Dalston Bridge digital hub

I spend a lot of my spare time working for a local charity called Dalston Bridge. Dalston Bridge is already bridging the gentrification gap in Dalston by raising money in innovative ways for local charities, making it easy for people to make a difference on their doorstep. As I wrote out in my previous blog, we want to move beyond financial connections, and make it easier for local people to connect together and take other types of social action.

So we’ve created a digital platform where people can go to find out and sign up for social action, suggest new types of social action and allow people to see all the connections they have made to others in Dalston through social action. Data from our crowdsourcing event shows that social action could be anything from giving a smile to someone in the street, to volunteering for a local charity which gets young people into employment or helps those with mental health, shopping locally, keeping the area tidy or simply by shouting about how great Dalston is.

Here are some screen shots:

Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 13.03.29 Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 13.03.50 Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 13.04.14 Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 13.04.35

The website would identify people’s pledges or intentions to support different connections rather than actual connections made. It will draw on behavioural economics theory to turn these pledges into reality:

  • social media buttons which allow people to share their pledge with their friends (a public commitment is more likely to be followed through on)
  • mapping connections which allows people to see all the other people who have pledged to connections (peer pressure)
  • twitter feeds for each connection allowing people to build up an actual reality of the connections

The aim of the entry page is to crowdsource as many opportunities to take social action in Dalston and to get support for them, either from Dalston residents or from the businesses or charities that could facilitate this.

Some social actions or connections (for example giving a smile, spreading the word) do not need a business or charity to make them a reality. Others need a charity or local business to provide the opportunity (for example to match fund any donations employees might want to make from their salaries, or to buy a product which a percentage of the profit goes to charity, to offer apprenticeships or volunteering experiences). The boxes appear ‘filled in’ if they are ‘live’ and can already happen, and greyed out if they require a business or charity to offer them. People can therefore start mini-campaigns/ petitions to persuade local businesses or charities to offer them.

Individuals, charities or businesses are able to search for connections, and if they do not find one, to suggest a new one. When you search, the relevant results appear in full colour, and the others faded. Double clicking on the connection you are interested in, brings up a list of current supporters and providers (if businesses or charities are necessary and have signed up).

Clicking on ‘I’ll support’, either here or from one of the earlier pages, takes you to a contact form. If you are a resident, you need to fill in your name and contact details and have the opportunity to share your commitment with friends via Facebook or Twitter (which behavioural economics says makes you more likely to do it). Your name will then be automatically added to the list of supporters.

If you are a provider, it takes you to an automatically started email to Dalston Bridge, as we will need to have a more detailed conversation about how to provide and pass on any donations.

You can also see the connections on a map of Dalston. Some of the connections can be done anywhere (and ‘float’ above the map) and others are tied to specific locations.

People can map their own bridges which provides a human touch to the website. By logging into your page, you can see all the pledges you have made and how they connect you to local businesses and charities.

Users can also upload content to the site to start building interactions and conversations about the different types of social actions. This is shown like a feed on each connection or social action’s page.

Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 13.03.29

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