Founded in 2015 by student entrepreneurs Wietse Van Ransbeeck, Aline Muylaert, and Koen Gremmelprez as CitizenLab, the company has rebranded to Go Vocal to reflect its evolution into a comprehensive digital hub for local democracy. This rebranding signifies a shift from being merely an engagement tool to becoming a platform that facilitates deeper democratic participation. To further enhance its capabilities, Go Vocal is significantly investing in its artificial intelligence module, aiming to streamline the participation process for residents and governments alike. Today, Go Vocal serves 500 governments and organizations globally, including major cities like Copenhagen, Dublin, Vienna, and Seattle.

Proven track record

Go Vocal has a strong global track record. Every month, over 1,000 public servants leverage Go Vocal to enrich decision-making by incorporating the voices of their communities.  This active participation reflects a thriving ecosystem where both officials and residents work together to shape their local environments. Some of these projects include:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark:  Using Go Vocal, residents secured a treatment guarantee on the city council's agenda for children who grew up in homes where their parents were alcohol or drug abusers by collecting 3,850 votes on the proposal.
  • St. Louis, United States: Over 15,000 residents have participated in allocating $250 million from the Rams settlement fund to local projects.
  • Viña del Mar, Chile: Following devastating wildfires, Go Vocal fueled community-driven recovery by empowering residents to redesign public spaces.
  • Vienna, Austria: The city's climate action plan was reshaped with direct input from 2,500 residents through Go Vocal, leading to initiatives like façade greening and repair cafes. The city used Go Vocal’s AI module to analyze this data within only a few hours.
  • London Borough of Newham, United Kingdom: Over 10,000 residents used Go Vocal to collaboratively decide on projects funded by their participatory budget, resulting in £1.6 million being allocated to initiatives like youth sports programs, chess tables in parks, and bicycle shelters.

The future: collective meets artificial intelligence

One of the main barriers to participation is the time required to process community input and reporting. To address this challenge, Go Vocal successfully launched its Sensemaking tool earlier this year, saving governments at least 50% in analysis time. Now, Go Vocal is further investing in expanding its AI capabilities to facilitate online deliberations, transform textual contributions into visual representations, and create automated participatory processes that set industry standards, making participation more accessible for governments and residents alike.

"We envision a world where every democratic city brings its participatory democracy online, making participation and democracy more accessible to millions. Go Vocal aims to offer the most complete infrastructure to governments to help achieve just that," concludes Wietse Van Ransbeeck.

About Go Vocal

Go Vocal is a certified B Corp on a mission to make public decision-making more inclusive, participatory, and responsive. It has worked with over 500 governments worldwide, empowering public servants to cultivate a true culture of engagement with its comprehensive engagement platform and strategic guidance. It helps amplify the voices of community members, streamline the engagement process, and unlock deeper insights for more informed decision-making.