• Proposal sent to the organisers

last modified July 7, 2016 by strypey

Tēnā koutou

I would very much like the opportunity to present at the Social Movements, Resistance, and Social Change III conference and to have an activist intervention published in the Counterfutures journal. Please find attached my presentation proposal as requested (in .PDF printer-friendly format). The text of the proposal is also included below for your perusal.

He mihi nui
Danyl Strype

Counter-institution: Disintermedia.net.nz

Contacts and bio: www.disintermedia.net.nz/strype

GITocracy: Enacting Deep Democracy with a Free Code and Open Source Policy Development Platform

Over the past few decades, many organisations and small political parties have come and gone from the political landscape. Many of these designed and wrote excellent policy documents in their areas of interest, in their time. Unfortunately, very little of this work is easily available to us today, as most of these small parties used ad-hoc paper-based systems for organising and archiving their policies. I have been scoping for suitable free code software components, developed by open source communities, that could be used to assemble a web-based policy development platform, a tool for collaborative drafting, sharing, and editing policy documents as an online commons. 'GIT', a tool used by software developers to store and edit the source code of their programs, will provide the database component (hence the working title 'GITocracy'), allowing documents drafted by one person or group to be 'forked' (or cloned) and edited by another person or group, with any the changes made available to the original author in case they want to merge them. Many groups, coming from similar political perspectives can share the work of developing policy documents, reducing duplication of effort, and allowing work done to be saved for re-use by others if the groups stops working on it. Groups from very different perspectives can share policy proposals, discussion papers, and references, and offer suggested changes to each other's work, while always having autonomy over the contents of their own policy repository. This paper presents the results of testing a number of existing systems that I found through a comprehensive web search. This included both free code packages that could be re-used in GITocracy, and wholly or partially proprietary systems, which I tested to gather ideas on what makes a user-friendly interface for this kind of work. In addition, this paper summarizes a number of discussions with activists and supporters of a range of political groups, about the value they see in having a tool like GITocracy available. (322 words)