Archive for the 'Public Planning and Policy-making Platform' Category


A discussion of the concept of a Public Planning and Policy-making Discourse Support Platform 

The preceding post ‘Counterframing’?  is part of an effort to explore the idea of a public planning discourse support platform — a platform aiming at recommendations and decisions based on the merit of contributions to the discourse, This post introduces the concept for disussion. Further posts will take up specific emerging issues for more detailed examination..

There are many well-intentioned efforts to find better ways of tackling the many local and global crises, conflicts, and emergencies facing humanity. These efforts are fueled by a growing common sense that current governmental and planning entities and their practices are proving ill-prepared and inadequate to find and implement constructive solutions — solutions that do not themselves generate new conflicts and problems. These efforts can be found on many different platforms and in many different media, explicitly or implicitly taking the form of proposals for what could or should be done. However, there is little evidence that the needed agreements for collective action will be reached soon enough to become accepted and effective.

Many suggestions for change are relying on governance organizations and their corresponding decision-making patterns that have been adequate in smaller communities and government structures; and there are good reasons for many local  issues to be resolved by ‘local’ governance entities. However, this ignores the fact that many of the challenges affecting  many communities across governance boundaries, and humanity as a whole, will require ‘cross-governance’ (‘nations’) and eventually ‘global’ decisions. The ‘local’ decision-making tools, even the ‘democratic’ practices such as majority voting, no more than the alternative growing trend towards authoritarian governance, offer adequate assurance that decisions will be based on ‘due consideration’ much less professed ‘careful weighing’ of pros and cons’ by decision-makers will produce effective and equitable solutions. Yet there is no evidence of a commonly accepted process of discussion and coherent evaluation of proposals, that can lead to viable agreements and collective action. 

A key reason for this is the current lack of a well-organized and universally accepted platform for communication among these initiatives and governance entities. While many such efforts ‘advertise’ their work and approach on social media, they do not communicate well for the purpose of achieving common agreements about what should be done: there is no common platform for well-organized discussion, thorough evaluation, adaptation to concerns by other perspectives, and eventually reaching recommendations and decisions that can be adopted by affected constituencies without creating new problems and conflicts. 

While current official and social media platforms are not yet well enough suited to support such a cooperative discourse, they do how that the technology for such a platform, open to wide participation and discussion is now possible.Yet there is little evidence of efforts to forge  a reasonable process of discussion and coherent evaluation of proposals, that can lead to viable and accepted agreements and actions.

This post aims at  starting a discussion of what a platform for a better public planning  and policy-making discourse might look like. It is an urgent invitation to participants from many different disciplines who will have to contribute their expertise and insight, to join the effort. 

The task itself is an example of projects that need such a platform — a platform that currently does not exist. So this ‘pilot’ discussion will have to start on a ‘tentative adaptation of something like this platform, thatvis not designed for this task. The needed adaptation agreements — that will themselves become the subject of discussion and modification — simply aim at a somewhat more structured format that may facilitate concise overview, evaluation and eventual  recommendations  and decisions based on the merit of the assembled content. 

Further posts will explore  details on a possible ‘Approach’, any needed ‘Procedural  Agreements’ and other essential features of the platform.