Important Dates

Submission Deadline

17 May 2023

Acceptance Notifications

20 May 2023

Workshop Dates

29 May - 02 June 2023

About the Workshop

Citizens worldwide are increasingly worried about the socio-political conflicts emerging around the world and seek new ways to be engaged in democratic and inclusive discussions about how public interest decisions are made, and how social tensions can be prevented, mitigated, and even resolved, in new ways, and by mobilising grassroot collective actions.

Still, the deliberative spaces that are available today for communities and institutions to co-create ideas and bridge ideas to actions are highly inadequate. Issues of loss of trust in public institutions, civic disengagement, unequally distributed power and lack of transparency of decisions only exacerbate these issues, and expose a dangerous disconnect between citizens asks and public government's actions, and a fundamental inadequacy of institutional responses to citizens' needs and aspirations.

The Critical Deliberative Democracy Tech workshop aims to bridge this disconnect by bringing together a multidisciplinary scholar in social and political science, computer science, and urban planning who can contribute both stories of success and failure of engaging communities and institutions in real deliberative democracy innovations. From there we aim to develop a research roadmap around the key critical questions, tensions, norms and directions that need to be explored for working together with institutions and communities to realise scalable democratic innovations.

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Workshop Theme and Goal

The lack of institutional methods to engage the public in healthy deliberation on issues of public interests led to an institutionalised turn in deliberative democracy. This focuses on a set of institutions (outside the formal political structure) that enable citizens to play a more or less formal role in the political decision making process. One specific type of these institutions are for instance the mini-publics. Mini-publics are democratic institutions that are specifically crafted to provide an occasion for citizens to engage directly in the political process beyond electoral or protest activities[1]. This relatively new and impactful, concept is per se highly contested between deliberative theorists. Still, Mini publics are considered one of the most celebrated democratic innovations in the last four decades (1984-to now). Political and social science scholars have widely analysed the concepts and described the design of mini publics. However, we still lack a clear understanding of what is the impact of these innovations in the longer term and their contribution to large scale democracy. This is mostly due to the inability of these democratic innovation to scale (and their large costs of execution) [2].

In other contexts of democratic innovations, online deliberation scholars, participatory planning experts and civic organisations have widely engaged in improving citizens participation on the ground at an even smaller scale, using mostly face-to-face interactions and targeting inclusion and diversity rather than equality of representation in democratic innovations.

Research in Computer Science and Online Deliberation technologies on the other hand has also progressed in the last 20 years after the wide diffusion of the Web, addressing how technologies could provide a new space, context and enabling support for technology mediated democratic processes at a much larger scale [3,4]. In particular, large scale ideation and argumentation scholars have demonstrated considerable impact of online deliberation technologies on enhancing social innovation and public deliberation in many fields of societal democratisation, such as citizen engagement in urban planning, political communication and public policy making [5].

Despite the evident advancements, each in their own native fields and research communities, research programmes have developed in parallel and in a very loosely connected way, highlighting a troubling disconnect in the Deliberative Democracy research landscape. Siloed thinking between communities, institutions and research disciplines prevents true advancement to be realised in this crucially needed socio-technical research field. Hence the need to explore, understand and assess novel approaches to communities' engagement with a multidisciplinary and even transdisciplinary agenda.

In a very pragmatical attempt to tackle this problem, the Deliberative Democracy Tech workshop aims to facilitate a critical and multidisciplinary dialogue on existing deliberative democracy theories, propose and test new methods and practices, and hear about the co-design and development of new tools for promoting deliberative democracy and improve democratic practice at large scale.

The workshop aims to discuss critical questions which include but are not limited to:

  • How do we balance the need for community's representation to the requirements of equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility?
  • What key tensions need to be overcome for deliberative democratic innovations to be effectively developed, applied and owned by impacted communities?
  • How can intitutions (both formal and informal) engage communities in a representative yet scalable way in discussion about issues of public concern (not leaving anyone behind)?
  • What technological advancements are available to realise large scale deliberation processes in a more inclusive, scalable, and cost effective way?

[1] Goodin, R.E. and Dryzek, J.S., 2006. Deliberative impacts: The macro-political uptake of mini-publics. Politics & society, 34(2), pp.219-244.

[2] Niemeyer, S., 2014. Scaling up deliberation to mass publics: Harnessing mini-publics in a deliberative system. Deliberative mini-publics: Involving citizens in the democratic process, pp.177-202.Conference Name:ACM Woodstock conference

[3] Convertino, G., Westerski, A., De Liddo, A. and Díaz, P., (2015). Large-Scale Ideation & Deliberation: Tools and Studies in Organizations. Journal Social Media for Organizations, 2(1), p.1.

[4] Xiao, L., Zhang, W., Przybylska, A., De Liddo, A., Convertino, G., Davies, T. and Klein, M., (2015). Design for online deliberative processes and technologies: Towards a multidisciplinary research agenda. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHI2015 (pp. 865-868).

[5] Klein, M. (2012). Enabling Large-Scale Deliberation Using Attention-Mediation Metrics. Computer-Supported Collaborative Work, 21(4):449-473.

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Workshop Activities and Target Audience

Political and social science researchers, computer scientists, policy makers, citizens, practitioners, mediators, civil servants, ICT specialists, policy consultants, activists, and others who have a strong civic orientation and perspective should benefit from this workshop.

The workshop will provide a space for participants to share their work with a community of like-minded professionals and stimulate new ideas for future research and action in the field of community engagement and technologies for deliberative democracy.

Workshop activities will be geared toward reflecting on and sharing experiences and ideas on the challenges and opportunities of using new technologies (e.g., discussion and learning systems, AI and argumentation, summarisation and visualization tools, etc.) to strengthen the capacity of citizens to collectively solve complex problems at the local, regional, national, and international levels (e.g., climate change resilience, food insecurity, political marginalization, extremism of all kinds).

Participants will participate in a rich program consisting of selected short presentations (both short and a Keynote), followed by Q&A sessions and plenary discussion sessions where lessons learned and key new directions for research and practice will be highlighted.

Overall, the program aims to produce a road map for advancing research on Deliberative Democracy Communities and Technologies and to build a network of collaborators across continents working on this important and timely topic.

The Workshop agenda has been adapted to accommodate speakers from Europe, the United States and Australia, and it is hoped that it will provide a truly global perspective on the technologies of Deliberative Democracy that will shape future research in the years to come.

Workshop Programme

(Times are in CET)

Critical Deliberative Democracy Tech Workshop Programme
Time Presenter Title
12:00 - 12:10 Welcome and Introduction from the Chairs
12:10 - 12:30 Simon Buckingham Shum
(Connected Intelligence Centre, University of Technology Sydney)
Could Generative AI Augment Reflection, Deliberation and Argumentation?
12:30 - 12:50 Josè Carlos Mota (Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences - University of Aveiro, Portugal) and Anna Moro (Department of Architecture and Urban Studies - Politecnico di Milano, Italy) Design-Oriented Communities As Potentials Arenas For Improving Shared Learning/Design Processes
12:50 - 13:10 Veronica Cruciani (Scuola Universitaria Superiore Sant'Anna Pisa) What is the Role of Technology in Shaping Administrative Burden in Bottom-Up Initiatives?
13:10 - 13:30 Marcin Lewinski (ArgLab, NOVA Institute of Philosophy, NOVA University Lisbon) Expert Authority in Public Deliberation: An Argumentation Approach
13:30 - 14:30 Paolo Spada (Southampthon University UK) and Luca Iandoli (St. John's University, NY) Keynote: The Craft of Running Experiments on Online Deliberation: a conversation with Luca Iandoli and Paolo Spada
14:30 - 15:00 Open Discussion and Q&A
15:00 - 15:30 30 Minute Break
15:30 - 15:50 Caterina Berardi (Re-Imagine Europa Think Tank) Listen, Reframe, Act. A novel methodology to depolarise debates and build common solutions.
15:50 - 16:10 Grazia Concilio (Department of Architecture and Urban Studies - Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and Anna De Liddo (Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University) Learnings from Digitally-Mediated participatory insurgencies in Europe: Initial insights from the ORBIS project and New Technologies for Deliberative Democracy at Scale
16:10 - 16:30 Marc-Antoine Parent and Jamie Joyce (The Society Library - Digitizing Governance: Deliberation, Decision-Making, and Policy-Writing
16:30 - 16:50 Marc-Antoine Parent and Jack Park (Sense Craft Garden Project SenseCraft: Designing a game platform to build citizen's capacity to engage with complex evidence
16:50 - 17:00 Closing Remarks

How to Participate

We will ask participants to use GoogleForms/drive to submit at least one of the following related to the workshop themes.

  • 2-4 pages position paper or case study
  • 1-3 minutes video or audio recording
  • Infographic or pictorial
  • Demonstrations of public interest technologies relevant to the workshop themes.
  • Attendance request (submit your interest to participate as an attendee)

You can also attend the workshop without submitting any work. So if you are registered or attending C&T2023 and you would like to join our workshop submit an Attendance request at the same link above!

Submission Deadline

Deadline for Submitting your work is May 17 2023.

Notification will be sent shortly after by May 20 2023

If your paper is accepted after the early bird registration deadline of the C&T conference and you have not registered for the conference, please email us as we might be able to reuest an early bird rate on your behalf.

Brainstorm about Open Sustainable Research Communitees and the Public Good


A Photo of Organiser Anna De Liddo

Anna De Liddo

Professor of Human Computer Interaction
Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University

Anna De Liddo is Professor of Human Computer Interaction and leads the Knowledge Media Institute's IDea Intelligent Deliberation Group ( which investigates theories methods and tools accounting for the centrality of technology mediated dialogue in urban informatics, e-democracy and social innovation contexts. Anna's research focuses on the design, implementation and uptake of online deliberation systems that seek to increase collective environmental awareness, and collective capacity to make sense of complex issues. In the past 15 years Anna lead the R&D of 8 novel technologies (Cohere, The Evidence Hub, LiteMap, DebateHub, CIdashboard, Democratic Reflection, Democratic replay, She also chaired various international workshops on Collective Intelligence and Online Deliberation, hosted at prominent HCI conference venues such as CSCW (2010-2012), CHI2015 and C&T (2013, 2015, 2017). Anna is also a co-founder of the Collective Intelligence for The Common Good Open Research and Action Community Network (

Grazia Concilio

Associate Professor in Urban Planning
Politecnico di Milano

Grazia Concilio is Associate Professor in Urban Planning at DAStU (Politecnico di Milano). She carried out research activity at the RWTH in Aachen (D), and at IIASA in Laxenburg (A) and at the Concordia University of Montreal, Canada. She has participated in several research projects, responsible for a CNR program, coordinator of a national project aiming at developing an e-governance platform for the management of Natural Parks. She has been and is currently representing the Politecnico di Milano in many European research projects and is the author of diverse international publications.

A Photo of Organiser Grazia Concilio
A Photo of Organiser Francesca Rizzo

Francesca Rizzo

Full Professor
Department of Design
Politecnico di Milano

Francesca Rizzo is Full Professor at the Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano since April 2018. Previously, she held the position of associate professor at the University of Bologna, School of Engineering and Architecture and was a researcher at the Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano from 2010 to 2013. She works on participatory design processes and methods applied to service design, interaction, social innovation and public sector innovation. Professor Rizzo's most recent research interests concern the relationship between design culture and organizational change. She has been the scientific officer of several European projects and a member of research teams of European projects including: SIMPACT (FP7), My Neighbourhood (FP7), LIFE 2.0 (FP7) Peripheria (FP7), SIC (H2020, Social Innovation Community). Since May 1, 2018, she has been a member of the research team of the European project SISICODE (H2020), which aims to introduce participatory design into responsive research and innovation (RRI) processes. She has authored numerous publications in journals, proceedings and books with international impact.


This workshop is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe Programme and by the UK Government's Horizon Europe Guarantee scheme (Reference Number: 10048874) in the context of the ORBIS Project (GA: 101094765) on "Augmenting participation, co-creation, trust and transparency in Deliberative Democracy at all scales".