democracy open-source participation politics tech

oplossingen gebaseerd op consensus

De laatste tijd krijgen we van meerdere instanties de vraag “Is er een tool waarmee we oplossingen voor problemen kunnen crowdsourcen en deze vervolgens rangschikken, gebaseerd op consensus?”

“Polis is a real-time system for gathering, analyzing and understanding what large groups of people think in their own words, A by advanced statistics and machine learning.”

En ja hoor, die is er! We hebben een aantal keren de voorbeelden laten zien hoe werd ingezet om beleid te (her)vormen door de overheid van Taiwan, bijvoorbeeld rond het personen vervoer bedrijf Uber. Het blijft lastig uitleggen wat nu exact doet.

Gelukkig heeft de BBC hier een mooi filmpje over gemaakt:

ps: om je digitale data footprint te beperken kan je youtube afspelen in Firefox Multi-Account Containers

We proberen al een tijdje reuring te krijgen voor in Nederland. Voor Innovating Democracy, samen georganiseerd met de NIMD, hadden we twee jaar geleden Colin Megill naar Nederland gehaald om een presentatie te geven over

Vorig jaar zijn we gaan onderzoeken naar de mogelijkheden om naast de Nederlandse versie van Consul ook te hosten op Nederlandse bodem. Een mogelijke integratie van deze beide participatie tools zorgt voor een nog breder participatie traject, waar nog meer burgers aan kunnen deelnemen.

Zou jij ook en of Consul voor jouw gemeente, cooperatie, ledenorganisatie of politieke partij in willen zetten? Laat het ons weten!

open-source participation tech

Noodgedwongen online vergaderen en videobellen

Werkend Nederland is massaal overgeschakeld op online vergaderen en videobellen, noodgedwongen, deels onwennig. We krijgen veel vragen over tools om veilig thuis te werken. Op het nieuws verschijnen veel berichten over de gevaren en nadelen van het gebruik van deze tools zoals Zoom en Slack. Vaak worden deze door werknemers uit eigen initiatief ingezet, wat goed is, alleen is het niet altijd veilig en duurzaam voor de organisatie.

Bits of Freedom en de Waag zetten deze applicaties op een rijtje. Een aantal van deze Open-Source communicatie tools moet je zelf hosten. Participation.Tools (van ondersteunt haar klanten om dit makkelijk, veilig en zonder leveranciersafhankelijkheid te realiseren.

Onze klanten hebben we tijdens de COVID-19 beperking twee communicatie tools ter beschikking gesteld: BigBlueButton, voor webvergaderingen, seminars en tutorials. RocketChat, voor message-based communicatie binnen het team. Voordelen: Onafhankelijk, Webbased, Open Source.

Wil je weten hoe deze Open-Source tools jouw organisatie kunnen helpen?

Neem contact met ons op

democracy open-source participation politics tech

What makes OpenSource tools so valuable in the political spectrum

This article was orginaly published on the website of NIMD Colombia

We are and for years an experienced network-organization in the NGO, the public, charity and political spheres. We implement technical and functional OpenSource tools as well as methodologies to support, or reframe, processes and to innovate on new challenges.

Our strategy is to come to a situation where the organization will benefit due to a broad implementation of scalable solutions. We emphasize our clients on the risks not to have a vendor-lockin or to fall into the traps of the big tech companies. One of the key answers is to define data or process ownership within the organisation itself.

We worked with one of our political clients to embrace and adapt her mission so well that taking ownership of the supportive tools was pretty easy. We defined a simple ruleset to get this accountability and the quality of handling this toolset, actualy fully supportive to her own mission, was like working with a natural flow.

Because of the significant low overhead costs all the organisational- values could go into the further developments of the mission and campagnes, with the toolset as a well know supportive machinery.

Political innovation works well with organisations whom are adapting this mindset into their business-operations. Besides this, we feel strongly that people working for strong mission-driven organisations, like political parties, do feel comfortable when their own mission and vision is part of the business-operations and ethical model. When we say, “practice what you preach”, everybody will understand the filosofy behind this.

A strong and powerful campaign needs to rely on the perspective of your base (members, supporters, donors).  This perspective needs to have a place in your CRM-based system. When you want to gather this knowledge you have to start communicating with your base fromout your CRM, develop the channels that are part of your political mission and vision and organise it. Yourself!

A party organizing their members themselves are up-front, to outsource this process can become part of the infamous vendor-lockin, as explained here.

When political campaigns are in the developing stage it is necessary that the members and volunteers are for more or less 99% behind the campaign and will add important information as content for the campaign.

For the Dutch labor party we organised an internal Consul platform to work with all internal staff and members to have their say and to develop the outcomes leading to their annual congress. Having this platform will guide the members and volunteers into their own framework, it gives them a much more cofortable feeling as well. So in this way all campaigners, members ans staff will speak the same language.

Furthermore, the power of the campaign will be of a structural and powerful set of recognisable and well thought campaign materials for the people you want to reach. It should be the best way to adapt and manage the constant flow of information and news. To have this definitions clear it is for the organisation herself a great oppurtunity to manage this information with the possibility to steer the campaign on a more abstract level, without creating a distance to their base.

When you link your Consul and CRM (like CiviCRM) databases with each-other you have a very powerful toolset with your own crownjewels in your own hands.

After the campaign, as stated over and over, you still have your input AND output in a very structurized and save situation. This is very much re-usable but, it is again the optimum to embed this in your daily membership management, your news gathering, the memberships you can achieve and manage to have  long term relation with your supporters, members, volunteers and so on.

The wonderful idea to have the possibilty to link your Party ideals to the personal ideals should be an ongoing and daily process in order to manage your members.

Do not only reach out to them via news channels or news letters, no, it is necessary that the party herself starts to communicate with their people.

Only this is a real base for a succesful relationship and thus a deservable vote on your party.

community open-source OpenData tech

Just another Community Building Success?

We from…this can be a great promo story about Us, Our Great Company, our Huge Successes and terrible mistakes in daily life etcetera. No, we decided to tell you something about a huge community building success in another perspective. And, a serious one. One of the biggest successes in a grassroots community building project can be called Discogs. Disc what? Discogs! It is a perfect example of only a few KPI’s, if you want to call it like that… bonding together to perform simultaneous duties. Wow. And it works too!

Discogs was founded 18 (!!!) years ago by the great hero, named Kevin Lewandosky. Not sure what his primary reason was, but for many, many music collectors, like Kevin must be, Discogs is the easiest way to catalog your collection. Now it is a real-time database with nearly 11 million submissions and almost 6 million musicians. Discogs is a musical walhalla.

One of the big succes factors of Discogs is that its community has a strong moderation behind it. You may enter, as a contributor, information into the Database about music, an artist, a track, an album and so on. But; there are very strict guidelines. And, careful, do not mess with the Discogs Community Police. My first experience with them, I lost a discussion with one of the DCP officers concerning a submission of a CD Album from soul and funk legend D’Angelo. A lost case, my submission was clearly not as exact as on the CD Album, so I was not allowed to enter it into the Database. It reminds me that only with a decent “how-to-use-the-system-guide” such a system can be successful. And yeah the DCP was right 🙂

And what is Discogs more then an Ebay or Amazon marketplace? And that is to our opinion a very essential part, the database belongs to us as a community. We can add our own Open Source philosophy to it. The Discogs database grows daily, by our own input. And, how sweet, other music geeks, beside myself, rely on these entered details. And that is a very comfortable thought as well.

So, finally you can see whether your cool guitar player is credited on more albums, without annoying popups. What makes it even more successful is the great marketplace where you even can find albums from your favorite artists yet to come! Recordlabels simply put the new releases into the system so you will get advanced notifications about your dearest artists.

What can we say more about Discogs? Is it one of the best music related libraries because the lack of influence from the big music corporations? I have never seen so many white label productions, or the so called “unofficial albums” like there. Amazing. Or is it the twist between a community based platform in combination with a second-hand shop? Worthwhile to do more research into the huge success of Discogs. At this moment we can only conclude, Discogs is a worldwide Community Building Success!

democracy tech

All about Structural Privacy

It is buzzing, also with our clients, the new GDPR. Finally serious notes concerning our sensitive, personal, data. And surely the media is HOT! On the spot, more and more “incidents” come up, like the scandalous Grindr  incident.

Dutch Passport data, Open and Wide on the WWW, where FedEx are willing to close this gate made by Bongo Servers, under supervision by Kromtech. You follow? An Incident? Likely.

Definitely no incidents; those are the organisations who trust their sensitive data to cloud-base solutions, like Microsoft.

And when you read this you will rethink these cloud solutions over, again. And that is all about Structural Privacy,  to safeguard your own ideals and your organisational mission to harbor your sensitive data.