Participating in Public: Municipal Software for Online Dialogue and Decision-making
with Arthur Smid & Travis Kriplean
May 6, 2020 6:30 PM

Speakers: Arthur Smid | Travis Kriplean

What happens when a city creates a public platform for allocating $100 million dollars? People start to think about their neighborhoods differently. Learn about participatory political processes for decision-making and resource allocation in Reykjavík and Madrid. And with an authoritarian neighbor to press against, Taiwan created an open and transparent deliberative process for people to shape legislation. Arthur Smid will show us the municipal software created to support these processes. These open source projects have already been adapted by American cities. We’ll consider how design can facilitate consensus rather than division. Let’s explore this together and build the practices and software to support democracy.

Portland-based creator Travis Kriplean will share, open source software he made for online dialogue. helps communities by visualizing what people think and why, enabling large groups to civilly and efficiently align for action and/or identify significant points of departure. It has been used for civic deliberations hosted by the City of Seattle, participatory strategic planning by the Mozilla Foundation, decentralized governance by open source communities, and critical thinking in K12 education.

About the Speakers

Arthur Smid, CHIFOO's May SpeakerArthur Smid, @arthursmid,  is a community organizer and communications specialist living in Portland, Oregon. His research into participatory political processes led to volunteering with the Code for America brigade network in Eugene and Portland. Active as a citizen lobbyist for progressive policy, he is an advocate for open source software and government digital services. He wrote a novel about software developers—available at






Travis Kriplean, CHIFOO's May Speaker

Travis Kriplean, @tkriplean, has been designing and building communication systems to help people think better together, first in academia (HCI/CSCW) and more recently as an entrepreneur and independent researcher. His work expands on the design insight that online communications are easy to speak into, but difficult to listen through. By designing unique ways to actively listen, we can improve our online dialogue. ConsiderIt is his most well known creation, contact him to learn how it can help your community:

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