Citizens of Holon and HolonMunicipality employees took part in developing Holon’s City Vision and shaping its future – an unprecedented, innovative, fascinating and exciting process, which, as much as I know, is unique to our city.

Children, youth, adults, senior citizens, educators, retirees, volunteers – practically everyone could visit this purpose-built, designated website and contribute ideas to the vision or respond to ideas contributed by others. At the basis of this process lay the assumption that the “wisdom of the crowd” is not inferior, and perhaps even superior, to the one of the individual.

I must say I am proud to lead this process, which in fact sets a new standard for a concept we have already been applying for about eighteen years. At that time, the term “vision” was not exceptional only in public systems, but rather, businesses too did not fully comprehend its meaning and importance.

We, the leaders of Holon, had intended to bring the city to an entirely new level in terms of the quality of life and options it offered its citizens and the city’s overall public image. We believed that first we had to define our “dream” – the benchmarks we sought to reach – through a clear, consistent policy. We were not sure how if and how it was going to work out; we couldn’t predict how it would progress or which among the actions we had taken would be more or less successful than others, but there was one thing we were certain about – we must define the city vision clearly and explicitly.

And indeed, Holon has made impressive achievements and fulfilled the ambitions we had envisaged for the city at the beginning. The fact that we set a clear policy and applied work plans that were derived from the vision allowed us to turn into a dynamic, innovative public organization which is also target oriented, with goals everyone feels committed to and do their best to accomplish

Throughout time, and as reality changed in Israel and internationally, we felt some of the statements of the previous vision remained appropriate and relevant, while others should have been renewed or modified. We therefore decided to start a process of developing a new vision, which was to be participated by the city leaders, municipality employees, municipal employees and subsidiary companies, volunteer and professional forums. For this purpose we launched a designated online platform for entering new ideas and sorting them according to their topics.

We were happy to find out that many were involved. Hundreds of good ideas were gathered, earned interest and received many responses. One of our employees, who is also a resident mother, offered to build a Story Garden for assisting parents and children in pacifier weaning. A resident child offered to build a park which would be based upon Xbox and Playstation games. A school principal offered to found a New Inventor Contest for the purpose of encouraging youth to think creatively and initiate original technological innovations and there was someone who thought that planters and pots offered to citizens at discounted rates could add color and joy to life in the city. These are, of course, only a few examples of the numerous creative and original ideas, from which we learned about the dreams and aspirations of many with respect to the life in Holon and the way the city is managed.

Considering the great success, after about two weeks we opened the site to the general public and extended the period of time it was operative.

Until the designated website closed down, we had over a thousand of ideas uploaded by hundreds of participants. Some of them are very topical while others were pretty general. The ideas were grouped and united into general ideas which were eventually rendered to the new statements of the new vision. At the same time, the individual proposals and concrete ideas were also forwarded to the directors and department in charge of the proposed topics for the purpose of deciding whether they may be applied as part of the work plans.