Vancouver rechercheuse Karen Fung has completed her honour’s thesis into Toronto Transit Camp as an example of unconventional social change. I was one of her interviewees, and my remarks were, I suspected and told her, farthest from her core topic. (“What was your expected outcome from Transit Camp?” “Radiant Core would get the TTC Web contract.” That sort of thing.)

Anyway: Money quote?

[P]articipants also felt that the TTC did not express adequately to the participants, post-event, whether they had received insight or value as a result of participating in from the event…. While this can be somewhat expected for the TTC, which was working outside any previously established process with its participation at Toronto Transit Camp, the fact that this is typical even of those authorities who engage the public in accordance with their own public-engagement efforts indicates that this is an area in need of significant improvement. […]

For many participants, the TTC’s sincerity in participating in Toronto Transit Camp was questioned or even interpreted cynically, as a public relations or a political maneuver that had no basis in a desire for change or improvement:

[The TTC staff member in the session] didn’t necessarily have anything particularly important to say. I know he was there really as “strength in numbers”… and I really felt that it’s all very well that [TTC Chair Adam Giambrone is] there, but I don’t think they came in to be offensive, they came to be defensive. […] I don’t feel like they came in to actually hear what we were going to say, despite Adam Giambrone’s speech at the end of the day. I really think that they were there to just to make sure that shit didn’t go down. Like a riot or something.

Many other interviewees, who described the organization somewhat negatively with regards to its capacity for change, openness or flexibility, repeated this skepticism. These interviewees described the TTC as risk-averse and being too focused on the operational cost, at the expense of providing a positive customer experience.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2008.05.05 13:06. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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