Dot Democracy - Bringing People Back to the Process

April 23, 2014


Economic Avenue is a grassroots led community economic development program taking place in Northeast Kansas City, Kan.

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Econ Avenue's mission is to give the northeast Kansas City, Kan., community a voice and opportunity to develop programs that will economically empower the community.

In our most recent meeting, one way we did this was through “dot democracy.” After brainstorming in the areas of small business, housing and workforce, we sought a way to narrow the group’s ideas.

In our February brainstorming session, we created 99 unique ideas on how to build northeast Kansas City, Kan. With our Econ Avenue theme of “maximize impact in the minimum amount of time,” we had to determine how to prioritize those ideas. We selected a process known as nominal group technique, which we call “dot democracy,” for our March 11 meeting.

Dot democracy gave everyone an opportunity to select the ideas they felt were most important, based on the work group they participate in and other groups. After two rounds of voting with colored dot stickers, the community narrowed those 99 ideas to a handful of key ideas to maximize impact.

Econ Avenue is a unique, ongoing community-led initiative that allows the community to make its own decisions. Dot democracy is just one example of how we can give back a voice to the community as we seek to build the economy of northeast Kansas City, Kan.