Digital technology is fundamentally changing the way that we engage in democratic processes. After 9 years using its breakthrough technology to offer peaceful resolution to some of society’s most contentious issues, Ethelo and its nonprofit sister organization eDemocracy Solutions are pleased to have come out on top in a recent report surveying some of the biggest players in digital democracy today.
The Solonian Democracy Institute (SDI) was founded in 2017 to study alternative practices that could help deepen public participation in democracies. In particular, they have paid close attention to the potential of digital technology to reshape and transform citizen engagement. In order to map out the current landscape, they recently published a report that tracks and ranks some of the top software platforms in this burgeoning new space.
The report ranked 10 different platform vendors on criteria such as functionality, ability to execute, case studies, and potential political impact. Ethelo emerged with a score of 86%, almost 10% higher than the next highest vendor. The SDI notes that not all platforms are one-size-fits-all, so who should use Ethelo? According to the report, “Anyone who is serious about giving communities a transparent stake in decision-making”. They go on to say that:
“Ethelo boasts strong unique selling points, including its ability to transparently display possible outcome scenarios for very complex decisions with multiple factors, as well as the ability to re-weight scenarios using demographic criteria such as age, gender, etc. of participants.”
One of the “stand-out features” that added to Ethelo’s high score is its ability to let participants make weighted trade-offs on complex decisions. This allows the patented algorithm to generate an outcome with the highest level of consensus from the community, thus providing the opportunity for deeper engagement than what is offered by less flexible tools like polls and surveys. It also produces accurate, meaningful, and transparent outcomes that give governments the social license to move forward on contentious issues.
The Solonian Democracy Institute also reviewed the 10 platform vendors on their Mission & Vision. The current political challenges that each platform hopes to solve allow the Institute to consider the level of change that a platform could bring to society if it were implemented widely. The report particularly mentioned Ethelo’s commitment to reducing polarization and restoring fairness to political and democratic processes.
To date, Ethelo’s 150+ client organizations have seen for themselves the positive results of these stand-out features. Ethelo’s non-profit organization, eDemocracy Solutions, partners with municipalities to bring this technology to all manner of government engagement processes, be it participatory budgeting or climate change plans. In the end, each of the technologies outlined in this report are part of a larger project to “help us pave the way towards an exciting future.”
If you're interested in learning more about Ethelo and the ways we're trying to revolutionize democracy, you can click here to read the full SDI Digital Democracy Report, or fill out the form below to see a live demo of the platform.