How did Al come to be soliciting help?A team of fellows was in Boston last February, and they noticed that the city doesn’t dig these out. They’re struggling just to plow the streetsBut one fellow, named EMO noticed SOMETHING else that people were shoveling sidewalks right next to the hydrants
So he did what any good developer would do, he wrote an app.It lets you adopt a hydrant, agree to dig it out, you get to name it, if you don’t someone can steal it from you, got some game dynamics
That app is simple enough. What’s important about this app isn’t the technology – they built in a couple of months. It’s how it transformed the dynamic. Before the Mayor was frustrated, wanted to help, but unable to know what to do, and the citizens were disappointed, blind to the work and motivations of their servants in city hall.What did technology did, to quote the city’s CIO, Allen Square, was the change the conversation. Or as Fast Company put it, it proposed a new kind of more communication between two key groups in society.
the Liberal Arts in Action