Online Deliberation Platform

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The Online Deliberation Platform is a video discussion platform for groups of 8-15 people. The platform is designed to facilitate a structured and equitable conversation with better opportunity for participants to speak up. It is currently in limited alpha mode: there is limited capacity available to test/use the platform.

The platforms runs in Chrome or Firefox without installing any additional software on desktop platforms and Android. The convener defines a structured agenda (e.g., "Electoral Reform") with topics (e.g., "Move all primary elections to after Labor Day") and a balanced set of pro's and con's for each topic.

After a brief set of instructions, the platform invites participants to introduce themselves, and walks them through the agenda, displaying for each topic the set of arguments. Participants take turns speaking for up to 45 seconds, and join a queue when someone else is speaking. The platform manages both speaking time and queuing, allowing brief interruptions. When the group thinks all arguments have been discussed, they can propose and vote to move on to the next topic. When all topics are discussed, the group enters the optional concluding phase, where they collaboratively develop open questions, which are discussed, edited and voted on as the outcome of the conversation.

Because of its dynamics, the platform enables more equitable participation from all participants, and will nudge participants that have not spoken much. When the system detects toxic behavior, or when a participant is reported, the automated moderator asks the group to validate this and takes action accordingly. The convener can monitor the conversation live, and record the session’s audio and interactions.

The platform is under active development, and has recently been successfully deployed in Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, and at Stanford with 15 parallel groups each. We have supported deliberations with up to 1250 unique participants. We have facilitated about 800 room group sessions and created 8,000 rooms for the same. There are 10 rooms and 185 unique participants on average per session. So far, we have hosted over 11,500 hours of group discussion with close to 50,000 unique participants.

Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

About Us

The idea is simple: creating an open “Portal” where engaged and committed citizens who feel to share their ideas and offer their opinions on development related issues have the opportunity to do...


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