Tag Archives: delib canada

The most epic commute in the world: Vancouver to Victoria

Back in December I wrote about the most awesome commute in the world (in Sydney). I’m pleased to say I’ve just gone one better – with a commute from Vancouver to Victoria by sea-plane.

So, flying to work is fairly epic in itself, but mix that with the fact that the runway is the sea, I got to ride alongside the pilot in the cockpit (every boy’s dream!) and the pilot’s playing jazz to keep himself (and me) chilled whilst flying through some epicly sea-soupy weather at 300 feet (which is frisking low BTW) – then all this tots up to be off-the-scale-awesome 😉

Here’s some snippets of my sea-plane adventures from earlier today . . .

We board the plane at the end of a pier (obviously)

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I get to ride up front with the pilot (whoop!)

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The pilot turns on the jazz, and we reduce our height from 1500 feet to 300 feet to keep below the cloud

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We approach a murky and rainy Vancouver

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After we land, the pilot proudly shows me his calming jazz CD that got us safely home

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Parked up, we all head home to a wet downtown Vancouver

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Digital democracy Toronto – day #1 tour round-up

From all my travelling around the world spreading the good Delib word, you always notice country trends. One of the biggest areas of interest in this space I’d noticed on Twitter in Canada is #Urbanplanning, with a huge amount of buzz and chat in this space.

Toronto city scape (in cardboard)

So it was really nice to start my tour of Canada by stopping off for a coffee with @ChrisJamesDrew, who’s a passionate urban planner and Tweeter. Chris flagged up the fact that Toronto has the highest number of cranes of any city around the world – it has 142 at present compared its closest rival Mexico City which has 84 – a number which shows why perhaps there’s some much buzz around urban planning. Other than this natty stat, Chris pointed out a number of interesting things going on in the urban planning and Gov2.0 space in Toronto and wider Ontario Province, including:

  • 4th Wall of City Hall: a project by neighbourhood planning activist Dave Meslin to encourage citizen engagement across Toronto City Council.
  • Adam Vaughan: the councillor for the Trinity and Spadina areas (where as it happens I’ve been staying), who’s highly active in the neighbourhood planning space, and a big advocate of community engagement.
  • Spacing.ca: an awesome magazine (and blog) sharing the latest and greatest innovations in the urban planning space.

Following coffee, I stopped off for lunch with @JohnCarson who also shared some interesting Canadian tidbits in this space, including UrbanToronto.ca, and then hot footed it to Toronto’s City Hall to chat to their citizen engagement team.

Toronto’s City Hall rates as one of the most awesome city hall’s I’ve ever visited from an architectural perspective – up there with Warringah Civic centre in New South Wales (Australia) which was my previous number one!

Toronto City Hall

I always find it fascinating talking to governments around the world, as invariably they all face the same challenges, so I was pleased I could share some tasty insights and thoughts on how they could progress their multi-channel engagement strategy, looking at adopting a *government as a participative platform* type-model.

To finish the day, I had the great pleasure of hanging out with the extremely inspiring team from MASS, who I serendipitously bumped into on Twitter. Over a Canadian (extra strong) beer or two, we chatted at their (very cool) offices about re-imagining citizen engagement, and then headed down to their local Irish restaurant (and my first experience of Irish-themed food) where we were joined by the equally interesting @RyanMerkely who discussed his fascinating work with the Mozilla Foundation.

MASS office Toronto
All in all, I have to say my time in Toronto has been way too short, but very inspiring. From a city perspective, my general observations of Toronto is that’s a pretty laid-back city with some great quirky neighbourhoods, my favourite being Trinity (where I was staying). The only downsides from my short experience have been broadly poor coffee (although I did find an awesome coffee shop called Little Nicky’s which does a mean mini-donuts) and a not-so-great public transport system (including pretty unwelcoming and argumentative bus drivers).

Next time I come back I’m definitely going to have to spend more than 24 hours in the city, get a *good coffee guidebook* and hire a motorised scooter. Next stop Ottawa 😉

 

 

Delib’s Digital Democracy Canada Tour – #DDCan

We’re excited to announce that as part of our growing global presence and general *digital democracy love sharing* we’re doing a mini-tour of Canada at the end of the February.

Partly inspired by our recent awesome work with British Columbia government on their budget consultation – using our Budget Simulator app – and linked to an influx of Canadian Twitter love for Delib’s work (and awesome apps) we decided to set-up a mini tour, seeing how many places (and people) I could meet in a week across Canada.

Given that Canada is 40 times the size of the UK (and British Columbia alone 7 times bigger than England), we know we’ve got a fair monster of a challenge – but we thought we’d give it a go anyway!

Without a private jet at hand and with Concorde out of service, this means realistically we can only fit x3 cities into our adventures – which we’ve picked as Toronto (because our love of the Blue Jays), Ottawa (because of our love of government) and Vancouver (because of our love of awesome west coast cities).

The dates we’ve sorted are below + we’ve also designed a nice shiny poster (in fact we designed two – one with a Maple Leaf and one without!). We’d love to meet and chat to as many peeps as possible working in the Gov20 / citizen engagement space, so if you’ve got any suggestions of who we (I) should meet – then drop me mail Chris AT Delib.net or tweet us @DelibThinks

N.B. things we’re interested in chatting to people about is:

  • Awesome stuff happening in Canada
  • People / Gov agencies interested in using our apps to make their work more awesome
  • Partnerships with like-minded awesome people / consultancies who want to do more awesome digital democracy stuff together

Exciting times!

Delib Canada 2012 poster v2

+ we’d hugely appreciate it if you could share / Tweet our wee poster liberally 😉