Boris Perisset brings expertise in visuals, campaigns and enterpreneurship to Wedecide

Boris Perisset
Boris Perisset brings broad expertise to Wedecide

Boris Perisset has agreed to support Wedecide as design co-founder.

Boris studied graphic design in Luzern and was owner and creative director of Feinheit AG, 2006-2015. To return from project acquisition and project management to more creative tasks, he redimensioned himself into Atelier Perisset in 2016 and started teaching at the F&F School Zurich in the same year. Over all these years, he has had a large number of political clients and supported some campaigns with his experience.

Together with friends, Boris has made some own attempts towards improving political processes. He sees the Wedecide model as an answer to the growing gap of influence between the digitalized global economy and the national political systems.

His experience both as a visual creator and as a process-oriented enterpreneur helps to make Wedecide become real.

Christof Täschler develops the branding for Wedecide

Christof Täschler
Christof Täschler develops the branding for Wedecide

Christof Täschler has agreed to support Wedecide as design co-founder.

Christof studied graphic design in St. Gallen and, together with two colleagues, founded the interdisciplinary design collective Kabeljau.ch. He is the author of 2 design books and has taught design at different schools in Zurich and Buenos Aires. He realizes web and print publications and is a dedicated lover of the Swiss style in branding and design generally.

Christof has with great interest helped some political initiatives to develop their visual identity. Based on his awareness of critical social and political developments today, he is interested in bringing the Wedecide model into reality.

André Golliez celebrates his first anniversary in the Wedecide project

André Golliez
André Golliez celebrates his first anniversary in the Wedecide project

When André Golliez joined the project in early 2017, there was not yet anything like “Wedecide”. André had just got a mail that put the not-so-great 2016 into perspective with an outlook to better days, and he wanted to know more, and later decided to offer his advice, experience, and network.

André started with a master in computer science from ETH Zurich in 1986 and spent many years as IT manager in the engineering industry and the financial sector, and since 1999 as self-employed IT consultant for large institutions searching expertise in IT strategy and IT governance. From 2004 to 2009, he was President of the Swiss Computer Science Society.

André is a dedicated data politician. In recent years, he co-founded and still presides the Swiss Open Data Association Opendata.ch, and the Swiss Data Alliance, a non-partisan initiative for data-driven innovation, growth and well-being in Switzerland. He believes in the usefulness of the Wedecide model and aims to help it becoming realized from small to large scale.

Enrico Tenaglia joined Wedecide as project manager

Enrico Tenaglia, Ph.D.
Enrico Tenaglia supports Wedecide as project manager

Enrico Tenaglia, Ph.D., has agreed to support Wedecide as co-founder for the area of project management.

Enrico studied biochemistry and molecular biosciences in Torino and in Madrid, with a research stay in Toronto and finally leaving the Spanish capital with a Ph.D. with honors. Since 2014, he is research scientist at the EPFL Laboratory of Life Science Electronics in Lausanne, and an experienced manager of complex research projects.

His interest in social sciences, politics and societal participation have brought Enrico to supporting Wedecide. At the moment, he explores the chances of using the Wedecide model for improving the representation, participation and responsibility of migrants in Swiss communities.

Wedecide in 9 slides


Wedecide
Wedecide in 9 slides

  1. 1. We decide. Wedecide.
    • We organize network-based collective decisions, i.e. decisions in which • you always decide whether to have direct influence (on the cost of forming an own opinion and being responsible) or if you want to be represented, and • all civil society actors may help you with representation and decision ease], • because we believe that good and legitimate decisions are necessary to have a good life and to save the world.
    • With initial clients, we build demonstration cases and grow the project to a worldwide social movement.
    • We develop and search first projects. Will YOU help us?
  2. 2. Collective decisions: Important yet nontrivial
    Good and legitimate collective decisions are necessary • Extreme opposite: Failed states. • Institutional quality predicts systemic success.
    Benevolent dictators do not work • Rich societies are too complex.
    Grass-roots decisions do not work • Too much effort to decide everything.
    Representative decisions cease to work • Depend on clear-cut group identifications. • Ceasing in Western societies. • Never-existing outside.
  3. 3. Solution: The Wedecide model
    Meta-decision freedom • Everyone decides which decisions to decide, which to be represented
    Actor-openness • Trust in every actor can be used for representation or decision ease
    Compromise and more • Many options for decisions • Both online/offline access • Many systemic options
    Trust deposit • Trust continuously stored, as base for representation and evaluation a.k.a. ‘Civil-society-based collective decision making’
  4. 4. Product
    Product • Offering decision-making for a fixed period • Hosting of evaluations, trust, counting process • Secure backup storage • Help with constitutional adjustments
    Price differentiation • By #users, #decisions • Non-profits vs. polities / for-profits
  5. 5. Markets
    Starting with accessible organizations • Universities • Cities addressing migrants • Parties
    Turning to large cases later • Public enterprises • NGO coalitions • Cities addressing citizens • Corporations
    Perspective applications • Nation states • Supranational level EU, global (climate!)
  6. 6. Competition and market strategy
    First-mover • Developer and first provider.
    Imitation? • Threat: Idea and technological development can be copied
    Counter-imitation strategy via network effects and public governance: Network effects • Especially for political actors. Legitimacy • Necessary for group motivation. • For-profit enterprises (e.g. FB) face conflicting goals.
    Going public • The enterprise will be turned into a public enterprise governed by elected board members in a fixed schedule.
  7. 7. Use Wedecide.ch for YOUR project!
    You are • an organization, group or coalition • interested in strong democracy for you and in general • open for new ways
    You want • to grow through good and legitimate decisions • to grow the responsibility of your individual members
    You have • more than about 300 individual members • internal trust relations and groups
    We offer you • a platform to decide about representatives and issues • the activation of your members and internal actors • consensus orientation, stability and transparency
  8. 8. More information? • http://wedecide.ch • Hanno Scholtz (Founder) hanno.scholtz@newinstitutions.org +41 79 755 3227 linkedin/hanno-scholtz • André Golliez (Network Co-Founder)

Wedecide searches a mathematician

Wedecide
Wedecide searches a mathematician

Wedecide.ch, the platform to engage civil society for making better collective decisions, searches a mathematician to help in the development of the project.

Good and legitimate collective decisions are necessary but nontrivial: The group structure that enabled representative democracy ceases to exist in Western societies and has never existed elsewhere. Our project is to implement the Wedecide-model with meta-decision freedom (everyone decides for every decisions whether to decide or to be represented) and actor-openness (trust in every actor can be used for representation or decision ease), based on an electronic deposit of trust.

Be our math genius!

While structure and math of the basic system are already described, many aspects and extensions still demand their formally precise description. Additional questions regarding the formal system design will become only apparent with precise description, opening the chance to participate in design decisions.

In close cooperation with the founders, you identity and comprehend these questions, describe them formally, identify design options and solve related puzzles. Jointly, we decide what can and shall be published, and publish the results.

Do you combine mathematical expertise, openness, and political interest?

We expect you to have a degree in mathematics or physics – if it is a mathy degree in an applied field as economics, that might be fine, too. If you apply, you are probably interested in making a difference in the world, and know that saving the world requires both sound technological ingenuity and the openness to change mindsets – both would be great. As always, being a great communicator is hugely helpful, but not at all required.

Make a difference in a non-proft startup!

If you are interested in making a difference in the world by supporting the development and implementation of a decision-making system that goes beyond the old partitioning logic of industrial society institutions, you are welcome to join us. In the unfunded phase just write down your hours – we’re find a solutions once being funded, that’s all we can currently guarantee.

The form of our co-operation will be agreed on, with many possible options including publication-oriented research, part-time work, cofoundership, or a mixture of all. The Wedecide-model is the way to achieve stable political institutions for 90 percent of the world population and to save the world (i.e. limit CO2 emissions as far as possible), so for a short moment open an inner window to glancing into the future: It is a life project that will allow for a decent income and, with some luck, a dinner place at the Nobel price ceremony. But quickly close again this inner window and be nice and decent, as there is much communication to do to approach this goalI

We look forward to hearing from you!

Can the Internet Improve Politics?

Wedecide
Can the Internet Improve Politics?
Can the internet improve politics? The question and answer are structured in a sequence of steps: (1) Politics is about counting, and the web is good at counting. (2) Politics counts evaluations, and the web is good at evaluations. (3) Political evaluations bear cognitive costs that need to be alleviated through trust, and the web is good at employing trust. (4) Political trust relations increasingly have a general network structure, and the web is good at networks. (5) Political trust relations need to be stored, and the web is good at storing sensitive data. Additionally, the availability to address large option numbers and offline access are addressed.

Contrary to aspects of e-democracy that are simply “nice to have”, steps 4 and 5 point to improvements that are necessary: The web allows for a network-based collective decision making that efficiently fits the necessities of societies that are no longer satisfied with the kind of representation that urges everyone to align to one group for all issues. Individualization and the cultural demands of non-Western societies go in the same direction in demanding a different and necessarily web-based solution to the cognitive-cost problem of democracy.

The paper is in the submission process of a scholarly journal. It can be downloaded from Researchgate or Academia.edu.

Structure, math, and demands of civil-society-based decision making

Wedecide
Structure, math, and demands of civil-society-based decision making
Does information and communication technology (ICT) still bear the possibility of a disruptive change for the so far invariable area of politics? While entertainment, news media and even universities have been recent challenged by Youtube, Twitter or Coursera, Washington has not yet faced comparable ICT-based competition, despite intense research. The paper hints to two blind spots of the current rather individualistic and middle-class-based discussions, and follows two new propositions: To seize the opportunities to include civil society into the formal counting process and to mix direct and representative democracy.

The paper is in the submission process of a scholarly journal. It can be downloaded from Researchgate or Academia.edu.

Wedecide.ch

Making collective decisions is not easy, and the larger the collective the more difficult.

But efficient collective decision-making processes are a huge public good. In the long run, everyone benefits.

They are, however, not a matter of course. They do not emerge automatically. Although some rather efficient procedures have such a long history that they are sometimes seen as being “naturally” given, all collective decision-making processes have to be introduced, and it is not a law that in any case the first procedure implemented is the best.

Larger collectives make for more individuals to be involved. And for more complex decisions, i.e. more options with more different aspects to be evaluated. Both problems have current solutions, but both solutions can be better.

Wedecide.ch offers improved collective decisions-making processes using network-based collective decision making (NBCDM). NBCDM is a method for making collective decisions using web-based information and communication technologies (ICT) with the four characteristics counting, trusted actor deployment, storage, and retrieval:

Counting: Collective decisions by counting individual support NBCDM makes decisions by counting relative citizen support for options.

TAs: Option support distributions: Self-made or delegated to trusted actors Citizens may determine their option support distributions themselves, or they may trust actors (individuals or all kind of organizations, abbreviated as TAs, trusted actors) who openly provide option support distributions, and arguments for these.

Storage: Continuously stored support of trusted actors Support for TAs is stored electronically in a “voting account” which sends the one vote of every citizen to them in a deliberately fine-grained distribution.

Retrieval: Option support distributions: Derived, inspectable, adaptable For specific decisions, TAs provide option support rankings. They may refrain from doing so, if a decision does not relate to their trusted profile. If citizens do not bother at all about the decision, they are represented by their TAs who forward their support to options. Citizens can, however, inspect the support forwarded from TAs to options, form an own opinion, and either confirm, correct, or completely overwrite their TA-derived option support.

With these four aspects, NBCDM is able to improve all kind of mid- to large-scale collective decision making processes.

Trust storage

Trust storage is the base of new democratic institutions.

Currently, trust storage is a taboo. At every democratic election, we throw our ballot into the ballot box and take back our hand, deliberately destroying the link between our documented trust and ourselves. There have been good reasons to do so. But it is no longer justified that they suppress a progress to lift the taboo. It is necessary to secure trust storage with the best available mechanisms. Even with them, it will not be able to grant 100% security for the secrecy of the ballot, especially when actors who currently benefit from lesser-democratic institutions will aim to hack trust storage. But 99.99% are a good and attainable goal.

And trust storage has huge advantages.

Trust storage allows for a flexible direct democracy. The people bear the ultimate responsibility, so the people shall decide everything they want decide. With storing trust, everyone can decide for every political question whether to engage in an own decision or to keep being represented.

And trust storage allows for actor openness: Not only parties or individual politicians can serve as representative actors. Everyone who is willing to bear responsibility can engage in evaluating options and canvassing for trust.

Trust storage will have to be built up as a distributed electronical system, through a non-profit organization that is self-controlled by its citizen-voters as fast as possible. For reasons of legitimacy, this cannot be a Silicon valley startup to be funded by venture capitalists. Crowdfunding will start soon, and if you are willing to support the project, please send me a mail.

Update: In any case, please read the story of Hu to your kids to feel the energy, and subscribe to our mailing list to be kept posted.

Social Dynamics and Hope, for 2017 and beyond

Dr. Hanno Scholtz (Photo: Vera Markus)
Dr. Hanno Scholtz

The celebrations of December circle around the topic of hope. But it is not easy to hope this year. So many things are dark and make us worry.

Over the last years, I have compared the present to the early 20th century up to the 1930s. There are abundant similiarities: Terror, migration, economic crises, populism, and many more. These similiarities are neither random nor are they things that simple return cyclically. Instead, it makes sense to look forward in the past from the 1930s to the 1950s. At that time, stability, peace, and even legitimation and justice were regained, at least in the West.

And they were regained for good reasons. The industrial world worked, because it had created  and accepted “modern” responsibilities for political decisions and for skill-related decisions which lacked in the 1930s.

But from current view, they were incompletely modern. They were bases on groups with an internally traditional structure, with domination, hierarchies, strict rules and role assignments. But these traditional groups do not longer structure Western societies as they did.

Now a second step is necessary: To create responsibilities for political decisions and for skill-related decisions that work in the current world of individualized networks. This step is currently missing, and this is the reason for the problems we face today.

This second step is not a petty. It will change things. But it is possible, and it will come. And it will bring stability, peace, and even legitimation and justice, this time not only in the West but globally. I am convinced of this outlook, and I will work for it.

There is still a lot to do to go that way. And the bad news is: As long as this step is not addressed, the current problems will continue to escalate. But there is a positive perspective. And this fits well into the framework of December celebrations: Times are dark. But finally we see a light.

All the best for Christmas, Chanukka, and for 2017!

Trump, Zizek, and Irie

Some days before the U.S. election, Slavoj Žižek said that despite of fearing Trump, he saw Hillary Clinton’s “keep it up” direction as the larger danger. In a way, he is right. The idea that something is going really wrong in the U.S. has gained more ground today, and indeed Clinton would have brought more inertia.

But — to invest a last “as if” thought — she is not the blind Wall Street marionette some (including Zizek) see in her. She would have been interested in understanding and supporting change to the better. The chance that Trump as new president has any positive understanding for institutional change towards more inclusion seem, to me, much smaller. Hence if American people “return to basics, rethink themselves, and maybe some things can happen there” (Zizek), it will have to happen against the president and his understanding of what the American people really is, and this is no good news.

The shock that this election has caused will in fact drive people more towards understanding and supporting new institutions with individualized responsibility (and, necessarily, information efficiency). Trump’s main voters voted for him because most of them are kept in traps of unproductivity because no one helped them to develop their true potential. I do not know what kind of recipes the new president will plan to pursue, but defining property rights in individual’s welfare balances as in Irie support will be for sure a helpful (and in a way very American) way to cope with this problem.

Both the voters for Trump and many progressives, especially those who did not go to the polls, demanded more of having a say in politics. And Irie democracy is the best-reasoned way to overcome the oligarchy of elites in American politics. Trump’s sympathy for Putin nurtures fears that he will be more interested in keeping up a populist image of “the people” to his own best instead of giving responsibility to those people who are factually there, up to the danger that he may oppose and obstruct Irie democracy while Democrats (mainly regardless of who is at their top) would have let it go.

In the short run, however, the main message of this day will be that in fact the established institutions are coming closer to their very end. This is bad news for many Trump voters who implicitly cultivated a nostalghia for the good old 1950s when America was strong and every other nation was weak. The good old times of industrial society will not come back. But stable times when people have a say, and when people will know that their work is estimated, will come back.

Elon Musk wants the Mars. Poor boy!

Elon Musk at SpaceX conference
Elon Musk at SpaceX conference

Billionaires sometimes develop strange ideas. Sometimes these strange ideas lead to new glory, but oftentimes they lead to nowhere, with overstrained advisors trying to limit the damage. Elon Musk, with his fastly emerged fortune, recently fascinated the world with the aim to settle on Mars. And he offered Mars as a solution to earthly problems – as an alternative for times when planet Earth would be uninhabitable through strife and war here.

What a pubertal fantasy!

Outer space is so cold and so hostile to life that for every simple screw to fix you need a space suit, a million dollar vehicle, and tons of fuel to burn. Within some decades, we may be able to save some twenty lives on Mars for the price of sacrificing twenty millions here on Earth. What a disgusting glory!

With only a tiny fraction of his fortune, Musk or any billionaire could help leading to individualized responsibility and hence to Kant’s eternal peace. But this would imply accepting a world in which everyone has their own dignity, even people who are not billionaires. This may be too elaborate for Musk.

A Déjà-vu – and What Comes Next? Two Steps to Modernity in Analysis, Explanation, and Solution

Head of state assassinations
Head of state assassinations: Comparable dynamics with a distance of 85 years in “West” and “non-West”

With the recurrence of terrorism, economic crises, rising inequality, and more: Why is the current decade so comparable to the 1930s?

I have recently finished, uploaded and submitted a paper that condenses the whole story of the “Two steps to modernity” book into only 16 text pages.

The paper proposes an explanatory model: Modern growth leads to four waves of institutional innovation. Rationality and deliberation are introduced first around and later within organizations, while related institutional changes occur first within organizations and only later on macro level. As in the book but much shorter, this model is confronted with evidence for households/intimacy, work/education, and politics. As macro-institutional changes parallel to those of the 1940s have not yet happened for the current transition, those changes are derived that can be predicted for the 2020s.

You may currently find the paper at Researchgate and at Academia.edu. Please comment and share!

Hierarchies and proto-democracies

Time allocation on production and appropriation, and result
Time allocation on production and appropriation, and result, depending on returns to scale

New institutions and the concept of individualized responsible linkage are necessary for a modern world after centuries of growth and regained interdependence. But their appeal and their ability to connect to societies outside the European tradition connects back to the history of mankind and to one simple mechanism that distinguished societies that were and are generally shaped by hierarchies and such that know decision making processes among equals. I have written a text that describes this mechanism and some of its applications an uploaded it to Researchgate.

Presentation at the ISA Forum in Vienna

3rd ISA Forum of Sociology, July 10 – 14, 2016
Vienna, Austria
3rd ISA Forum of Sociology
3rd ISA Forum of Sociology, July 10 – 14, 2016
Vienna, Austria

The theory and prospects of new institutions and individualized responsible linkage will be presented at the ISA Forum 2016 in Vienna by Hanno Scholtz on Tuesday, 12 July 2016, at 18:30, within the Common Session 2C “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World” (17:45-19:15), at Hörsaal 33 (Main Building).

How To Cope With Parallel Challenges: The Analytical Theory of Modernity and Second Modernity

Somewhat tired and perplexed – that was how in 2015 the Western world commemorated the end of World War II seventy years ago.

9-11 and Sarajevo
9-11 and Sarajevo: Just two incidents in a parallel history of terrorism

Challenges as terror, war, and migration, being complex and puzzling no less than those of the 1930s, shatter the former complacency of having built a sustainable world order on the ruins of 1945. Even commemoration has changed its face: Over decades, ever new groups of former victims have been included into remembrance. This year, the usual rituals suddenly reminded how many people currently die.

This parallel of challenges should be, however, more a stimulus than a hindrance. It opens the perspective towards changes necessary to cope with the current problems. Instead of seeing the current challenges as signs of an end of modernity, they can be read as signs for a current transition to a second step of modernity – far beyond what Ulrich Beck discussed thirty years ago. Continue reading “How To Cope With Parallel Challenges: The Analytical Theory of Modernity and Second Modernity”

About the book

2020s vs. 1940s: Two Global Crises in Analysis and Solution [Book cover]
Two Steps to Modernity: Two Global Crises in Analysis and Solution
Have you from time to time had the feeling of a dejà-vu? There are so many things now comparable to the early 20th century, from migration over terrorism to economic crises.

This book shows: this is no coincidence. Understanding that modernity has two steps is a key for understanding world history from the 19th to the 21st century, and shaping it to the better.

In the 2020s, institutional innovations bring a climax of crises as long as innovations in organizations are not yet matched on the macro level, and their solution when they finally do. In the current second transition of modernity, modern interaction principles have been introduced within organizations since 1968, but the general acceptance of individualized responsible linkages in democracy and career development as base for regained stability and prosperity still stands out. Read more!

Searching for new institutions: Hanno Scholtz

Dr. Hanno Scholtz (Photo: Vera Markus)
Dr. Hanno Scholtz

Hanno Scholtz is a social scientist specialized in analytical, comparative and historical sociology. He has taught at various universities including Zurich, Konstanz, Berne, and Leipzig, is Privatdozent in sociology at UZH Zurich, holds degrees in economics (Univ. Mannheim) and political science (FU Berlin) and is board member in ISA research committees on Comparative and on Rational Choice Sociology.

For questions contact Hanno Scholtz under
hc.hzu@ztlohcs.onnah