Following is a template to be used as the basis for a presentation about Metagovernment and collaborative governance. Anyone giving a presentation is welcome to use this template, but of course can modify it as they see fit.
It is a work in progress. The current version is oriented toward a technical crowd (so, for example, Web 2.0 is not explained in depth).
Each major heading should be considered a slide or group of slides in a presentation.
Success of Web 2.0
- Openness and collaboration bring strength
- Success has been surprising to many
- Increased participation = better quality
- This is just the beginning
Web 2.0 Is Expanding to Governance
- Experimentation stage
- Usually inject Web 2.0 into existing political processes
- Campaigns using blogs, MySpace, YouTube, SecondLife, etc.
- Organizations using websites to interact with elected officials: access2democracy, USA Votes, many others
Beginning of “Mixdemocracy”
- Using Web 2.0 to enable direct citizen input into the decisions of elected officials.
- Sweden: Demoex (Democratic Experiment)
- Australia: Senator On-Line
- United States: lowercase-d, FreeGovernment, GovIt, and others.
- Others: Look up “related projects” on Metagovernment.org
Why Stop There?
- Why use new technology with old politics?
- What use are politicians?
- Not just in governments, but in every governance process
- A replacement for existing governance structures (through peaceful, lawful means)
- Completely open; completely global
- Targeted at all forms of governance: everywhere there is a representative democracy
- Not a simple direct democracy: no voting, no majority rule
- Government of, by, and for the people
- Openness in everything
- Without consensus, there is no law
- Consensus through synthesis
- Community — any group of people with a common interest
- Government — the organizing principle of a community
- Consensus — the lack of significant dissent
How It Works
- Each community runs an instance of governance software (Metascore)
- Anyone on the internet may:
- Create proposals
- Comment on proposals (or other comments)
- Score proposals and comments
- Possibly score other users
- Basic score — mathematical calculation of positive and negative scores for a proposal
- Synthesis score — how well a proposal synthesizes two or more other proposals
- Consensus score — calculation of the above scores. Above a very high threshold, something becomes law.
- Every score a user applies is weighted by their own score (if we have user-scores)
- Eliminates corruption, bribery, secrecy, back-room deals, etc.
- Synthesis actively builds consensus
- Better idea creation: great solutions aren’t repressed by a cumbersome bureaucracy
- Transforms citizenship: government is no longer something that just happens to you
Mesh of Communities
- Each community runs an instance of Metascore
- Hierarchies of communities will form
- Self-limiting: people will self-select into communities they care about
- Replaces levels of government, parts of government, political parties, interest groups, coalitions, etc.
Some Key Unknowns
- Should we implement user scoring?
- What is a consensus?
- Who administers the software?
- How do we prevent hacking, traffic shaping, etc.?
- Most of these will be solved by scaled adoption, experimentation, and distribution
- Server application
- Django/python web interface
- Concepts are related through tagging
- Each tag has a score
- Distributed Version Control System
- DemocracyLab — Sister project
How You Can Help
- Adhocracy — Contribute as you please
- Explore metagovernment.org
- Join list server, read the archives
- Everyone is welcome, but for startup phase we need more programmers
- Tell a friend