Comfort & Informal Interaction

General strategies for creating space for informal interaction

Real-life cases

Ideas

Create a sort of “homeroom” for participants: a group of maybe 3-5 participants who are grouped together solely for the purpose of providing support and a social interaction, not related to the content of the deliberation, necessarily. Idea would be for this group to spend a little bit of time just checking in with each other at the end of the day, or even doing fun things together.

Open the virtual space 10 to 15 minutes before the session starts and inform participants that this space is available for informal interaction

Create a forum where participants can introduce themselves, their viewpoints, or ideas before the online deliberation even takes place. This way participants are already a little familiar with each other.: https://medium.com/@PaulVittles/digital-deliberative-participative-democracy-the-future-is-here-now-9e7746fa9fdb

Create a WhatsApp group for participants to interact before and during the whole process, only with few moderator rules and tips about the expected behavior.

Technologies

What not to use or do

Strategies for adding a little FUN into the deliberations

Real-life cases

Democracy Co (Australia): have happy hour online the night before

Ideas

Online games that participants could meet and play with each other “after-hours.” What kind of games, though? And how organized?

Do stretching/yoga online

Carson: teach people sign-language signs — one per session

Carson: give people a task to do while they’re on the break: “find something in your house that is ____” — just as a breaktime activity.

Carson: play music for people during breaks or before or after

Carson: do two truths and a lie

Technologies

What not to use or do

Strategies for helping less-tech-savvy participants feel more at home

Real-life cases

Ideas

See “homeroom” idea above. – Potential opportunities to interact with the physical world: show-and-tell as get-to-know-you exercise, using physical post-its and paper that is mailed to them. – Potential to have some interactions over the phone, rather than on videoconference.

Technologies

What not to use or do

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