The Commonplace 2021 wrap up!
By Charlotte Cooper | Thu, Dec 23, 2021
6 min read
The end of 2021 is in sight! It’s been a rollercoaster of a year for many of us, but we couldn’t head into 2022 without sharing all our highlights of the year.
Don’t worry. Whilst all our team are having a relaxed time over the holiday season and munching away on probably too many mince pies, we’ve made sure that you can still get in touch.
The end of 2021 has marked eight years since Commonplace was founded. During this time of self-reflection, we can’t help but smile at our own achievements:
This year alone has seen us reach some amazing new heights as well as achieving several things that we’ll be looking back on for years to come.
So if you’re new around here or want to catch up on everything , let’s roll back to January and see what Commonplace has been up to over the last 12 months.
New eBook and guides
We took our publishing to the next level this year and released a range of new downloadable resources all designed to help you create better and more valuable engagements. Take a look below and download for free if you’re interested!
- Engaging for the future: What are the barriers preventing people from engaging in planning? How do people want to participate? What does good and effective engagement look like? In this 40 page eBook, we present the findings of our public opinion polling, qualitative research and data collected across over 1,000 planning engagements on the Commonplace platform. DOWNLOAD HERE.
- Using Digital Technology to Create Safer Spaces: No woman should feel unsafe walking in any neighbourhood, let alone their own. Our Safer Spaces platform is built in partnership with UN Women UK and was based on the idea of creating safer streets and using digital inclusion to understand the key problems for women and girls. This free eBook will show you how to set up your own platform as well as using it as a crucial resource in a Safer Streets campaign. DOWNLOAD HERE.
- Using Digital Engagement to Tackle Climate Change: Many key conversations at COP26 reminded us that real progress is made when members across all communities are involved. In this free 13-page eBook, you'll find everything you need to know about the role digital tools can play in getting communities on board with your local climate change action plans. DOWNLOAD HERE.
A Trifecta of community engagement awards
We couldn’t have been prouder to receive not one, not two, but three separate Community Engagement Awards for the work we do with our customers.
Planning 2021's Award for 'Use of Digital Technology in Planning' and the Pineapple Award for 'Sustainable Transport' recognised the Connecting Leeds project we helped deliver in partnership with Leeds City Council and consultants WSP. The Leeds project is about sustainable transport, and Commonplace brought to it a set of templates, profiles, and analysis tools that have been honed on hundreds of other sustainable transport projects.
This enabled the project to build on previous knowledge, to analyse data more effectively and quickly, and to gain the scale of feedback that it did - 29,000 contributions from the public.
The third award recognised the impact we’ve had on social transformation over the past year. At the Digital Leader's Impact Awards, we were awarded for the positive social and environmental impact the platform has had on society over the course of the pandemic. During this time, we provided 64 councils a free community Heatmap to help coordinate their active travel recovery. Combined, we have generated more than 450,000 contributions from the public on how to make streets safer for walking, cycling, as well as social distancing all across the UK.
Read more about all of the awards we received here.
Press and PR
This year was also a great year for features as a number of our projects and partnerships were featured online, in print and on the radio! Here are a few of our favourites
- Sunday Times: Covering our partnership with UN Women and how our Safe Spaces platform is being used to help in fighting Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). "One area being looked at is an app, developed by the technology company Commonplace which would allow women to log areas where they feel unsafe."
- Property Week: Covering our work with After the Pandemic and our time at COP26."What if there was a way for every local community to have an immediate and positive influence on the way that their neighbourhood adapts to climate change? Commonplace has been showing exactly how it can be done."
- Fixing the World: During COP26, our work with After the Pandemic was also featured on the BBC Radio show Fixing the World! Take a listen to learn more about how we've helped local people join the climate conversation.
Webinars to support our wider community on hot topics
Missed the webinars we hosted this year? Fret not! You can catch up with all of them below!
- Engaging for the future: Learn how the 'Planning for the Future' white paper can put ongoing and meaningful public consultation at its heart.
- How can councils engage communities in climate action?: Learn about the importance of bringing together communities through digital engagement as they strive to tackle the climate crisis on a local level to help make a change on a global scale.
- Understanding Social Value in Regeneration and New Development: How is social value being used by private developers and housing associations? Check out this webinar to find out!
- Creating safer streets through digital inclusion: In this webinar, Commonplace Chair, Pam Alexander OBE hosted a panel discussing the key challenges in creating safe streets and how engagement can build partnerships to create safer environments for women & girls.
- How can we create, protect and enhance Queer Spaces?: While in modern Britain there is a high level of acceptance of LGBTQ+ people, there is still an urgent need to rethink public spaces so that we can create safer, more inclusive places.
- Engaging Communities for Climate Neutral Cities: Find out how communities can be engaged in a greener future by sharing a little more about the work we’ve done with After the Pandemic, OnePlanet and Public.io.
And that’s just a few! Re-listen to all of our 2021 webinars right here.
And of course we have to mention everything we learned at the UN Climate Conference (COP26) !
Commonplace was selected as one of two companies to represent ‘Engaging Communities’ technology at COP26's Tech For Our Planet challenge programme. Run in partnership between the Cabinet Office and PUBLIC, Tech For Our Planet explores how digital-led solutions can help improve the international climate effort.
Our very own CEO and Co-Founder, Mike Saunders, presented these ideas to an international audience in the COP26 Green Zone while also highlighting our work with the Rethink Glasgow climate campaign.
Partnered with OnePlanet, After The Pandemic have been using Commonplace to create greener and more sustainable change in Glasgow. Their community Heatmap has already received hundreds of comments from many different people all of which are being factored into their ongoing climate campaign.
While we were in Glasgow, we spent our time learning so much about the global environmental effort as well as what other businesses are doing to help the fight against climate change. From UN Women’s powerful talk on how climate issues and gender issues are so closely linked, to Bright Blue’s talk on how ‘smart energy’ could be the way forward, you can find our full recap of the week right here.
Commonplace platform and services all received bespoke upgrades
On top of all that, we’ve also launched a range of exciting product updates to the Commonplace platform, making engaging with communities even easier and more effective.
This year, we launched Commonplace 2.0! This isn’t just a couple of changes or upgrades, but a complete overhaul of our interface, alongside a plethora of new features that will help take your next community engagement to new heights.
So what are some of the updates we made this year?
- Commonplace Select: This enables our customers to have invite-only consultations or hidden comments within their engagements for use with specific stakeholders.
- Enhanced multi-language feature: Launched last year, our enhanced multi-language feature is now available to all our customers and we have greatly simplified the process of getting it set up.
- Social media promotion add-on: With paid social media ads you can take your reach to the next level.
- Map 2.0: Our new Heatmap enables you to add presentation, demographic and data layers to better present and capture information as well as better see the spread of sentiment in each area.
- Ethnicity data: Different parts of the UK have different levels of ethnic diversity. In order to help you view which communities your Commonplace platform is reaching, we now include baseline data on Ethnicity for the three UK mainland nations.
- ISO certification: Alone, the term ISO 27001 doesn’t say much about anything. Its full name however, alludes a little more to what this certification looks at, which is ISO/IEC 27001 - Information technology - Security Techniques - Information security management systems - Requirements.
Make sure to check out our Product Roadmap for all product updates here.
And that’s a wrap on 2021 for us! It’s been an incredible year of growth for us and we can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring! If you want to stay on top of everything we’ve been up to, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram where we post all our latest news as well as our upcoming events!
So from everyone here at Commonplace, we want to wish you an amazing festive season as well as a safe and joyful new year.
We will be available throughout the holiday season to answer any questions or to book in a demo for the new year. Please just click below