Introducing Plato to Blivande
I have the pleasure of announcing a major project today. We are being funded by Vinnova to create digital tools for participatory placemaking. Blivande is heavily involved in this project and it will bring a lot of fresh energy and opportunities, especially to Frihamnstorget. You can read the proposal here to better understand the project. SenseStack, the coordinator of this project, is a company set up to be an extension of Edgeryders in Stockholm, partially owned by Blivande. This post acts both as an announcement of the project to the community, and as an introduction of the Plato team to the platform.
Summary of the project
Plato combines technologies that we have built for the Borderland and Edgeryders over the years into a “suite” of tools for placemaking. These tools include Dreams, Realities, Graphryder, Open Ethnographer, and Discourse (this forum). We will integrate all of these tools with each other, allow them to share data, and enable a single login to all of them through the account a user has on the forum.
We will use this suite of tools to activate Frihamnstorget, to map out the different projects and their budgets, map out the different responsibilities and their dependencies, document contacts with authorities and build a great community. Frihamnstorget will get its own Dreams platform, Realities platform and the conversations on the forum will be visualized in a graph showing the connections between people, ideas and projects. We use this forum as the starting point and all platforms will integrate with the forum through a single login.
We will also use Frihamnstorget as a place for experimentation for students at Stockholm University, studying placemaking and participatory urban planning. During their education, these students will use Plato and participate in developing the methodology and feedback on the UX/UI.
Finally, these tools and methods will be documented, and a proposal written for how it can be used by municipalities, schools, real estate developers and other organizations. Our goal is to turn this technology and methodology into a product that we can sell, providing an income for Blivande and for people in the community.
WP1: Software development
This is approximately 50% of the budget, including programming, UX/UI work, project management and overhead costs like seats at Blivande for the developers.
WP2: Study into implementation potential
This part of the project is carried out by Ylva and Diana and will take place during the second half of the project.
These are workshops we will do with Stockholm University and Frihamnstorget creators to plan new developments. These workshops will also have a production budget tied to them that we can use to make Dreams into Realities.
WP4: Implementation of Plato on Frihamnstorget
We use the tools we develop for Frihamnstorget. This work package includes budgets for project management of Frihamnstorget (@hampus), online/offline community management and ethnography.
Plato team (so far)
I will be leading the project together with @jakobskote. Roughly, I will focus on delivering the technology and Jakob will focus on delivering the methodology. Our split of hours is to be determined, but I will most likely be working on the project a bit more than Jakob.
@hampus will be leading practical work at Frihamnstorget, and of making sure that everyone who is working at Frihamnstorget gets onboarded to the Plato platform.
@gustav is our first hire as a developer and he will be working around half time on Plato throughout the project. He has recently been working on the new Dreams and has worked on Realities before that.
Ragnar Lund is our collaborator at Stockholm University, where he teaches placemaking in two courses.
Amelia Hassoun will be our expert advisor on ethnography, both on how it is done on the platform and also on how to do it specifically for participatory urbanism.
People we want to involve soon
@MariaEuler, I would love to involve you in both forum community management of the Blivande/Frihamnstorget forum, and in other aspects too. It would be fantastic to have you on this project with us. Let me know if there is anything you are particularly interested in. We have budget earmarked for community management.
@matthias and @daniel, there is plenty of Discourse work here. I would love to work with you on this if you have the time. We will want to use Edgeryders as the SSO server, develop plugins to display information from Dreams and Realities on the Discourse front-end.
@Frida_Simon, it would be great to involve you as someone who is both building art at Frihamnstorget and as someone who has a lot of experience in the field.
All members are very welcome to think about if and how they would like to contribute to the project. I would also love to involve the creative powers of
and the Node (@kimgajraj).
If you want to be involved somehow, this is the time to let us know. To manage expectations, most of the budget is earmarked for software development and major project management roles, so you will probably not be paid in this project unless you are highly engaged and take responsibility for delivery. Importantly, many of us who have been working on Blivande for free can now get paid salaries temporarily through this project, which is a huge relief. However, there are plenty of ways that this project can work for you and what you want to do, even if its is not in a paid role.
Perhaps you want to plan a big event at Frihamnstorget and we can set up a Dreams instance for you? Perhaps you are planning to do something very complicated that requires a lot of people to stay in the loop, and you could benefit from project management through realities? Or perhaps you want to use the PR-value of having Edgeryders and a Vinnova-funded project and plan a participatory art event that you sell tickets to and apply to grants for? Let’s try to make this project sprout a thousand beautiful tentacles for the community.
We will be ramping up in April and should be up and running in May. This project will be ongoing until June 2021. In the first phase, from April to June, we will be mostly focused on project planning and software development. Ideally, we can use these tools to launch a participatory build festival week for Frihamnstorget this summer.
We need to gather our core teams, set up some timelines and get to work. @jakobskote and I will reach out soon with some more information.
Finally, announcing the project like this is a part of how we work at Blivande and at Edgeryders. You can read more about our principles of collaboration here: