A petiton platform for enabling local change

About IRIS

There are many topics that local communities regard as particularly pressing, but journalists usually only discover them by accident. This problem inspired our idea to create a platform where citizens’ concerns can be collected and rated on a municipal level. That way a newspaper can create space for those topics, host a discussion and bring additional value to the local community.

IRIS is the platform behind

It was partially funded by the The Digital News Initiative (DNI) and is released as open source software under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

For Publishers

  • Discover local causes from your audience
  • Cover petitions as they develop and gain support
  • See which online sources are talking about a petition
  • User can embed petitions on their own site
  • Create a dialog between the petitioner, your readers and the relevant city council members
  • Petitions are localised by city for a focused audience
  • Use your existing user accounts via SSO sign in
  • Users are verified via SMS for accurate support counts

For Petitioners

  • A platform to get the chance to be heard
  • Let your local cause get known
  • Follow your petition’s development as it gathers support
  • If successful a letter will be sent to your local representative
  • Have a chance to get coverage by your local media outlet

How it works

1. Create your petition

Anyone can create petition for their region, you do not need to be part of an organisation. All you need to do is have a valid mobile number to verify who you are.

2. Share and get support

Once created, share the petition with other people to create awareness about your cause. Each petition runs for 30 days.

3. Letter sent to council

If your petition reaches the target for that city, we will start an official process by sending a letter to the relevant city council member.

Supporting a petition

If you find a cause in your area you want to support, click the support button in the sidebar of the petition page. Quickly fill in your details to receive a mobile SMS verification code confirming who you are, and then your support will be added!

Start your own platform

If you want to start your own platform based on IRIS check out the documentation. There is also an implementation from CH Media called Petitio.