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Identifying creative solutions for community engagement by Catalyze SV

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four students posing for a photo

Team members
Daniel Choi, Krtin Nithiyanandam, Matt Szot, Kevin Tu

Faculty mentor
Prof. Riitta Katila

The organization
Catalyze SV engages community members, developers, and city leaders to envision and create sustainable, equitable, and vibrant places for people in Silicon Valley.

Catalyze SV logo

Project description

The goal of this project was to help Catalyze SV increase community engagement and creativity in virtual housing development meetings and workshops. Catalyze SV works with a diverse demographic base, so we prioritized inclusive and accessible tools and platforms that could improve Catalyze SV’s reach and communal productivity. 


We analyzed survey data to show that SMS messages are more effective than other communication channels for urgent outreach. We recommend Twilio as Catalyze SV’s SMS provider due to its low cost, feature list, and scalability. Regarding videoconferencing, Zoom should move forward as the primary videoconferencing platform, while Stanford Deliberate may serve as an auxiliary platform for smaller meetings while the platform undergoes collaborative development. Finally, responses from our focus groups indicated that Zoom Whiteboard will increase creativity and productivity, strengthening participation and engagement levels.

Techniques used

We devised and distributed an SMS outreach survey to collect SMS interaction and demographic data to identify SMS usage trends among different groups. We also conducted a focus group study on the effectiveness of specific brainstorming platforms, followed by a cost-benefit analysis of various tools and platforms. Some important factors we considered were scalability, cost, and the ability to bolster engagement.

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2022 senior projects