Apparently, Skip didn't explain the need for the Police Station renovations well enough. Last month, after studying the renovation of the Police Station for over two years, going out and getting bids, the citizens of the town voted down the $3M renovation plans. Ugh.
Thousands of hours of labor went into carefully developing the plan. Now, assuming Skip has to go back out to bid with new plans, the prices will be even higher because of inflation and contractors building in their sunk costs for the next bids.
The Playbook for VirtualCommittees™ would be…
Before collecting bids, before devoting more than even a few weeks or months of work, to post “Police Station Renovation” in the Elevator in the VirtualCommittees™ software to raise the level of conversation.
Any citizen in the town can click on “Police Station Renovation” (even on their smartphone when they get a chance), and see all the facts Skip has collected for why the Police Station needs upgrading.
Citizens can read the facts in bite-sized nuggets like on other social media platforms. Citizens can mark the Fact; Useful, Not-so Useful, and/or Respond. Skip and his team quickly reply, honoring the townsfolk engagement.
Then as citizens think about the facts, they can post Questions further down the same page, and anyone, including Skip and his team can do their best to answer these Questions. Perhaps someone in the town will ask such a better sounding question that a better sounding answer will present itself!
The highest rated facts, and the highest rated questions, and the highest rated responses rise to the top of the feed so other citizens will have an easier time getting up to speed on the proposed renovations.
The entire conversation is in one place, and in the form most people read these days, in a social media “like” format, just without the gossiping, and yelling into an echo chamber.
The Leaderboard of Solutions is ideologically balanced so the process isn’t just about getting the most advocates for one position to show up. Skip wants, and will get a full and fair feedback from the townsfolk.
Anyone in town can access the conversation anytime they want from their smart phone or computer. The processes typically run for a week, month, quarter, or a year. That’s up to Skip, but for a relatively complex issue that needs a decision, 13 weeks or a calendar quarter is probably the best length.
Finally, after all this fact gathering, question answering, responses, and ratings, the Solutions Menu can be pre-populated by Skip or opened up to be co-authored by anyone in town.
Solutions are a bit tricky. It's too easy for people to get into arguments over the small details of a complex subject, which can derail the whole conversation, and can make enemies. Not good.
VirtualCommittees™ software avoids this by breaking the solutions into three types or flavors:
1 Scoop / What's the Intent of the Solution?
2 Scoops // Identifying the smallest or Singular parts of the whole Solution.
3 Scoops /// Then anyone can suggest creative mixes for Compound Solutions.
This way Skip is first building consensus on; Intent or Purpose (Why), then each and every Singular thing (What), and finally Compound plans that require compromise and creativity to solve (How).
Skip is raising citizen engagement to a whole new level.
During and at the end of the process, all the Solutions are listed on a Leaderboard for citizens to keep an eye on the standings. It reads like a sport page, ranking each solution by its Table Rating [:##:] its ideologically balanced score.
60% - 66% Supermajority, E.g. :64:
67% -75% Strong Supermajority, E.g. :71:
76% - 84% Vast Supermajority, E.g. :82:
85%+ Nearly Unanimous, E.g. :89:
Essentially, now Skip has found the solutions that have been pretested for support. It's not that difficult to obtain a large enough sample size so Skip will easily know when it's time to take the next steps.
Anyone can review the proceedings and the results because it's archived on the VirtualCommittees™ software tab.
Whatever solution(s) Skip assigns resources to, he can be reasonably confident that at ballot time the solution is highly likely to pass—the first time.
Of course, if Skip skips the VirtualCommittees™ process, and candidate Emma finds better solutions for the Police Station with her VirtualCommittees™, Emma might just get elected.
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