So the details of the Polis software are rather unimpressive But I remember that Richard Stalman once said something along the lines of “it’s a great piece of software if it completely changes how people do certain things”. So, if it has severe impact on the real world. By that metric, the Polis software is doing well … and if only because it was, perhaps by chance, the tool of choice for the government of Taiwan at a time when they were open to real e-democracy.
The question becomes, how can we propose or design a path for our set of consultation and sensemaking tools to do the same? And then try to follow that path? Because so far, to my knowledge, nobody ever listened to what our community said and which we presented in a refined form to so-called authorities.
Or the other way around: If software never has any real-world impact, it’s not worth doing it (certainly to me). But I can imagine situations where there would be real-world impact. For example when using Discourse and our sensemaking tools (somewhat modified) in participation and decision making processes in progressive cities. Where it would be clear what is the path from participation to action, and that there will be action. That would finally be interesting and rewarding to do (at least to me)!
Any ideas or contacts how we could get closer to this? (Maybe also @nadia and @amelia? I’ll split this into a separate topic if this turns out to be a fruitful discussion to have.)