FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 15 MAY 2019
Ethelo and Open North are excited to announce the acquisition by Ethelo of “Citizen Budget”- Canada’s leading municipal budget consultation tool. Launched in 2011 by Open North, Citizen Budget simulator has been used by over 100 Canadian municipalities for their public budget engagement. The interactive online tool has enabled cities of all sizes, from all regions in Canada, to dramatically improve public engagement in one of their most important responsibilities; financial planning.
Through this acquisition, municipalities and other organizations can now benefit from the integration of Citizen Budget with Ethelo’s advanced algorithms and democratic decision-making tools. Ethelo is already used by governments in Canada and abroad for planning, policy development and budgeting. The combined offering will form the most comprehensive suite of online public engagement tools on the market, providing a ‘one-stop shop’ for local governments.
“Democracy is at a crossroads; voter confidence is at an all-time low and the challenges facing government are complex. Public servants working hard to create positive change need technologies that can create public trust and buy-in. The addition of Citizen Budget to Ethelo’s suite of participatory decision tools will bring citizen engagement in budgeting and public policy to a new level in Canada and abroad,” says John Richardson, CEO of Ethelo. Ethelo plans to expand the Citizen Budget platform to include social dialogue and tools for real-time results and collective budget analysis. The improved platform will better enable organizations to gather insightful public input on financial planning and budgeting. It will also empower residents and stakeholders, who are often unable to participate in important decision-making that affects them and their communities.
“At a time when cities are facing increased pressures to balance their budgets, we are excited to see Ethelo take on the next phase of Citizen Budget. With its advanced decision-making algorithm and array of powerful public engagement tools Ethelo is uniquely positioned to grow the reach and impact of Citizen Budget.” - Jean-Noé Landry, Executive Director of Open North
Open North and Ethelo have entered into a cooperation agreement to support this transition and offer complementary services to governments and organizations around the world.
Ethelo helps their clients to offer more transparency and participation on the hottest public issues in a way that creates better outcomes and stronger buy-in. Its sophisticated participatory decision platform has been used by all levels of government as well as the private and non-profit sector ensure inclusive, fair and transparent decision-making processes and defuse opposition. Ethelo’s unique algorithms and ability to solve complex problems while building support has been described by the Canadian government as “an exceptional advance that is clearly ahead of competitors.”
About Open North
OpenNorth is Canada’s leading not-for-profit organization working to open up data, government, community engagement, and technologies. OpenNorth works with Canada’s most innovative and connected cities to create open smart cities. Through its interdisciplinary applied research, OpenNorth brings international practices to local communities while connecting local communities, governments, and partners to international networks and communities of practice.