Hive Decision is a collaboration between Dan Cohen (author of published works on conditional voting) and a growing network of related experts in civics, philosophy, technology, psychology and other intertwined disciplines.
The original work, dating back to 1994, began after IEEE Spectrum ran an article on conditional voting. The piece was one of a series on a topic sparsely covered by the journal, dating back as far as 1982 with work by Dr Srihair at SUNY Buffalo. Dr Srihair and others wrote about the mathematical aspects of majority voting systems. Modeling conditional voting systems was mathematically challenging – not strictly in determining correctness, but in applicability, which began a foray of studies into fuzzy logic and game theory.
In 1995, following a heated set of arguments on a US Federal Government public discussion board, I was invited to attend the State of the World Forum in San Francisco, where I participated in a discussion with leading economists and technologists on the subject of technology and civics. It was around this time that the Civicus project was starting in Europe, and I offered Alan Kay and Hazel Henderson the use of a valuation model for human labor.
A couple of years later, the emergence of real groupware and collaboration technologies began to enter the public eye, and I encountered a New York based firm, Expert Choice, that was trying to commercialize a decision support technology based on Analytic Hierarchy Processing, which fit beautifully into a democratic model – every voter had a voice, the strength of their conviction and priority could be taken into account in the decision, quantitative elements were separated (like cost and time) from votes, and the result was minimally dissatisfying for the group. Still, I was busy after that with complexity theory and technology strategy projects, and didn’t pursue it further.
When I joined IBM in 1999 I contacted Lotus Labs (where the collaboration tech lived) to ask if they would be interested in incorporating the principles in Lotus Notes technology, but didn’t get far. That was when I closed my consulting company, Clear Thinking Technology (Ottawa/San Francisco) and launched Accelerated Ventures. By coincidence, after a few years I sold the domain clearthink.com and the nice guy who bought it tried to create collaborative decision software-as-a-service. I don’t think it ever launched, but the site is still up, and I hope he does it one day. Meanwhile, very rudimentary survey services (like SurveyMonkey) and group decision software (like Doodle and Xoyondo) are thriving.
This site began as an exploratory publishing vehicle in 2014 after renewed interest in digital democracy in Canada, accompanying expanding cloud resources and federal investments in technology (such as CANARIE).