2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Designing Democracy: Raising Our Civic IQ

#sxsw #civicIQ


Digital devices and social media sites give us dozens of ways to become more informed, to express ourselves, to have our voices heard as part of the national discussion. Yet while we embrace these new channels, the collective volume of that expression is deafening and the sound is unstructured noise. Furthermore, rather than promoting thoughtful discourse and deliberation towards a consensus, current digital tools often amplify our differences.

In this session, Artefact’s co-founder and principal Rob Girling will outline a vision for a design-based solution that can bring clarity and civility to online discourse and help us reach consensus. Using design strategies informed by behavioral economics and cognitive psychology principles and innovative feature concepts, such as incentives, roles, limiting participation size, and voting, the tool, which is funded by a Knight Foundation Grant, drives consensus and decision making amongst a group of diverse strangers.



Rob Girling



As a co-founder and principal of Artefact, Rob Girling is responsible for setting the company’s strategy and vision--to design exciting products and experiences that inspire positive changes in human behavior. Rob’s design career spans some of the leading agencies and design brands in the world, including Apple, IDEO, Microsoft, and Sony, and touches everything from interaction design experience, to natural user interfaces, motion graphics and 3-D design.

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