Stories from the Elevator Project

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Diary of A Community Animator: Ch-Ch-Cha-Changes!

09 February

I wanted to get everyone updated on all the latest Elevator Project news and there is so much going on, I didn’t want to wait until Monday!

Before we get to all the updates though, I wanted to personally thank you all.

Creating a brand new process live as it happens is not without its challenges, but I have been blown away over the past couple of months by the patience, kindness and willingness of this community to come forward and help make this initiative happen. Nothing like The Elevator Project currently exists. There are lots of great models out there that we can look to and draw from but at the end of the day, this process has to be a “For Guelph, By Guelph” thing. We can’t do that without all of you.

Already over 50 ideas to make this community even more great have been added to the Idea Bank and I believe that in itself is quite an achievement but it doesn’t stop there. So many of you have come forward with incredibly helpful ideas and feedback and I think you will see those things reflected in the updates and changes listed below.

So let’s get to it shall we? Here is what you need to know:

1. Community Voting is being extended until Monday February 10th at 5pm.

Technical concerns with the website have been traced to the server and fixed. Thank you everyone for keeping in touch and for your patience as we worked to fix the problem. Due to this, we are extending the Community Vote. Unfortunately we cannot delay it any further than that as the Community Panel needs this data to inform their decisions on Tuesday. If anyone is still experiencing issues, please be in touch. If you can tell us what error message you are getting, that helps us find the problem quicker.

2. It has come to our attention that during the vote process some people have been posting where they are in the “rankings”.

I just wanted to put everyone at ease that no one besides myself is privy to that information until after the vote closes. I believe this may be coming from a widget embedded on the Idea Bank page on our website that allows you to sort project descriptions by “popularity”. I would like to confirm that sort is in NO WAY connected to the voting results. I apologize for the confusion.

3. I am happy to announce our Community Panel members:

Kathryn Hofer, Darrell Kane, Cara Mace, David Knight and Arvi Gosmo were nominated from the general community and they will be joined by project partners David Thornley (Guelph Community Health Centre), Julia Grady (10 Carden), Jennifer Smith (City of Guelph) and James Doran (Innovation Guelph). So if anyone is counting, that is 9 members in all with 5 from the general community and 4 partners. Our Community Panel are reading through all of the project ideas as we speak. They have available to them both the 100 word summaries and the full content of the original applications. They have an Assessment Criteria Worksheet they are using to evaluate the ideas. They are looking for ideas that are “most ready” for investment.

I have a lot of questions about my own involvement in this process so I wanted to clarify that I do not vote. Not in the Community Vote process or in the Community Panel Process. My job is to advocate for ALL of our project ideas and both help shape the idea (if you need help), and help you find the resources needed to make it happen.

4. By the end of this week (February 14th), 15 ideas will be selected.

This will be done by mathematical equation based on scoring from the Community Vote process added to a score from the Community Panel process. The 15 ideas selected will have the added advantage of their full information being forwarded to our cash investors in advance of the Big Show. They will also be showcased at the Big Show a little more than the rest of the ideas. The 15 selected ideas will be contacted by me by the end of the week. We are asking them to keep this news a secret however until the Big Show where we will announce them.

5. I want to remind everyone that The Elevator Project is not responsible for funding or resource allocation.

It is up to individual Investors to decide where to place their resources. The process is designed to help investors identify which ideas are most ready and have community support, but investors make their own decisions. They still have access to the Idea Bank on the website and can request to see more detailed information on any of them.

This isn’t about winners or losers. The concept with the Elevator Project is that all ideas stay in the Idea Bank until they are matched with the resources they require to happen. We want everyone to “win”. If an idea is not selected in this round, I will still actively be looking for the resources it needs. This is about giving Idea Makers a platform to broadcast their idea more broadly so we can find those investors. It is about building a network of support for new community-benefit ideas to hatch and happen. That is why we are also here to help shape ideas (if you want help. If not, that’s okay too!).

5. Coaching & mentoring will now happen AFTER the Big Show and not before as previously advertised.

This is based on feedback we have received.

6. Plans for The Big Show are really shaping up and I can tell you it is going to be quite an event, full of surprises and excitement!

Please make note of the date in your calendars: March 25th. More details will follow but for now you will want to plan to be there. It will be an evening event. What I can tell you right now is that it will be advantageous for all project idea teams to be there. Very advantageous!

7. Many of our Idea Makers have told us that you wanted more opportunities to connect with each other and we are listening.

It is time to Party! Already we have accomplished a lot together and we don’t want to wait until the Big Show to celebrate. Please join us on February 28th from 7-8:30pm at 10 Carden for the Idea Maker Mingle! We will have hot chocolate and cookies. Bring your skates and hit the rink across the street. It is also Fourth Fridays that evening so there will be lots going on. Please meet on the first floor of 10 Carden at 7pm to catch opening comments and introductions. Can’t wait to see you!