The Vertically Integrated Projects' Digital Deliberation involved designing, testing, and implementing of the online large-scale deliberative platform Reflect! The project intended to facilitate discussion between people with dissenting opinions and to gamify public deliberation.
Problems and Purpose
The goal of Georgia Tech's VIP Digital Deliberation program is to design, test, iteratively improve, and implement the online platform Reflect! that supports and structures large-scale deliberation on wicked problems and stimulates reflection. Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) allow GATech students to work on long-term research and development projects with faculty and graduate students for academic credit.
Background History and Context
The Digital Democracy Program began in 2016 with the release of the first version of the Reflect!
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The Digital Democracy Program is run by Vertically Integrated Projects, a university program at Georgia Tech university. It is overseen by Micheal Hoffman.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Thus far, participants have included students - both those working on the platform and those used as test subjects. The platform is only available to those studying or working at Georgia Tech.
Methods and Tools Used
The platform itself constitutes an online engagement tool.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
Students and faculty work together to model, build, and test the Reflect! online tool to facilitate the following:
Talk to People With Dissenting Opinions
Individuals often feel significantly more comfortable talking to people who share their views. But this is not sufficient when it comes to wicked problems and the resolution of conflicts. Instead of rehashing time and again the same opinions, we need to talk to people whose opinions we do not share.
Deliberation and Self-Reflection
Peaceful decision making and conflict resolution are only possible if people are able to change their mind based on the better argument. This again requires to organize deliberation in a way that supports reflection on one's own reasoning. People need to be enabled to identify—in the process of deliberating with others—weaknesses, gaps, biases, and limitations in their own thinking, and they should be supported to improve it.
Creative, Collaborative Decision Making
Instead of winning an argument, it is much better to stimulate creativity so that solutions can be found that more stakeholders can support.
Gamify Public Deliberation
Participating in public deliberation should be experienced as exciting and rewarding.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
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Analysis and Lessons Learned
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