vTaiwan is a civic deliberation project that integrates online and offline components to facilitate public participation following the 2014 Sunflower Revolutions in Taiwan. It was proposed by Jaclyn Tsai, the Minister without Portfolio, in a g0v hackathon. Learn more about how vTaiwan’s online platform operates here.
According to a 2016 Civicist article, the four-stage process, blending online and offline engagement opportunities, operates as follows:
First, an artificial-intelligence facilitated conversation tool called pol.is is distributed through Facebook ads and stakeholder networks
Then a public meeting is broadcast where scholars and officials respond to issues that emerged in the conversation;
This is followed by an in-person stakeholder meeting co-facilitated by civil society and the government, and broadcast to remote participants;
Finally, the Government agrees to bind its action to points that reached consensus, or provides a point-by-point explanation of why those consensus points are not (yet) feasible.
In-person meetings are moderated by trained facilitators and attended by citizens, scholars, and government representatives. The process has been as described in an observer:
Facilitators use digital note-taking to document and mind-map in real-time. An audio-video crew captures the two-hour meeting and streams it on Livehouse.in, a live-streaming platform that also has a chat room for remote participants. A PDIS team member actively monitors the feed for questions and comments, using emojis and stickers to keep the conversation productive. Videos are released on the vTaiwan Facebook page where more citizens continue to engage throughout the week.
vTaiwan is currently organized and run by Public Digital Innovation Space (PDIS), a group of coders, activists, legal experts and designers that was formed in 2016.