My paper for Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing; Conference on Online Deliberation
Growing a Global Issue Base:
An Issue-based Approach to Policy Deliberation
Current mechanisms for public policy deliberation are failing to cope with overwhelming amounts of information and legitimate, competing interpretations. Online discourse around complex and controversial topics supports neither broad participation nor deep exploration of the issues, options and arguments. Contributions to public deliberation in the popular media, such as speeches, debates, blogs, and op-ed pieces, tend to articulate a particular point of view, simplifying the counterarguments. We urgently need approaches that are designed from the start to illuminate the nature of disagreements, to broaden public understanding of complex debates, make it easier for stakeholders to contribute productively, and to provide analysts and decision makers with cognitive support. Building on two decades of work facilitating small scale, face-to-face deliberation over wicked problems using the IBIS language, this paper proposes that the essence of the approach, augmented by recent technical advances, could scale to support global, online deliberation. A semi-structured discourse scheme like IBIS, delivered via visual web tools, provides a powerful grammar for distilling and inter-connecting speeches, blogs, and other contributions. Just as Wikipedia and related tools have become the world’s repository of consensual knowledge (representing the state of agreement), it is within reach to create robust representations of the knowledge in live controversies (the state of disagreement).
Comment Wall (5 comments)
Thanks for signing up -- and looking forward to joining you as a volunteer dialogue mapper for the phone calls/workshops ahead.
It was great to talk with you and the rest of the gsm gang at Berkeley. Since we are in the neighborhood I hope we get more opportunities to talk.
Keep up the great work.
Growing a Global Issue Base: An Issue-based Approach to Policy Deliberation -- I like what I read so far in the openning paragraph.
I have a :) stake in transforming the use of the language "stakeholders", which came from community development where I've background, into something more collaborative, less ownership-laden (waking up our ever-vigilant egos) and more deeply collective in essence. What do you think?
I wonder about going beyond knowledge eventually, and more approaching wisdom as a vision or outcome. Yes, I'm a writer, I split hairs. But our language reflects and affects our lives, so I'll keep on keeping on. Let's talk about it!
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