March Madness

By Christopher Dunne

“Gamification” is an ugly word but it’s also one of our favorite techniques for making complex information and tough choices more fun and engaging for members of the public. We talked about using a “Guess Who” game board to teach participants about tradeoffs in the world of transit back in February. More recently in Auburn, we handed out March Madness-style brackets to help launch a discussion about what criteria should be used to select an alternate water source for Cayuga County as part of the Regional Master Plan for their water system.

These tools are light-hearted but that never detracts from the conversations they create. The discussion this exercise generated in Cayuga County was productive, informative and maybe even as engaging as your conversation by the water cooler about the Ramblers blowing up your bracket.

A March Madness-style bracket with match-ups between different criteria used to assess an alternate water source for Cayuga County.

Committee members fill out their brackets before an in-depth discussion.

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