Citizens' Democracy? - Designing Open Democracy presentation on this Saturday in Melbourne CBD (Speaker: Nicholas Gruen from Lateral Economics)

Presentation is on this saturday (21st October 2017), doors opening at 6:30pm . Usually we do freeform discussion, but this time will be mixing it up with a more focused and structured discussion on the topic of Citizen Juries.

Would be interesting if any of these idea could apply for the pirate party (e.g. Maybe as a possible alternative to internal party elections?)

Lateral Economics CEO Nicholas Gruen will be presenting his idea of Citizens Juries for improving democracy, then Austrian Chief Futurist and CEO of Prediki, Hubertus Hofkirchner, will talk about his proposal for a citizen parliament fresh from the Austrian elections via video link, with a chance for Q&A with both speakers after their presentations.


  • 6.30pm - Doors Open and Networking
  • 7pm - Presentations and Q&A
  • 8pm - General Discussion


York Butter Factory
62-66 King St · Melbourne

Main event page in meetup, please at least mention here or there if anyone plans to come. Gotta sort out the snacks.


Can we get a mailout on the Victoria email list?

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Would be greatly appreciated, being having issues with getting awareness about this event. If possible, it should be targeted towards those in Melbourne only (At least until we can get more chapters in other states). Though later on we will be releasing recording of the presentations as well.

Also if possible, if you know any other contacts from other political parties, it would be great if we can get a mix of people from other parties to come as well. Basically being aiming to get a mix of members from different parties to meet once a month.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it without more notice

Hopefully will be recorded?

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Yes it will be recorded. There was a few others that could not make it. So should be fine.


Anyway for those that can make it. See you there!


Okay, as requested here is the recordings as a podcast. There was some technical issues in recording, but I cleaned it up as much as I could. This has not yet been officially posted to a podcasting website, so you get special access! :smiley:

Anyhow, since this is quite a long talk, you may want to check the talk structure below. First level is the overall structure of the talk, second level is the key points I heard that you may want to jump to if you don’t want to listen to the whole thing.

For those that could not have made it to this event, I hope you enjoy listening to this talk. I will be open to any future topic suggestions for future events, and speakers you would like to have presenting it.

seconds hh:mm:ss Description
0s 00:00:00 Designing Open Democracy Intro
193s 00:03:14 Nicholas Gruen Introduction
309s 00:05:09 - Vox Pop Democracy
429s 00:07:10 - 2013 Australian Election
477s 00:07:58 - Carbon Pricing
512s 00:08:32 - 80% to 90% of Politicians was against Abolishing the carbon price
545s 00:09:06 - What’s happening is that our society is optimised for the African Savannah
574s 00:09:35 - We evolved to like sweet high energy food which is close to good food at the time but in modern times is now junk food
594s 00:09:54 - The current trouble happening in democracy is because we are getting exactly what we are asking for.
669s 00:11:10 - One of the fundamental issues of democracy is to navigate the cognitive division of labour.
758s 00:12:39 - In the world of politics there is no rational reason for us to vote at all personally
776s 00:12:57 - Politics is essentially ran by emotive force
941s 00:15:41 - Cultural Politics
972s 00:16:13 - Nicolas Gruen shows a UK poster to illustrate bad media coverage
990s 00:16:31 - Media example of Australia Media coverage of Indonesia execution of Australian drug smugglers in comparison to how the media covers Indonesian drug smuggler caught in Australia.
1105s 00:18:25 - Cognitive Elites
1128s 00:18:48 - This can be done via election or via lot (random selection)
1144s 00:19:05 - Election is a recent idea around the French revolution
1197s 00:19:57 - Election is a competitive process and aristocratic
1233s 00:20:34 - While democratic how representative is the elected politicians to their population
1252s 00:20:52 - Here we have a unitary system where people main problem is try to get to an agreement
1260s 00:21:00 - In a jury your job isn’t to beat anyone its to come to a conclusion
1274s 00:21:14 - Juries is democratic in the sense of equality of speech not freedom of speech
1295s 00:21:36 - Pauline Hanson is an authentic voice
1329s 00:22:09 - Adelaide Citizen Juries example
1429s 00:23:50 - 18th and 19th century about setting up checks and balances between lower house representing the people and upper house representing property rights
1448s 00:24:08 - Now in modern times we should do checks and balances between the people represented by elected representatives and the people represented as themselves in a jury
1557s 00:25:58 - The magic trick/myth is that the reason for current troubles is because the politicians are the letting us down or are the bad guys.
1789s 00:29:50 Huburtus Hofkirchner
1806s 00:30:07 - Huburtus Hofkirchner Introduction
1875s 00:31:15 - Huburtus Hofkirchner background as an investment banker
1901s 00:31:42 - The idea of Prediki started around the time of the internet bubble
2026s 00:33:46 - Austrian Economics thought that with proper processes a collective intelligence can form
2112s 00:35:12 - Iron law of oligarchy. Michels’ theory states that all complex organizations regardless of how democratic they are when started eventually develop into oligarchies.
2216s 00:36:57 - mechanic of prediki
2247s 00:37:28 - Prediki people have to first bet on outcome of a decision which switch’s a different mode of thinking
2283s 00:38:04 - Prediki also prompts users to specify reason for their decision
2352s 00:39:13 - Sentiment Analysis
2370s 00:39:31 - Prediki then dissects the arguments into graphs of sentiments to an issue as well as breakdown on reasons for such sentiment
2446s 00:40:46 - “Brexit Example: Most google search after the vote is ““what is the EU?”””
2557s 00:42:38 - Similarities and difference towards Nicholas Gruen’s proposal
2594s 00:43:14 - What is the biggest motivator for people to participate in democracy?
2652s 00:44:13 - Many public concerns are ignored because politicians think the public is too stupid to decide anything
2705s 00:45:05 - Attempts to proposed this system to traditional political parties was unsuccessful
2816s 00:46:57 - Showed a slide about Prediki system map
2897s 00:48:18 - Using algorithms to determine the breakdown of opinions
2986s 00:49:46 - Breaking down misconception of stupidity of the masses
3026s 00:50:27 - Finding domain knowledgeable people via algorithms
3142s 00:52:23 - Allowing for specialisation
3168s 00:52:49 - Citizen juries allows for increased political bandwidth
3223s 00:53:43 - End of presentation warning
3271s 00:54:32 - How did Huburtus Hofkirchner’s party go in the election?
3317s 00:55:18 - What he learnt to improve chances for the next election
3351s 00:55:51 - Face it no one is interested in democracy. Everyone assumes it works
3388s 00:56:28 QA Starts Here
3416s 00:56:56 Question: How do you introduce this idea to the general public?
3470s 00:57:51 - Huburtus Hofkirchner response
3574s 00:59:34 Questions: What sort of result do you need in the next election before you can demonstrate to the public that this system can work?
3592s 00:59:52 - Huburtus Hofkirchner Response
3606s 01:00:06 Question: Is there an algorithm to help select a citizen juries to make it as representative as possible?
3622s 01:00:23 - Huburtus Hofkirchner Response
3672s 01:01:12 - Geelong citizen juries example
3879s 01:04:40 Question: Have you heard of any kind of meritocratic appointment system?
3997s 01:06:37 - Nicolas Gruen - Athenian used elections for army commanders
4050s 01:07:30 - Huburtus Hofkirchner Adds
4227s 01:10:28 Question: How would your system avoid corruption and manipulation?
4278s 01:11:18 - Nicholas Gruen Responses
4500s 01:15:01 - Huburtus Hofkirchner Adds
4612s 01:16:53 Nicholas Gruen & Huburtus Hofkirchner brief debate
4616s 01:16:56 - Nicholas Gruen starts
4683s 01:18:03 - Huburtus Hofkirchner
4762s 01:19:22 - Nicholas Gruen
4837s 01:20:37 - Huburtus Hofkirchner - on prediction market
5006s 01:23:27 - Nicholas Gruen
5039s 01:23:59 - Huburtus Hofkirchner
5168s 01:26:09 - Nicholas Gruen
5230s 01:27:10 Question: Citizens can deal with issues but are they dealing with the right issues?
5294s 01:28:14 - Huburtus Hofkirchner Respond
5422s 01:30:23 Question: How will citizen juries work within existing systems?
5468s 01:31:09 - Huburtus Hofkirchner Responsed
5605s 01:33:26 Question: How do you hold your citizen juries party representative accountable?
5678s 01:34:38 - Huburtus Hofkirchner Respond
5892s 01:38:13 - Nicholas Gruen Adds
5964s 01:39:24 Question: Are you suggesting to have citizen juries replace the senate?
5988s 01:39:48 - Nicholas Gruen Responds
6381s 01:46:21 - Slow Democracy
6399s 01:46:39 - Host noted a question from a previous event. What are the main factors for the acceptance of citizen juries? Did the press humanise the citizen juries members?
6453s 01:47:34 - People in general think elections are kind of like auctions
6469s 01:47:50 Nicholas Gruen’s difference to Ian Walker’s New Democracy approach
6658s 01:50:58 Event conclusion speech