Our guiding principle is to let the people and the process determine the tool, and not the other way around. We keep up with the latest digital trends to help you find the right tool for the job.

Over the past 7 years, however, we’ve noticed some patterns repeating over and over again. That’s why we’ve developed Collabco, an open source platform uniquely suited to collaborating to get big things done.

Harnessing the creative potential of the crowd

collabco

When you are creating something new, or solving a really big challenge, there’s no way around collaboration. We instinctively know that digital technology can help us collaborate with more people, more easily, but how do you get started and what tools should you use? Collabco answers this question with an online platform designed by and for public sector collaboration and innovation.

Digital consultation, co-creation, communities and more

Collabco helps you add the power of digital mass collaboration to your existing organisational challenges. Whether you are trying to consult on a strategic plan, or cultivate a new community of practice, Collabco provides an integrated suite of tools that can scale up the way you work together. Smart organisations know that collaborative approaches, powered by digital tools, tap into the enthusiasm and power of the community to get big things done.

Flexibility without the hassle and vendor lock-in

Collabco’s flexible, modular design is the result of 7 years experience supporting government agencies and other public- purpose partners to take visionary steps towards mass collaborative ways of working. Each new project demands a unique combination of features that no single product can satisfy. As a result we have balanced flexibility with the need to roll out quickly and adapt on-the-fly. Best of all, Collabco is open source software, so there are no licensing fees and you’ll never be locked-in to a single supplier. (Code on Github)

Collabco features:

Collaborative wikis: Write strategy, plans, documents and more with your whole team or select stakeholders.

Open discussions: Inspire conversation on important topics, make informed decisions.

Groups: Move your conversations into focused discussions with key stakeholders or whole teams in public or private digital spaces.

Library: Knowledge management features to centralise documents submitted in discussions, groups or projects.

User dashboards: One spot to help users know exactly what to do when they first visit the site, and easily find and re-engage material.

User profiles: Connect with fellow collaborators, learn about their areas of expertise, and draw them into collaboration.

Activity focused: Draw user focus to new and promoted content through customisable email, in-site notifications, and activity stream.

Scalable: Collaborate with 5 or 500, using just the tools your users need.

Fully customisable: Use your branding and design to provide a seamless experience.

Works on any device: Access all features on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Designed for non-experts: Built with the needs of the less tech-savvy user in mind.

Always improving: New features are added based on the feedback and wishlists of active collaboration practitioners, innovative firms and you.

Fully supported, managed solutions: Simply use the software. No need to manage, develop, upgrade or hire for it.

Collaboration on every level: From the practitioners using the software to the developers creating it, the software is open-source and collaborative.

 

Benefits these features deliver

  • Buy-in, goodwill, and voluntary compliance through co-ownership
  • Scalable opportunities for participation and engagement
  • Transparency, credibility and authority of process
  • Efficiencies in authoring content with a large group
  • Increased, but controlled, access and visibility

 

Example applications

The following section shows some examples of Collabco in action. These include:

  • Public engagement and consultation
  • Co-creation of policies and strategic plans
  • Communities and networks of interest and practice
  • Co-design and delivery of collaborative projects

Public consultation & policy-making

Alberta Department of Human Services, Policy Co-creation

http://socialpolicy.alberta.ca
Together We Raise Tomorrow provided a single online destination for all aspects of Alberta, Canada’s Social Policy Framework consultation process, including wiki-driven collaboration on the policy itself.
Alberta
Following this initial collaborative consultation which generated the state government’s first social policy framework, Collabco has been subsequently used to develop the framework’s sub-strategies. Based on this work, the Alberta State Government has established a $1B social innovation endowment.

 

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, Strategy Co-creation

http://weconnect.gbcma.vic.gov.au
The 2013- 2019 Regional Catchment Strategy represented an important opportunity to reinvigorate community engagement in catchment management, as part of a broader strategy to improve community-based problem-solving and resilience. Thus, it was critical that the engagement process would embody this new level of transparency and shared ownership.
goulburn
The platform not only provided a one-stop-shop for participants to find information and stay up-to-date, but it also made the process of strategy development fully transparent and collaborative through the use of a structured wiki. Participants could directly edit and influence the content of the strategy, but could also increase horizontal awareness of their fellow inhabitants within the catchment who were also contributing to the platform.

Future Melbourne – the city plan that anyone can edit

http://www.futuremelbourne.com.au/wiki/view/FMPlan
Future Melbourne was a world’s first as a wiki-based collaborative city plan. Future Melbourne was the city’s 10 year vision for the city setting the goals and directions for all aspects of life in the city. The online platform was used by Council Officers to draft the policy. Then during a four week consultation period, anyone from anywhere is the world could register to edit the actual content of the plan – essentially in real time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Users could post any text or media they wished. What resulted was essentially real time collaboration between city planners and officers and the public.
futuremel
“Collabforge were integral to the success of the Future Melbourne project. As a result of their comprehensive hands-on approach to online community management, we were able to quickly identify, respond and shape conversations with the public in a manner that maximised community engagement whilst effectively minimising risk. Collabforge delivered a tailor-made approach to change management that operated from inception to project finalisation. Future Melbourne’s success can be measured by our recent win in the 2008 Victorian Awards for Planning Excellence, an achievement that would not have been possible without Collabforge.” — Strategic Planning Team, City of Melbourne

Community building & movement making

Project Leap

http://projectleap.com.au
Project Leap was part of the Federal Government of Australia’s Industry Innovation Network. The initiative successfully used Collabco with a small database of extremely influential, high value individuals within Australia’s innovation ecosystem.
The initiative’s face-to-face activities such as the Leap Workshops (accelerated innovation workshop for teams, based off the Collabco online activities) and the Zip Breakfasts were all highly praised. These offline activities were also a great catalyst for encouraging users to start interacting with the network and continue their conversations online.
projectleap
Project Leap, the ‘front porch’ for the Industry Innovation Network, used Collabco to focus on curating useful and inspiring content for Australia’s innovators.

META Manufacturing Industry Innovation Precinct

http://members.meta.org.au
META had a mandate to engage industry and academia to come together on innovation projects which would benefit the industry. A core component of this initiative was the need to progress members from early conversations about interests & needs, to coordinating and organising projects.
meta1*
Collabco was modified to promote private group spaces, allowing members to collaborate without the ‘noise’ of the larger audience.
meta2*
*Examples only to protect private user content

Testimonials

“Collabforge has a powerful set of tools and frameworks to enable collaboration, as well as the expertise and experience to make it happen.” — Leslie Falkiner-Rose, MTV Movement Campaign

“Collabforge made developing our Website and Wiki simple. No wading through the jargon land of ‘Information Technology’ just dialogue that made sense and practically aligned with what we were trying to achieve. So patient, so helpful and always on the other end of the phone when I needed to ask a question.” — Alison Fitzgerald, Inner Melbourne Action Plan Implementation Officer

“Collabforge occupies a niche in the market that is new and emerging.  None of the bigger players yet “get” this space, whereas Collabforge has a profound understanding of both how people (communities, businesses, government) collaborate and how this is best achieved online.” — Department of Economic Development Tourism and the Arts, Tasmania – Digital Futures – Director, John McGee 

“Mark Elliott and the Collabforge team provided Parks Victoria with the strategy and solution for a planning web 2.0 application. The Collabforge team generates innovative ideas and have created a professional on-line environment in a timely manner. I would recommend their services to all organisations.” — Louise Rose, Parks Victoria, Project Manager Alpine Planning

“Collabforge had the necessary focus and expertise that I was looking for around collaboration, building collaborative communities as well as collaboration platforms. Many other experts I had researched had a much narrower focus… If you are frustrated with the lack of innovation, community and collaboration within your company and feel that ‘there has to be a better way’, I highly recommend that you start a conversation with Collabforge!” — John Hibble, ANZ

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