Disclaimer: I work in Google's Policy Team, developing multistakeholder cooperations for internet governance & policy themes, hence I want to point out that all the opinions and ruminations on this blog are mine, not Google's.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Exchange of arguments & reaching decisions online

I guess most of us agree that the online tool (mailing list) and practices we have to have a share information and opinion are rather good but they are producing information overload. However compared to traditional discourse's location and time constrains there is an improvement in inclusiveness.

Partially as a result of the information overload however, our tool is rather poor for the important practice to collectively take a decision and to have a controvesial exchange of arguments.

Allow me to point your attention to http://grass-arena.net = Group Report Authoring Support System

"The purpose of the GRASS project is to develop an arena for credible societal discourse. Its aim is to produce concise group reports that give their readers an uptodate and credible overview of the positions of various stakeholders on a particular issue. As such, these reports can play an important role in consensus assessment and catalyzing societal conflict resolution."

The system
- gives an index (overview) page including the current state of the decision in question via pro/contra/neutral positions
- structures the exchange of arguments which significantly improves clarity and density
- transparently shows the activities of users

I dont think this system is the short-term solution but it is an indication as to what we will hopefully have sometime down the road.

PS: GRASS seems to be discontinued - If anybody knows a similar system i would be very interested to learn about it!

1 comment:

ademoor said...

GRASS has been in the deep freeze for a couple of years. However, I recently left academia, one reason being that I wanted to have the space to revive the project. Busy now with setting up my research consultancy, but I will keep you posted at:


Aldo de Moor