Kate Sills, Independent
“A bizarre mish-mash of hippie anarchism and economic liberalism beefed up with lots of technological determinism.” Software Engineer. Past: engineering lead on Agoric's smart contract framework.
What are you trying to do?
We want to build a way to find group consensus that maximizes happiness for both the people who get their way and the people who don’t.
How is it done today? What are the limitations of the current system?
It is often done with many rounds of negotiation that might involve informal guessing and feeling each other out, with the results possibly causing resentment or inferior outcomes.
What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
We are assigning dollar values to preferred outcomes: “It is worth $6 to me for us to go with X”.
If successful, what difference will it make?
People who are choosing in groups, such as couples, families, colleagues, workshop co-participants, friends, housemates will have a new toolset available.
How much will it cost?
It does not require sophisticated technology, and can be used now. We know of one couple who has been successfully using the technique for over a decade. It may increase transaction costs in the beginning and the learning curve may be steep, but we’ve heard claims that negotiation using this technique may be more efficient than the status quo, after practice.
How long will it take?
The approach is easy to adopt, but it does require a cultural shift to “ask” culture and a rejection of “guess” culture, which may take time to adjust to for some people.
What are the mid-term and final exams to check for completeness?
We need to validate whether the technique is being used – whether people initially choose to adopt it and also whether initial adopters continue to use the technique.