New cycling system helps riders beat red lights

Springwise: “There are few things more frustrating for cyclists than red lights, especially when riders have built up a good speed only to have to apply the brakes and lose all that momentum. To make things easier Dutch operation Springlab has designed a new system called Flo, which is being tested out in the city […]

Conditional Citizens: Rethinking Children and Young People’s Participation

Book by Catherine Hartung: “This book challenges readers to recognise the conditions that underpin popular approaches to children and young people’s participation, as well as the key processes and institutions that have enabled its rise as a global force of social change in new times. The book draws on the vast international literature, as well as interviews […]

How Behavioral Economics Can Produce Better Health Care

Dhruv Khullar in the New York Times: “…We in the medical community have only recently started to explore how behavioral economics can improve health. As with any hot field, there’s always the possibility of hype. But these insights might be particularly valuable in health care because medical decision-making is permeated with uncertainty, complexity and emotion […]

Not everyone in advanced economies is using social media

Jacob Poushter at Pew: “Despite the seeming ubiquity of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, many in Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan do not report regularly visiting social media sites. But majorities in all of the 14 countries surveyed say they at least use the internet. Social media use is relatively common among […]

Design thinking and health communication: learning from failure

Priyanka Dutt at BBC Media Action: “Anyone working in international development will attest that human-centred design (HCD) has been a ‘trending topic’ in recent years. Design thinking has been applied to a range of challenges, from supporting democratic transition in Libya to building an all-terrain wheelchair for under $200. Melinda Gates even hailed HCD as […]

The U.S. Federal AI Personal Assistant Pilot

GSA/AI-Assistant-Pilot: “Welcome to GSA’s Emerging Citizen Technology program’s pilot for the effective, efficient and accountable introduction and benchmark of public service information integration into consumer-available AI Personal Assistants (IPAs) including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Facebook Messenger’s chatbot service — and in the process lay a strong foundation for opening our programs to […]

Can Democracy Survive the Internet?

Nathaniel Persily in the Journal of Democracy: “…The actual story of the 2016 digital campaign is, of course, quite different, and we are only beginning to come to grips with what it might mean for campaigns going forward. Whereas the stories of the last two campaigns focused on the use of new tools, most of the […]

Estimating suicide occurrence statistics using Google Trends

Ladislav Kristoufek, Helen Susannah Moat and Tobias Preis in EPJ Data Science: “Data on the number of people who have committed suicide tends to be reported with a substantial time lag of around two years. We examine whether online activity measured by Google searches can help us improve estimates of the number of suicide occurrences in England before official figures are […]

Too Much of a Good Thing? Frequent Flyers and the Implications for the Coproduction of Public Service Delivery

Paper by Benjamin Y. Clark and Jeffrey L. Brudney: “The attention on coproduction and specifically technology-enabled coproduction has grown substantially. This attention had provided findings that highlight the benefits for citizens and governments. Previous research on technologically-enabled coproduction (Internet, smartphones, and centralized non-emergency municipal call centers), show that these technologies have brought coproduction within reach of citizens (Meijer […]