Sunday, April 21, 2013

InterTwinkles and Democratic Decision-Making

In my experience living in cooperatives and working with community groups, democratic decision making seems to include:
  • informed constituents 
  • accessible and respectful participation of all stakeholders
  • full discussion by constituents in which all can speak and all can be heard 
  • equal input among constituents in the decision-making process
  • trust in the process and in participants

Points of Unity
Points of Unity

InterTwinkles tools can help help groups in democratic decision-making by:
  • enabling constituents to share information and ideas (Firestarter & Dotstorm)
  • facilitate participation by constituents, even when they are not in the same geographic place
  • promote discussion by providing a platform for each participant to share their ideas in words, drawings, photos etc. (Dotstorm & Twinklepad)
  • allows participants to help one another in achieving equal participation and power in decision-making
  • Clarify proposals and vote on them (Resolve)
  • Develop shared statements of principles or values (Points of Unity)
This spring and summer we will be trying these tools out with cooperative homes in the Boston area.  We hope to learn what works, what doesn’t and how to improve the tools to more fully address the needs of small democratic groups.

What InterTwinkles probably can't do is create trust among participants, but if participants work together to build relationships and trust, than hopefully InterTwinkles can become part of the processes that groups use to make democratic decisions.  The tests and try-outs of this spring and summer will help us determine the possibilities and limits of these tools in democratic decision-making. 

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