Ethelo is collaboration technology designed for solving multi-factor decision problems, particularly when issues are contentious and there is a requirement for fairness.
Most decisions are quite complex, and there are not just dozens, but often hundreds or even millions of different possible outcomes when the decision is broken down into various issues, and when possible options for addressing those issues are fully canvassed.
The Ethelo platform is able to model highly complex decisions and can be configured to reflect key issues and options, as well as criteria, constraints, inter-relationships between options and other decision factors. It can even be configured to reflect different levels of investment or influence that stakeholders should have on the process.
Stakeholders invited to participate in solving a problem visit the platform where they learn about the decision. Each participant can discuss the options with other participants and add ideas. They are able identify their favourite outcome by evaluating the options against one or more criteria, weighing priorities and making tradeoffs. Each stakeholder receives real-time feedback from the platform as they develop solutions that will satisfy the financial and logistical design constraints.
Ethelo analyses the responses of each participant to predict the distribution of support across each actionable scenario. Ethelo then finds strong decision outcomes, looking not only for high average support levels but, when fairness is important, outcomes that will minimize polarization. It uses advanced non-linear optimization techniques to find the best decision outcomes in seconds.
Ethelo draws upon a growing body of research studies that shows people will (a) reject unfair outcomes even when they would otherwise benefit, and (b) support personally unsatisfactory outcomes because they perceive the process to have been fair. This powerful phenomenon, which scientists in sociology and behavioural economics call “inequity aversion,” is documented in a number of famous experiments.
By examining the key factors or individual satisfaction and group resistance, Ethelo is able to estimate the strength of a potential group decision, and provide objective, intelligent recommendations for specific directions in complex, multi-factor scenarios where the interests of a large stakeholder group must be fairly balanced.