Lillestrøm Municipality has been one of the first to convert their meetings in the city council to be completely digital. This has resulted in more3 effective meetings in the city hall and a smooth transition to continue the work from home.
"A huge applause to the company behind FirwstAgenda Live. We see some minor improvements, but we are proud of being a part of the digital journey, and we do not think we can have political meetings without it again. It is a really nice technology with big potential!"
This is how Thor Grosås, a representative from the Senterparty in Lillestrøm Municipality, expressed it after their first trial with FirstAgenda Live during a city council meeting. But how did Lillestrøm succeed to get a head start with the "digital democracy"?
The strive for digitalisation
Lillestrøm Municipality wanted a solution that allowed them to present suggestions in the municipality council hall. In this solution, they also needed an overview that could be streamed to the big screen. This way, the participants could follow the current suggestion and send in their suggestions electronic. All these actions should create more visual and effective meetings for both the participants and the audience.
This was the approach that the municipality used in their search for a solution. Since 2013 Lillestrøm has used FirstAgenda Prepare, and they were in front of a merger of three municipalities. So when they discussed their wishes regarding a new meeting solution, they were referred to the newly developed solution FirstAgenda Live. It led to some starting meetings where needs and wishes from the municipality were discussed.
"We have had a very good dialogue, and even though we were in the pilot phase in a period, it felt like the time has been well spent. FirstAgenda Live knows how things should be made and how they work. We have tested the solution in a lot of meetings, and then we give our feedback", Mari Bergersen, Section manager in Lillestrøm Municipality, tells.
"The function of having an overview of the speaker time is a great tool for the chair of the meeting, which also applies to digital voting. It is super easy for the chair of the meeting to see the result after a finished poll, which also helps when writing the protocol. I have to admit the most surprising for me as a committee secretary is that the suggestions are ready in advance. It works perfectly."
– Mari Bergersen, Section manager
The functions ease the workload for the secretariat
The municipality felt that FirstAgenda Live fulfilled the demands they had pointed out for their upcoming digital meeting. Besides, there was also some extra peaks with the solution that they did not expect.
"The possibility to send in the suggestion digital is important, and the overview that FirstAgenda Live also gives of the speaker list and the voting itself is also very useful", Mari Bergersen says.
The entire process that was scheduled hit directly into the well-known Corona pandemic, and therefore the municipality and FirstAgenda had to correct the process in cooperation afterwards.
"Covid-19 made the pilot project even more relevant, so we decided to go with FirstAgenda Live together with our Teams-meetings. The biggest advantage of sending in the suggestions, for me as a meeting secretary, is that all suggestions are ready in the morning. I no longer need to receive e-mails and topics written on paper notes that are easy to forget. I am surprised how useful it is", Mari Bergersen explains.
But the advantages do not stop here, since the chair of the meeting also mentions the returns from the digital approach.
"The function of having an overview of the speaker time is a great tool for the chair of the meeting, which also applies to digital voting. It is super easy for the chair of the meeting to see the result after a finished poll, which also helps when writing the protocol. I have to admit the most surprising for me as a committee secretary is that the suggestions are ready in advance. It works perfectly", Mari Bergersen says.
The future for FirstAgenda Live looks bright in Lillestrøm, and the different users have welcomed the new solution very positively.
"A tool like this will steal focus if it does not work, but all users are happy and think we need to continue using it in the different teams. It gives us better management of the meetings", Mari Bergersen ends.
We are incredibly happy that Lillestrøm Municipality chose to start this journey with us, both because it helps with the optimisation of the solution, but also because it is a step closer to making digital democracy a reality. We are very excited about the future journey with the Danish, first-mover municipalities that are testing right now.