How to make important decisions: locally, regionally, globally.

How to make important decisions: locally, regionally, globally.

Represent exists to map the world’s opinions and values so that we might find better ways of working together for the greater good.

But if we’re to represent people globally, we are going to need some really good maps and really clever data manipulation. Which is why I am so incredibly proud of our tech team who have done all that, and made it ridiculously fast, too.

Represent now has county / state level opinion mapping for almost every country in the world.

Right now these maps are colour-coded showing the average of everyone who’s answered in that area. If you want a really powered-up view, click the full-screen button on the top left of the map – you’ll see people from America and France have already started signing up.

Zoom in to the UK, and you’ll see the counties change to show local wards. Zoom out, and you’ll see every country in the world.

And of course whenever you answer a question your vote is counted with everyone else’s and immediately and anonymously shared.

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Let’s take a pause and think what this means we can do, you and I.

Imagine, just for a moment, if Represent had as many users as Facebook.  Just over 1/7 of the world’s population. Okay 1 billion users is quite extreme… Let’s say 1/10 of that. That would make 100m* of us, together, the 13th largest country in the world. Imagine if we 100m voted on the 5 most important issues to us every day. Instead of just checking the news we create the news by showing our support for an outcome.

I wonder how the climate change negotiations would go in December? I wonder if the Umbrella Revolution would have turned out differently if the whole world could show their feelings? Would any country dare drill under the Arctic? Or if a corporation would still feel confident suing a sovereign nation, knowing that it was now suing an entire citizenry?

If we are to organise ourselves for a new progressive era, we need new progressive tools. What’s done so far is just the beginning.  In the next few weeks and months you’ll be able to:

  • Ask a question only to people living in a specific region (ie your city / constituency / county)
  • See opinions of people in that region compare against census data
  • See what topics are most concerning to residents of an area
  • See which questions are most divisive in an area – and also which creates the greatest harmony
  • See where resources should be distributed,  and where they are unwanted
  • See how many people agree with you locally, nationally, and internationally
  • compare any region with any region anywhere in the world

To say we’re excited would be an understatement.  But we’re British, so let’s just stick with that.

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* That’s reasonable for an online service these days. But let’s not be naive: our marketing team has their work cut out.

 

Ed Dowding

ed@represent.me

Technologist and entrepreneur, Ed specialises in social collaboration systems. His work has included building risk analysis services for the insurance industry, and from 2005 to 2010 he developed an SMS alert system which quickly grew into a full emergency management service for London local authorities and blue-lights.

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