In April, we began working with the Los Altos School District (LASD) on a project to tackle the district's growing enrollment population. Part of our mandate is to help the LASD improve community engagement, enabling a wider segment of the population to explore options and reach consensus to solve these problems. With $150 million in bond money on the table, the district felt it was critical to get broad input into the decision process from the community.
In January 2014, San José, CA residents had a chance to influence their city's forthcoming budget by playing games. Representatives from San José Neighborhood Associations and the Neighborhoods Commission and Youth Commission joined 100s of their fellow residents to share their perspectives and opinions regarding budgeting priorities for the City of San José. This year's event was the fourth annual Budget Games, produced by Conteneo for the City of San José, and included, for the first time, online games to expand game play to 100s more San José residents. (And was supported by Microsoft through it's donation of 100+ Surface Tablets for the event.)
Who hasn’t shuddered when you get the email about required attendance at an all-day strategy meeting? In common parlance that translates to 8 hours trapped in a conference room with PowerPoint, coffee and catered lunches—if you’re lucky. Strategy meetings don’t have to be death by PowerPoint, though. They can be engaging, profitable and energizing—especially, if the participants are actively involved. Our recent experience producing a two-day strategic planning meeting for Adobe Systems’ Globalization team is proof of that day-long meetings don’t have to be boring.