From Metagovernment - Government of, by, and for all the people
Jump to: navigation, search

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

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

Basic Principles

  • 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

Scoring Proposals

  • 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)

Expected Results

  • 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

Software Branches

  • 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
  • Join list server, read the archives
  • Everyone is welcome, but for startup phase we need more programmers
  • Tell a friend