Three Dialogues in search of democracy

The New Democracy Workshop is an ongoing working group at U of Toronto consisting of new media and social democracy researchers. We held dialogues last week on personal healthcare and innovations in dialogue.

Peter Pennefather presented the basics of Collaborative Diagnostics. How medical procedure aimed at directing decisions about therapy should be explicitly democratic and how trends in the health care system to recognize patient autonomy may allow such a dialogical approach to emerge. Peter argues that when procedures and personal care records within the health care system become more transparent, the prospects for such an emergent democratic dialogue will be

I shared about our current thinking in dialogue practice, including Web-based applications in e-dialogue.  Working from a new presentation on structured dialogue, our method for democratic, consensus-based dialogic design based on social science and collaborative cognition is articulated. I presented a case for moving dialogue beyond the Understanding phase (“just listening”), illustrating the necessity for a democratic approach to social system design and action based on dialogue.

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