Embassy wiki-ocracy: being heard

1. WIKI-communication

Exactly like the do-ocracy, the first step of this system is clear communication. Outline the issue, your proposed solution and the timeframe, costs and consequences of taking this action, and share this with the group. This governance structure uses a web based form of communication such as a wiki to communicate with the group. 

2. be heard

All are invited to read the proposal, consider it, debate the pros and cons, suggest alternatives and so on. This ongoing discussion is continued over a predetermined time frame. [For this, we opted to use Loomio. This worked well for us but there were some improvements that could be made! Talk to us if you would like to know more :) ]

3. select jury and vote

At the end of the allocated discussion time, a number of randomly (and hopefully representative) jury members are selected from within the pool of residents/citizens to familiarize themselves with the group debate and to make a final decision. The selected jury members for each decision remain anonymous. 

4. action

Ensure that the proposed action is enacted. 


This is what a proposal looks like:-

"The participation level was excellent!"


The upsides!

  • In contrast to the do-ocracy, this system supports all voices being heard (people felt heard even if their option was not chosen by the jury). 

"People accepted the decisions pretty well, even if they were against it, they accepted the fact that these three people looked at it and made this decision"


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Potential issues!

  • High overhead - involves high levels of communication, many emails and buy in from individuals. This ultimately let to voter apathy!
  • No way to ensure that the chosen decision/ action is completed - no one is responsible for the doing part. 
  • How to encourage or ensure that the jury actually spend time familiarizing themselves with the wiki-discussion and don't simply just make a decision based on their own opinions. 
  • The timeframe of having a discussion, finding a jury and coming to a decision is not feasible for decisions that need a fast turn around. 

Ways to address/potential solutions

  • Minimize the time commitment needed to be involved by creating a template for proposals that require a time frame, a budget, a list of pros and cons, and essentially, who will be responsible for completing what ever action is decided upon. 
  • Create categories of proposals so that people find it easier to participate in discussion that they care about
  • Find ways to incentivize participation! 
  • Determine a threshold for which proposals go through this system and agree on what kind process you may use for  smaller decisions or ones that need a fast turn around. For example we decided that anything costing below a certain amount did not need to go through Loomio, and fast decisions were flagged as such, e.g. 24 hr turn around needed!