Curated Resource ( ? )



my notes ( ? )

Met Marc-Antoine parent via FotL, who's focused on "design of new tools and approaches to aid collective decision making", particularly under the following conditions:

  • deadline: a course of action must be developed and implemented in a certain amount of time
  • complexity: issues are too complex to be well understood by a small group of people;
  • diversity: "opinions are so diverse that the set of options, or even the very definition of the problems are not agreed on, at least initially"
  • size: those involved are too numerous to simply meet as a group.

Many issues have these characteristics: decisions on "national policy ... have unforeseen indirect impacts in the social fabric and the natural environment. However, decision processes ... including representative democracy do not ensure... [those] most directly affected by a decision will be able to provide input".

Those processes must be able to allow "input from as many stakeholders as possible, ensure all are heard... [and] arguments will not be ignored just because they are complex or require specialized knowledge. This, I propose, can be achieved through collective authoring of collective projects".

We don't have the tools. The closest tool is probably wikis, but they're not designed to "achieve a binding decision for its users... [Wikipedia] allows to register dissent on issues that may remain unresolved indefinitely".

In any case, no tool can solve all the issues - the best I guess one can hope for is a tool that helps a group at least find an agreed majority view, and/or perhaps several minority views.

So what would such a tool - and the associated processes - look like?

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