Collecting in-depth feedback from customers

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How the General communications regulator for Ireland collected in-depth feedback about the impact of the postal market liberalisation on customers.

Situation


Comreg is the general Communications regulator for Ireland, covering almost all possible types of communications. In this capacity, it acts as the National Regulatory Authority for the Postal Sector in Ireland. John Hearn, Comreg’s Manager for Postal Liberalisation initially conducted a series of “physical” conferences to collect feedback about the impact of the postal market liberalisation.
He wanted however to collect additional insights to fully understand what benefits might be expected for all types of customers of postal services in Ireland, after the full opening of the Irish postal market due by the end of 2010.

Approach


Synthetron solution was used to engage both the service providers and the representatives of customers in a different way through a single cyber-discussion.
The script for the online debate on “Understanding and ensuring the benefits to all consumers from a competitive postal market” was developed by Paul R. Kleindorfer, Distinguished Research Professor, INSEAD, an expert in the field of postal deregulation. Prof. Kleindorfer also facilitated the debate among the conference participants and wrote the report documenting on the outcome of the Synthetron session.

Results


Synthetron enabled to collect feedback in a very efficient way. Indeed, holding a conventional type of meeting is time consuming for both Comreg and the participants. The need to spend at least half a day at such symposium, plus the travelling time inevitably restricts the participation of many stakeholders; especially those who live some distance from the venue.
Also, the Synthetron dialogues ensured that every participant got the opportunity to make his/her point.

Engaging experts at EU level

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How the EU’s Research & Innovation DG used Synthetron online dialogues to consult and engage experts across Europe in the development of a EU policy framework on biodiversity.

Situation


To inform the EU policy framework on biodiversity, the European Union’s Research and Innovation DG, in cooperation with the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS) wished to mobilize knowledge holders and providers, policy makers, performers and market players, users and society in general – local, regional, national, European and global level to participate in a multi-player consultation.

Approach


4 Synthetron online crowdsourcing sessions were held with experts in Biodiversity throughout Europe on the following topics “improved risk management and resilience”, “restoration of degraded ecosystems”, “climate change adaptation and mitigation” and “sustainable urbanization“.

Results


The outcome of the Synthetron sessions contributed to the development of a comprehensive EU policy framework on biodiversity for research and innovation to solutions.

Learning about Germany’s foreign policy perception

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How the German Foreign ministry used Synthetron to learn about Germany’s foreign policy perception in a new and modern way.

Situation


Back in November 2013 German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier launched a “What goes wrong?” reflection on Germany’s foreign policy to consider what needs to be changed as part of its 2014 review process.

Approach


Synthetron came into play when external expertise had to be complemented by internal knowledge of both the central staff in Berlin and their colleagues in embassies around the world.
Starting at the beginning of November 2014 we ran four 75 minute debates, each reflecting on different aspects of cultural and procedural issues – three in an overall context and one especially focused on ways how to handle European policy aspects in the light of the newly established European External Action Service. Around 350 participants exchanged nearly 3,250 ideas.
The analytical work was done in four steps:

  • An immediate response converting significant raw data from each debate into a readable layout
  • An in-depth analysis for each the 3 debates focusing on culture, creativity and organisation
  • An additional analysis on European Policy issues
  • An analysis of attitudes shown via language patterns.

Results


We reported back on the following:

  • What participants expect as an appropriate internal culture and how they would react to it (shown as well in segments differing between central and embassy staff)
  • Top actions required to achieve the aspired culture
  • Which parameters need to be reflected in the course of achieving progress
  • What suitable communication could help to bridge gaps in a consistent way.

The Synthetron online debates were an important integrative element amongst the various formats of people involvement in the “Review2014” Process.

Within the IT-architecture of the Foreign Office, the crowdsourcing approach offered a new, modern approach from which we learned a lot.
The Synthetron online debates were an important integrative element amongst the various formats of people involvement in the “Review2014” Process. It was only with the assistance of this methodology that we could offer the chance to take part in the process to colleagues from all over the world in a very short time. The technical potential of your product as well as the manifold options for evaluating the data were a big gain for us. We were also impressed by the quick analysis of the underlying patterns of the participants on the basis of the structure of the language they used.
I realised that an efficient cooperation between your specialists and my team is indispensable in order to coordinate the Synthetron expertise with the knowledge of the processes and specials of the Foreign Office and to make use of them in a most efficient way. This was a success.”
Dr. Thomas Bagger, former head of Planning Staff (now head of department of external affairs in the office of the German President) – Foreign Office Germany, Berlin

read the article about this project in the Economist

Mobilising young adults on the future of their region

Hear what citizens have to say in Synthetron online dialogues

How the Flemish government mobilised 200 young adults to give their fresh views on the future of Flanders via a Synthetron brainstrom

Situation


Because the future of Flanders is going to be built for and by the younger generations, the Flemish government found it important to involve this specific stakeholder group in the making of the social economic plan for the 2020 Vlaanderen in Actie .

Approach


Around 200 young men and women aged 22-30 years participated in a Synthetron brainstorm to discuss various themes (talent, mobility, international perspective and innovation), giving their fresh views on the future and a clear sense of priorities.

Results


The fresh views and priorities identified by the participants were an important contribution to a forum of «captains of society », which took place in Dec. 2008 in Brussels.

Inviting citizens to share their views

Hear what citizens have to say in Synthetron online dialogues

How citizens were invited by the Dutch Ministry of Environment to share their views on their future environment

Situation


The VROM (Dutch ministry of Environment) is responsible for the environment in which citizens live, work, and relax.
The Netherlands is a densely populated country requiring careful consideration of issues such as living space.
VROM decided to set up a vision development project for the ‘Randstad’ – the urban region including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague – called ‘Randstad 2040’.

Approach


As part of the ‘Randstad 2040’ vision development project, 400 citizens were invited to discuss their views of the ideal future for the ‘Randstad’ through Synthetron online discussions. Participants had lively discussions about mobility, environment, living conditions, transportation, housing, urbanisation, etc. They visualised their ideal world, discovered dilemmas and explored the downsides of their choices.

Results


The results of these Synthetron sessions were used as input into meetings where citizens were invited to explore the issues further.
The findings were then analysed and presented to the Minister and top policy makers.
The Dutch parliament adopted some of the recommendations resulting from the study.

Improving staff motivation

How an hospital used Synthetron to improve staff motivation

Situation


The top management of a large hospital complex had gone through a major restructuring and sensed unrest among the staff. They wanted to take action to improve staff motivation.

Approach


To capture the main motivators and de-motivators directly, the management organised a series of 12 segmented Synthetron discussions for employees (doctors, nurses, administrative and cleaning staff).

Results


The approach addressed the feeling in some parts of the organization that they didn’t really belong, or that all the decision were made in HQ.
It also helped build team spirit as every month staff had the experience of working with global colleagues on an important question.

Engaging members on hot topic

How an automobile association engaged its members on a controversial road tax reform to advise the government using Synthetron online dialogues

Situation

The ANWB – the Dutch national automobile association – needed a clear and complete image of what its members‘ opinions were on a controversial proposed law, in order to advise the government.
Following a quantitative questionnaire, more qualitative research  and engagement of members was necessary.

Approach


All ANWB members were invited to participate to one of 7 real-time Synthetron sessions, spread over 3 days. In total, 6000 people participated. They discussed all 7 parts of the proposed law, through carefully designed scripts that served as the basis for the discussion.

Discovery


Within two weeks,  Synthetron inventorised, classified and analysed the ideas, opinions, insights and feelings of those 6000 participants on one of the most delicate political topics at that time.

The final advice reflected an overall image as well as an insight into the 7 different aspects of the law. The results were presented by the head of the Association in  a public press conference.

Media, parliament and stakeholders systematically referred to the report in the following months. The automobile association  gained much credit publicly and from its members for having involved  members on a large scale in such an innovative way.

The results were combined with the results of the quantitative questionnaire, and were presented to the national government, which helped them in reaching a decision on road pricing.

“Synthetron helped us in a very professional way to reach more than 6000 members in online conversations on the key issues of the ‘car tax proposal’. Our members were happy as they found it easy and engaging to participate. And for us, getting a collaborative filtered outcome on such a large scale made the process very efficient and transparent. We got deep insight into what our members think, feel and why, on the different policy issues. The excellent report enabled us to bring balanced and motivated advice to the government with co-created stakeholder support.”

Guido Van Woerkom, President & CEO ANWB