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[liberationtech] Crowd wisdom in the service of the government

fiorella de cindio fiorella.decindio at
Sat Jan 14 11:53:30 PST 2012

Hi Tarik,
this second round give me the possibility of answering your question.

Here Milan, Italy, there is something not too far from what you are
looking for.  is a website managed by an independ body (a
participatory foundation) in strict cooperation with the university, where
citizens and members of the local government meets  in public discussions.
This websites comes from the 15-years old experience of the Milan
Community Network. 

During the electoral campaign in Spring 2011 we had a section dedicated to
collect problems and "constructive" proposals (a proposal is constructive
if it solves at least one problem). We have statistics and more
qualitative  observations on its use by citizens and candidates.

Some of the members of the government are now using the website in the way
you say, even though these are early "experiments". 

The most relevant example is here
(  where you can see a question
mark which closes the post by Daniela Benelli who is one of the member of
the local government. She is in charge of renewing the organization and
the competences of the District Councils (there are 9 district in the city
of Milan) and she asks the citiznes about their vison about the future
role of these District Councils ("Current competences and functions of the
District Councils: let define together those for the future?") . As you
can see, there was a good discussion (60 comments) in which citizens and
members of various district councils  (belonging both to the governing
coalition and to the opposition) took part.  

There are other thread of discussions among citizens and members of the
city government, but in most cases citizens ask  and make proposals to the
government members, and the government members  answer.

I hope this may be usefu to your reserch

-- fiorella de cindio

University of Milan
Dept- of Informatics  and Communication  

Tarik Nesh-Nash <tarikn at> on Sabato, 14 gennaio 2012 at 11:21
+0000 wrote:
>Dear friends,
>Thanks a lot for your feedback and examples. 
>I wanted to come back to you and I ask a more detailed question.
>I am researching on how my government can use collective intelligence (or
>the wisdom of the crowd) to "better" function in general. I am more
>thinking of a platform where the government raises questions/problems,
>and asks the citizens for proposals and feedback. 
>This is different from grassroot (or civil society) initiatives to use
>crowdsourcing, as this would be used by the government itself.
>Also, the question may be general or specific, but it is asked by the
>Are there similar initiatives that you may know of?

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