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NCDD-DISCUSSION  February 2008, Week 3

NCDD-DISCUSSION February 2008, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Building consensus online

From:

Tom Atlee <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Tom Atlee <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 17 Feb 2008 04:42:47 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (120 lines)

There is a software process called Synanim that uses an approach that 
could be used for this purpose, I believe -- and which I'd love to 
see tested for this purpose.  As I wrote on another thread last 
November:

======

There is a very provocative written process that doesn't claim to do 
dialogue or deliberation or consensus process, but in fact has the 
potential to create a very deep-level consensus purely through an 
iterative group writing exercise.  I've always wanted someone to 
experiment with it as a form of deliberation, because if it worked 
well, it would revolutionize the field.

It is an iterative process whose proprietary form is called Synanim; 
I'd love to see an open source version developed.  It involves groups 
of ten participants in which each participant writes up their idea of 
an answer to the assigned question or task and then, online, shares 
it anonymously with the other 9 group members.  Then each person 
picks one of the posted responses (their own or another's) and 
revises it, and then posts their new proposal....  After a number of 
iterations of this post-choose-revise-post cycle, the founders of the 
process (Synanim <http://www.synanim.com/>) say that usually the 
answers converge on a consensus -- or, occasionally, 2 or 3 
consensuses among subgroups.

You can have thousands of people participating.  In this case, upon 
completion of the first task/question, one person is picked from each 
group to join people from other groups to forge broader consensus on 
that task, or to move on to another task on the same project.  The 
computer choses this "leader" by noting (a) how many times people in 
his/her group chose his/her writeup in the preceding task cycle and 
(b) how many times he or she chose writeups that many other members 
of the group chose.  The computer ranks the participants overall and 
choses the one with the highest score on these two parameters as the 
group's "leader" (who can then participate in the higher level 
sessions), presumably because they have some resonance with what 
their group thinks about it all.

I find this fascinating.  It totally challenges my normal sense that 
real interaction -- whether written or oral -- is required for 
dialogue or deliberation to take place.  This Synanim process has a 
very different feel, but given the theoretical power of iteration 
(from chaos, complexity, and fractal mathematics), and its observed 
power in some D&D processes, I can see how it would work quite 
powerfully.

--========

Coheartedly,
Tom



At 5:17 PM -0800 2/16/08, Tim Bonnemann wrote:
>Hi,
>
>Interesting discussion over on one of Steven Clift's discussion 
>groups.  A few weeks ago, he asked:
>
>>   I've found that most online tools and techniques bring our 
>>   differences of opinion rather than forging agreement within 
>>   large groups online (over say 15 people). The Internet does 
>>   a great job at getting issues on the table, allowing like-minds 
>>   to coalase, and when done right builds respect among those 
>>   with differing opinions.
>>
>>   Can take this further?
>>
>>   Let's say that we want move online from the statement of 
>>   positions or surveys that show current opinions to agreement 
>>   or consensus on actions or proposals among the vast majority 
>>   of say 1,000 people.
>>
>>   What would you do? What have you seen?
>>
>
>Read the full thread here:
>
> 
>	<http://groups.dowire.org/groups/consult/messages/topic/4tcf2LndR6buvQfIDwvhVA>http://groups.dowire.org/groups/consult/messages/topic/4tcf2LndR6buvQfIDwvhVA
>
>Would love to hear some thoughts on this from the dialogue and 
>deliberation community.
>
>Thanks,
>Tim
>
>--
>Tim Bonnemann
>San Jose, CA 95128 (USA)
>Web: <http://www.plansphere.com>http://www.plansphere.com/
>
>
>---
>
>NCDD's discussion and announcement lists are generously provided by 
>L-Soft ( www.lsoft.com ) and are powered by L-Soft's LISTSERV 
>mailing list management software ( 
>www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html ). Learn more about NCDD's email 
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>www.thataway.org/community/lists/ ).


-- 

________________________________

Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * PO Box 493 * Eugene, OR 97440
http://www.co-intelligence.org *  http://www.democracyinnovations.org  
Read THE TAO OF DEMOCRACY *  http://www.taoofdemocracy.com
Tom Atlee's blog http://www.evolvingcollectiveintelligence.org
Please support our work.  *  Your donations are fully tax-deductible.

________________________________

---

NCDD's discussion and announcement lists are generously provided by L-Soft ( www.lsoft.com ) and are powered by L-Soft's LISTSERV mailing list management software ( www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html ).  Learn more about NCDD's email lists in the community section of the NCDD website ( www.thataway.org/community/lists/ ).

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