Carlo is a developer and serial entrepreneur that thinks about how to involve a community in taking part to an important project, monitoring directly, and contributing to the process of evaluation. Carlo, with his team, has created Opinionage- a tool for sparking public debates around issues you care about and making them visible to decision makers and the other way around.
Why does it matter? Because in order for an issue to engage a broad range of people in a debate some kind of “simple hook” is needed to get people to state their opinions and argue for them.
How does it work? In a nutshell Opinionage is a “virtual round table for decisions” where different people (e.g. citizens, government representatives and observers such as the press, NPOs…) meet to address and discuss public topics. The main objective is to help people break down any barrier with public institutions, share thoughts and let emerge ideas/proposals about needs, expectations and problems.
The big challenge is to persuade large institutions to “sit down in front of citizens” to start public debates. Carlo says “I’m very passionated about technology, I built my first program when I was 10 years old. Since I didn’t have access to any computer, I wrote my first program on a paper to give to a friend of mine whose father owned… of course it didn’t work but I really didn’t care because it was so amazing! I’d spent 8 years in building an Enterprise Feedback Management platform before starting Opinionage. When I did my first business trip to the Silicon Valley in 2010 I was so ravished by the “social wave” that I turned my focus from “enterprises” to “people”: hence Opinionage started to spontaneously emerge.”
Do you have any experience to share as to spark a debate about a topic amongst a broad range of participants online? Have you tried any tools for online debates? Help Carlo by sharing your experiences! Post them as a comment below (you’ll need to be signed in) or email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.