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Companion of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW '17 Companion)

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Crowdsourcing technologies, strategies and methods offer new opportunities for bridging existing gaps among law, policymaking, and the lived experience of citizens. In recent years, a number of initiatives across the world have applied crowdsourcing to contexts including constitutional reform, drafting federal bills, and generating local policies. However, crowd-civic systems also come with challenges and risks such as socio-technical barriers, marginalization of specific groups, silencing of interests, etc. Using a designthinking approach, this workshop will address both opportunities and challenges of crowd-civic systems to develop best practices for increasing public engagement with law and policy. The workshop organizers will suggest an initial framework explicitly intended to be criticized by participants and reconfigured through a series of iterative cooperative small-group activities focusing on “diagnosing” the failures of past crowd-civic system efforts and the successes of online action around social issues. While the ultimate objective of the workshop is to develop a best practices guide, we see iterations on the guide as a mechanism for fostering community and collaboration among policymakers, technologists, and researchers around crowd-civic systems for law and policy.


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Brian McInnis, Alissa Centivany, Juho Kim, Marta Poblet, Karen Levy, and Gilly Leshed. 2017. Crowdsourcing Law and Policy: A Design-Thinking Approach to Crowd-Civic Systems. In Companion of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW '17 Companion). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 355-361. DOI: