Innovation That Matters

Touchscreen voting station enables Helsinki residents to have their say on new gallery


Citizens are having their say as to whether the government should invest in a new branch of the Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki thanks to Facebook-style voting stations set up by advertising agency HeyDay.

We’ve already seen how versatile the crowdsourcing model can be for gauging popular opinion across a range of industries — from fashion sites to local cinemas. Now residents of Helsinki, Finland, have been given the chance to have their say on whether the government should allow the Guggenheim Museum to build a new gallery in the city, thanks to Facebook-style voting stations set up by advertising agency HeyDay. Working with outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux, the company has set up two booths featuring touchscreens close to the site where the New York art institution is planning to develop a USD 184 million Helsinki branch of its museum. According to a FastCompany report, there is a faction of Finnish taxpayers who oppose the building, and passersby can now make their voices heard by touching their hand to the Facebook-style ‘Like’ icon or a thumbs-down ‘Dislike’ button depending on their stance. Although the results of the vote will not be binding, FastCompany believes the outcome could be used to bolster the winning side’s case. Unfortunately, however, the current system has no way of stopping users from repeatedly casting a vote to skew the results. City officials will need to decide whether to go ahead with the investment by the end of April and the voting stations have already proved to be a popular way for citizens to become engaged with an important civic issue. Could this voting system be emulated for new developments elsewhere?



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