will have an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to the future of the region in a very tangible way. Metrolinx is responsible for developing an integrated Regional Transportation Plan in 2008 and is the Ontario government agency responsible for deploying at least $17 billion in new capital to projects across the region.

But this is a Camp, so it’s not all serious. We’re also going to have a lot of Campy fun. There will be accordions and chickens and other mayhem.

When is the next TransitCamp?

No date has been set just yet, but we would like to have the next TransitCamp in March. Watch this space! We are planning a series of TransitCamps across the GTA, so we can look forward to doing more than just one event over the coming months.

How do you get involved?

  1. Join the TransitCamp Google Group. You will receive updates from the organizers, and also be able to join the discussion and participate in the design of the unconference experience. (Twitterers can follow here. You can also join the Facebook group.)
  2. Read about the original TransitCamp experience from February 2007. There are many links of interest on this wiki page.
  3. Check out the Regional Transportation Plan papers on the Metrolinx site and start imagining the future.
  4. Participate!

What does participation mean?

Help us design the events and the online community spaces and help fill them with your aspirations, ideas and passions. Tell us what you would like to do together as a community.

You can leave comments on this blog post, or start a thread on the Google Group, or blog about it, share videos, photos – express yourself! (tag: transitcamp).

If TransitCamp is a solutions playground, every game on the playground needs basic rules so that the participants can have the best play possible. What kinds of games would you design?

Who is already involved?

Eli Singer; Jay Goldman; Sean Howard; Misha Glouberman; Michele Perras; Daniel Rose; David Eaves; Mark Surman; David Crow; Jed Kilbourn (don’t worry, we’ll get him a blog soon); and soon many others….

FAQ Links:

What is an unconference?

Why “unconferences” are fun conferences

What is a wiki?

7 thoughts on “Accelerating the TransitCamp community!”

  1. k the friggen linky seems to be bork’ed.. It would be kewl to have a collective stream from other twitters to be locked into a zone , something similar to @eventrack that is being used here..

    This will permit users to review live twit’ /status from TCC users on the fly.. that is the collective stream that I was talking about.. both TCC And community can have near real time feedback on whats happening and where..

  2. Well, Mark, we both know the sequence of events was not as you explain it here – you got your squib published and then you looked for a way to revive TransitCamp. Your discussions with Metrolinx predated publication by a number of weeks.

    Also, no Creative Commons nonsense this time, please. You’re holding a transit camp, not a copyright camp.

  3. Joe! Welcome to the conversation. I know you’ve been on a wee bit of a rant lately on all things Metrolinx, so let me make the record crystal clear for all.

    The HBR article was first submitted back in May and with editing back and forth through to a final in late October for publishing in February. Serendipitously, I was introduced to Rob MacIsaac through mutual friend (and VizThink community member) Mark Mulholland in early October, and he seemed really interested in doing something new.

    Since the first TransitCamp one year ago, we’ve been thinking about what went right, what could have been done better, and how the TTC could have continued the conversation if they had chosen to. I’ve been thinking about how an organization of planners and politicos can really benefit from participation. So this announcement truly is a year in the making.

    As for the creative commons license, that’s up to the community. As far as I recall we had only 1 complaint about it from over 100 participants last year, so unless there’s a groundswell I think we’ll keep it.

    Keep up the great work on TTC typography! I look forward to leaving a comment on your blog someday soon.

  4. Very happy to hear TransitCamp II will be happening, and especially glad it will be in a broader GTA context. Only thing I’m not happy about is I’ll have to miss it this time around.

    (And congrats to you, Jay and Eli on the HBR piece)

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