Social Systems Laboratory

Contact: Tim Olsson
Estocolmo Suecia Website:
Photo of Social Systems Laboratory

Biographical Info

Social Systems Laboratory was founded in 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. The remit of the lab was to create a liquid democracy platform to assist civic entities and political parties to deepen their democratic engagement. The after some exploration, the lab began to develop a platform called Crowdpol, that provided basic voting, delegating and deliberation on an geographically based interface. The idea was to allow users to zoom in to engage in local debates and decision making, or to zoom out and interact with global issues.

In tandem with this, the Swedish NGO Syntropi began to user test the software locally, adding content and creating public events. After some discussion, the joint decision was taken that the product, Crowdpol, would be placed in the hands of a company set up by the NGO (Syntropi AB svb), while the lab would focus on design and prototyping.

At around this time, Covid-19 derailed all possibility of progress, partly due to the limitations that national policies created, partly due to funding temporarily drying up.

As the world slowly retuned back to the new normal, production began again, but with the insights gleaned from the Covid-19 lockdowns and the needs of civic organisations, the project pivoted into a more broad platform, seeking not merely to provide democratic tools but also to become a place to organise volunteers in the civic sector. At this point, it was also decided that a new entity was needed that was legally and structurally better equipped to take on the task of managing the ecosystem. And so The Social Systems Foundation was born.

Categories: Instituciones
Updated 4 meses ago.

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