SfAA Round Table: Online Tools for Stakeholder Engagement

PERSWADE Center (University of Technology Sydney) organizes a Round Table aiming at having a broad discussion on the online tools for stakeholder engagement. The discussion is part of the program of 2021 Annual Meeting of Society for Applied Anthropology(SfAA) and will be held online on March 26th

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Prior to the round table, we invite the participants and all interested to share their perspectives at the online discussion forum Discussoo. We will summarize all the contributions and elaborate more on the topic at SfAA 2021 Meeting.

Share your experience with stakeholder engagement and use of online tools following these 3 steps:

  1. Register at Discussoo (an online AI-based tool for serious discussions)
  2. Go to discussion about online tools
  3. Share your opinion and see what others think!

We look forward to your contributions and seeing you at the Round table!


What is this Round Table about?

With the advent of social media and various online tools, there are more opportunities for a meaningful and productive interaction with stakeholders, which can potentially enhance if not substitute some parts of in-person engagement.  However, some of the existing social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) has not been designed for real serious discussions among stakeholders and, when used without care, can be even detrimental for productive engagement. 

We have built an online app specifically designed to help engage stakeholders, and help them interact in search of solutions to problems. Discussoo has been initially designed to support multi-scale participatory modeling, but has been then expanded to handle all sorts of stakeholder engagement, while enriching the process with AI generated content.  Users respond or expand on other user’s opinions and/or initiate new lines of discussion. The discussion chain is mined in real-time, using an ensemble of algorithms to extract opinions, keywords and concepts. This information is transcribed into semi-quantitative simulations as the discussion evolves. To provide feedback, the system presents users with dynamic visualizations of the collective mental model which they can use as contextual information to refine and update their individual mental models. Feedback can also be introduced by targeted moderator comments to steer or “nudge” the discussion towards a desirable collective mental model, outcome, consensus, or agreement.

We realize that there are many other aspects of stakeholder engagement that can be further explored and that may be well handled by other online tools that are either already available, or could be designed in the future. Such online functionality can be of much help for anthropologists and other social scientists who engage in broad and multivalent analyses that integrate people, geography, and sociopolitical structures in domestic or international settings.

Roundtable Chairs & Speakers: Madiha Anjum (UTS, Australia), Elena Bakhanova (UTS, Australia), Prof. Alexey Voinov (UTS, Australia), Prof. Michael Paolisso (UMD, USA), Prof. Raimo Hämäläinen (Aalto University, Finland).