Unique platform for on-line discussions now in Sweden!

Unique platform for on-line discussions now in Sweden!

(Hans Ă–sterlund) #1

Synthetron, a Belgian company specialized in on-line discussions with large and important target groups, will open up a Swedish office this summer. Synthetron has been active for more than 10 years and during that time done thousands of on-line discussions based on their unique platform. Synthetron is represented in 16 countries, including Sweden. Our solutions work equally well for the private and public sector. For more information see www.synthetron.com.

In short, this is how it works:

  • Every discussion can have up to 1000 participants
  • Everybody is anonymus, there is no way of knowing who says what
  • The participants are randomly placed in small virtual subgroups of 5 persons
  • The participants are invited to the discussion at a certain date and time. The discussion works in the same way as an IRL discussion, you must be present when it happens!
  • All participants log in to an URL on their own computer/Ipad/etc. No geographical limitations, you can participate wherever you are, as long as there is internet connection.
  • All discussion is done in writing, participants are encouraged to comment statements from others in order to get depth and clarity to the issues at hand.
  • A moderator starts the discussion and follows a predecided script, covering the issues to discuss in this particular session
  • The participant answer the questions, and also score some statements from other participants
  • When a virtual subgroup of 5 persons have a high average score on a statement, the statement spreads out into the whole discussion group, thus making it possible to get insights into what issues are important for the whole group! These statements are called synthetrons.
  • After one hour the discussion is ended and the participants simply log out.
  • There is one immediate report presented, covering the most important synthetrons from the discussion, most interesting statements and some statistics.
  • After 1-2 weeks there is a complete report delivered, focusing on the insights of the discussion

Hans Ă–sterlund
+46 734225420

(Christoph Haug) #2

I see that this can be used especially in public consultation processes and I’d be curious to hear about examples where this was actually used and how it was used.

There has been an interesting development when it comes to public participation: in the old days, the public had nothing to say because it represented the NIMBY interests (NIMBY = Not in my back yard) of uninformed citizens. Instead, decision-makers consulted experts. Then it turned out that “ordinary citizens” are often more knowledgable about local issues than experts are and citizens insistingly pushed their way into political decision-making.

As it became more common to consult citizens, a need for a new type of expert was born: the public consultation expert who can design the right participation format and knows how to manage the input and prevent participation from derailing the decision-making process that it was supposed to contribute to.

I see the emergence of various tools like synthetron as part of this development and I’d be curious to learn more about how it works in practice, perhaps also in comparison to similar tools.

One more specific question regarding the limitation to 1000 participants: why? I don’t see why a digital tool should have that kind of artificial limitation…

BTW, a great feature of this forum is that you can easily embed videos (and also other links) by pasting them in a line by themselves (nothing before or after the link. Here is the video from the synthetron website:

(Hans Ă–sterlund) #3

Roligt att höra från dig Christoph! Jag är igång nästa vecka om du hinner
träffas en stund?

Tack för tipset om videon. Jag försökte tidigare, men ska testa igen!