Public engagement and deliberation play key roles in democratic society. Yet, there are significant problems in both of these areas at present in America. Civic engagement is uneven at best, and thoughtful public deliberation about major issues is often displaced either by apathy or shrill and extreme voices.
The Engage Project was a collaboration among faculty and students in the departments of Communication, Computer Science and Human Centered Design, funded by NSF grant #0966929, Socio-Computational Systems to Support Public Engagement and Deliberation, and by a Google Research Award. Our purpose has been to investigate the design, implementation, deployment, and testing of innovative ways for citizens and government to communicate. The overall aim is to achieve measurable improvements in citizen engagement, participation, and deliberation.
The project itself has wound down, but produced a set of papers, three Ph.D. dissertations, and software that is now supported by a social venture startup.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
- Sheetal D. Agarwal, Department of Communication
- Lance Bennett, Departments of Communication and Political Science
- Caitlin Bonnar, Department of Computer Science & Engineering
- Alan Borning, Department of Computer Science & Engineering
- Deen G. Freelon, School of Communication, American University, Washington D.C.
- Courtney Johnson, Department of Communication
- Travis Kriplean, Department of Computer Science & Engineering
- Jonathan T. Morgan, Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering
- Allison Obourn, Department of Computer Science & Engineering
- Christoph Peschel, Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam, Germany (was a visiting student in UW CSE)
- Caterina Rost, Department of Communication
- Loki White, Department of Computer Science & Engineering
- Design, Use, Build group
- Center for Communication and Civic Engagement
- Seattle CityClub, a non-partisan, nonprofit education organization dedicated to informing citizens and building community leadership in the greater Seattle area
- ConsiderIt: a platform that seamlessly combines the virtues of personal reflection and public deliberation
- Living Voters Guide: a citizen-generated guide to ballot measures in Washington, developed in collaboration with Seattle CityClub and built using the ConsiderIt platform.
- Reflect: a tool for crowdsourced comment summarization and active listening
Integrating On-demand Fact-checking with Public DialogueCSCW 2014: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (Honorable mention paper)
Facilitating Diverse Political Engagement with the Living Voters GuideJournal of Information Technology & Politics, Volume 9, Issue 3 pp. 279-297.
Is This What You Meant? Promoting Listening on the Web with Reflect,CHI 2012: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
Supporting Reflective Public Thought with ConsiderIt.CSCW 2012: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work.
ConsiderIt: Improving Structured Public Deliberation.Work in progress, CHI 2011.
Facilitating Encounters with Political Difference: Engaging Voters with the Living Voters Guide.JITP 2011: The Future of Computational Social Science, May 16-17, 2011.
ConsiderIt: Improving Structured Public Deliberation.CHI 2011: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Vancouver, Canada, May 2011.
Playful Civic Engagement Using Large Public DisplaysWorkshop paper, CHI 2011: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Vancouver, Canada, May 2011.
Supporting Active Listening and Grounding on the Web through Restatement.CSCW 2011: ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2011. Horizons
The Living Voters Guide: Supporting Reflective Public Thought.Colloquium, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington, October 2011.