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The Living Voters Guide
Travis Kriplean and Alan Borning
www.livingvotersguide.org

Description:
The Living Voters Guide is an experiment in citizen engagement and participation. Citizens from across the state of Washington jointly authored a guide to the statewide nine ballot measures in the November 2010 election. LVG encourages citizens to express their values and concerns, to weigh the pros and cons for the different measures, to contribute to the collectively developed guide, and ultimately to make their own decisions on the measures. It is built using a new platform, called ConsiderIt, written by Travis and built around two deliberative activities most people are familiar with – creating a pro/con list and indicating support on a sliding scale. For a further description, please see our WIP paper submitted to CHI 2011, available at: www.cs.washington.edu/homes/borning/ConsiderIt-chi2011-wip.pdf

Biography:
Alan is currently on sabbatical at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany, and is working with a student group on another civic engagement project that is very relevant to the workshop, namely on the use of large public displays to facilitate playful interactions around discussing political and civic issues. One of the metaphors the students are using is virtual "refrigerator magnets," with phrases about current political topics and URLs of relevant organizations, which can be manipulated on a large display. Another related metaphor is a "MadLibs" one that similarly allows passersby to put up playful (or serious or cheeky) political statements using the provided vocabulary. We are currently testing the different versions within HPI, and are in discussions with a local company about testing the system on a large display in a subway station in Berlin. Two other earlier, relevant projects are on urban simulation, particularly with respect to public engagement (http://www.urbansim.org); and on open access to government information, specifically real-time transit arrival information (www.onebusaway.org).

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