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Tools for Online / Networked Decision-Making

Here are the 20 resources from Tools for Online / Networked Decision-Making.

An Online Environment for Democratic Deliberation: Motivations, Principles, and Design Recently Updated

Todd Davies, Brendan O'Connor, Alex Angiolillo Cochran, Jonathan J. Effrat.

This paper elucidates the experience and thinking behind our new web-based environment for asynchronous group deliberation: Deme (pronounced 'deem'). Deme grew out of participation in and observations of group decision making and community democracy, and is being developed within a university-community partnership to enhance civic participation and to bridge digital divides.

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Caucus Systems Inc.

Caucus Systems is a leading provider of online collaborative environments for global 1000 companies. Caucus Systems creates online collaborative environments that integrate data sources with structured conversations for action, allowing people to work together online as they do face-to-face - by discussing shared information to reach actionable decisions. Group Jazz is part of the Caucus Consortium, supporting the work of groups that meet face-to-face, online, or both.

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CivicEvolution is a new technology that helps people develop public policy through a goal-oriented process of online deliberation.

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CoVision and Council

CoVision supports process consultants and executives with methods, tools and capacity to affect change through increased collaboration. Over 14 years and 3,000 meetings, CoVision has provided large groups (and small) with a simple and effective 'fast-feedback' capability.

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Democracy Lab

Democracy Lab provides online forums for use in high school and college classes. National Issues Forums-style forums run for 10 weeks, fall and spring. Students from around the country dialogue in small groups and are guided from dialogue to inquiry and to action. Instructors adopt Democracy Lab and students purchase online access for $25.

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DEMOS [Delphi Mediation Online System]

DEMOS (Delphi Online Mediation System) is a complex application available on Wornex's WorldDirector platform that provides an environment that assists the management of discussions and decision making through the web, especially when involving a large population (e.g., a community using the web to debate about city issues) or small groups of experts.

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Dialogue Mapping and the Cognexus Institute

Dialogue Mapping is a new approach to problem solving that centers on collective sense making. Dialogue Mapping is about creating the highest possible level of shared understanding and ownership about the issues, decisions, and agreements involved in a project. Unlike traditional problem solving approaches, Dialogue Mapping creates coherence in situations of high social diversity and complexity. The structure of the maps raises the intellectual integrity of the collective problem solving or decision making process. Dr. Jeffrey Conklin, director of the Cognexus Institute, developed the Dialogue Mapping facilitation technique.

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Do Tank and the Democracy Design Workshop Highly Recommended

The Do Tank strives to strengthen the ability of groups to solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves by designing software and legal code to promote collaboration. Tools alone cannot create a culture of strong groups. Hence Do Tank projects address the role of legal and political institutions, social and business practices and the visual and graphical technologies -- what we term the "social code" -- that may allow groups, not only to foster community, but to take action.

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Evolution of Evaluations for Critical, Reflective and Deliberative Discourse: National Issues Forums On-line

M.E. Holt, F Rees, J.D. Swenson and P.B. Kleiber. National Issues Forums Project, Department of Adult Education, The University of Georgia (UGA) College of Education.

This 17-page report is an evaluation of online deliberation. It asks such questions as "How can online deliberation be assessed?", "Can deliberation occur online?", and "Can the deliberative process be learned through participation in an electronic forum?"

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Since 1996 has specialized in web-based collaboration software tools and techniques that dramatically enhance meeting productivity in the conference room or over the internet. 8.0 is an electronic conference center with group decision making tools that accelerate idea generation and consensus building in a meeting room and across the internet. The resources section at provides some great resources on topics like facilitating effective virtual meetings, web-based meeting tools and online strategic planning.

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FacilitatePro turns your web browser into a collaborative meeting place that facilitates group problem solving and decision making. FacilitatePro web meeting software helps facilitators and team leaders run high performance meetings by delivering tools and techniques to support innovative thinking and decision making. FacilitatePro provides online tools for surveys, brainstorming, categorizing, prioritizing, custom voting and polling, alternative analysis, action planning and reporting. Explore their live software demo site or call for a hands-on guided tour.

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GeNIe is an environment for building graphical decision models. The GeNIe [Graphical Network Interface] software package can be used to create decision theoretic models intuitively using the graphical click-and-drop interface. It is a major teaching and research tool in academic environments and is being used in research and in teaching courses at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

Resource Link: develops software that accelerates and streamlines mission-critical business processes. Using GroupSystems software, a project team can reliably and effectively develop a shared understanding of a problem, develop ideas and strategies for addressing that problem, and reach consensus on specific actions and plans.

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Hermes is an Argumentation System for cooperative or non-cooperative types of discussions on the Web. It provides means of expressing and weighing individual arguments and preferences in order to support or challenge the selection of a certain choice. Argumentation is performed through a set of discourse acts which call a variety of procedures for the propagation of information in the corresponding discussion graph.

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In-Team is a web-based software suite for all your 'interactive' High Performance collaboration needs. From a personalized home page, a unique set of integrated tools is accessible for meetings, decision support, distributed team work, communities, discussions, online surveys and knowledge sharing.

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Meaning Map

Meaning Map is a new way for groups to make collective decisions. It can help large numbers of people put their heads together to democratically decide which problems most need to be solved and how best to solve them. The results of the process are two lists: one of the most important problems and one of the overall top solutions. Since solutions can solve more than one problem, the overall top solutions list can be used as the collective opinion of the group about what should be done.

Option Technologies, Inc. Highly Recommended

Option Technologies provides interactive tools that improve group collaboration and decision-making in either face-to-face or multi-site meetings. Ideal for immediate assessment or rating lists of brainstormed ideas 'on-the-fly,' OTI's OptionFinder technology polls meeting participants who then respond from their pocket PC, computer, or wireless keypad. OTI's facilitator-friendly solutions include easy-to-use, PowerPoint-based software and portable, cost-effective response keypad options. AmericaSpeaks uses Option Technologies for the keypads each participant uses during their 21st Century Town Meetings.

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Synanim new

Synanim is a dynamical learning and leadership development system available on demand via the internet. Users interact within small groups dynamically, responding to group ideas and choices as they emerge in real time. Synanim solutions may be designed for learning, leadership development, and opinion research. Regardless of emphasis, participants consistently find the Synanim experience rewarding and fun. The process motivates deep learning and commitment by challenging individual communication skill, initiative, and empathy. Synanim has engaged as many as over 13,000 people for a single, team-building and leadership development event. It can cost-effectively serve any group size, from dozens to millions.

Resource Link: is a free online tool that provides a focused, rational method for adversarial discussion that overcomes the limitations of standard message boards, e-mail and even conversation; it is a site for persons who believe that reasoning should be at the heart of public debate. The goal of is simply to elevate the level of public discourse.

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Unchat is a web-based platform for real-time, structured and cost-effective conversation. Unchat adapts the synchronous Internet "chat" environment to civility, accountability, and deliberative democracy. Participants create their own virtual collaboration "spaces" by stocking libraries with content to use in discussion and configuring a style of moderation that is either un-moderated, moderated, or self-moderated, thereby ensuring that users share control and responsibility.

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