A little history…
Our work with budgeting began in 2011 when many local, state and federal governments around the world were facing budget shortfalls and reduced services for their residents.
The first Budget Games for the City of San José, CA, transformed how the Mayor’s office engaged with the community during the budgeting process and directly affected the city budget. According to then Assistant City Manager Kip Harkness, “This was the first time the City was told that while police and fire are important, there is a limit to how much we’re willing to cut libraries and parks.”
During the second year of Budget Games, 80% of the recommendations generated by citizen participants were adopted and integrated into the City’s $2.6B budget.
Since that first Budget Games in 2011, we have worked with governments around the world, including the City of San José, CA, Missoula, MT, and Kortrijk, Belgium — to bring ordinary citizens into the municipal budgeting process. Road repair, fire and police department staffing, funding of community centers, public library hours and potential bond measures and sales tax are just a sampling of the services that residents have prioritized using Budget Games.
Volunteer Facilitators San José 2016
Read Jose Casal’s Blog Post about San José 2016
In 2013, I attended the Innovation Games European Summit in Amsterdam. At that event, I heard Luke Hohmann, CEO of Conteneo, describe his experience of running the San Jose City Budget Games and the positive impact and reception that their Participatory Budget approach generated amongst the participants. I was inspired and completely hooked!
3 years on, I have finally had the chance to take part in and experience the 2016 San Jose budget event in person. And it has been a wonderful experience that I wished more people had the opportunity (and interest) in experiencing.
Download Budget Games Kit
If you are interested in brining the Budget Games to your community, please download our Kit here.
*Budget Games were invented and designed by Luke Hohmann, CEO and Founder of Conteneo.
Read more about Budget Games in a Bloomberg Business Week article.