The City of Markham saw its youth as the key to a vibrant and prosperous future for their community. However, Markham youth generally lacked interest in government and often moved on as adults to live and work in other areas in the GTA, effectively severing their connection with the municipality. The municipality needed a way to stanch the losses and keep them engaged.
Despite being unable to vote, youth will become engaged with issues when they are invited to have a voice.
Delvinia developed a crowdsourcing program called “Quest for the Best Markham” to support the promotion of the City’s Green Print community sustainability plan and the companion website. This contest-driven program called for ideas on ways to improve Markham, and shared information with the Green Print program.
The program rolled out in three stages.
- Pre-launch: a grassroots outreach to youth networks through schools.
- Contest website: promotion included YouTube video and a Facebook push. The site encouraged repeat visits through a photo contest with weekly prizes.
- Winner announcement: winners were announced at a public event.
The contest entry period ran for less than two months. The goal was to achieve a 5% participation rate of Markham’s youth within the target age group with approximately 750 entries. Here’s what happened:
- 3,000 entries were gathered
- 24 Markham schools participated
- Many insights acquired to benchmark subsequent programs