Invitation for GT students: VIP project on Digital Deliberation

Can Deliberation work better than this?

VIP Team Advisor:  Michael Hoffmann (School of Public Policy, Philosophy Program)

In the fall of 2018, the VIP Digital Deliberation meets Wednesday, 12:20--1:10pm in Van Leer 483B.

Apply to join the VIP team on Digital Deliberation every semester.


What does the VIP Digital Deliberation do?

Our VIP team develops web apps for online debates and collaborative problem solving.

Who can join?

Everybody. Our team is interdisciplinary: Computer Science, computational media, public policy, economics, philosophy. Currently we are looking especially for people interested in graphic design, usability testing, psychological experiments, surveys, focus groups, conflict management, policy making, law making, eGovernance, video-production, HTML5 and responsive Javascript frameworks. But all majors are welcome. Everybody can have an impact.

What will I learn?

  • How to work in an interdisciplinary team on a research and development project

  • How to design, develop, and market an online platform

  • Collaboration with IMTC, a Georgia Tech professional software developer team

Why should I join?

  • It is a fun and rewarding project that will look good on a resume

  • You get academic credit for up to 3 years

What does the VIP Digital Deliberation do right now?

Our VIP team does the main design work of the NSF project “Fostering self-correcting reasoning with reflection systems”. We design, test, and iteratively improve the Reflect! platform.

What is Reflect!?

A collaborative tool that structures deliberation and work on wicked problems in small teams. Check it out at

What is a wicked problem?

Wicked problems are challenges that can be framed in a number of different ways, depending on varying interests, world-views, values, or differences regarding the scale on which people think the problem should be addressed. Decisions on wicked problems often lead to serious conflicts because people do not understand that others look at the same problem from a completely different point of view.

What sort of problems are wicked?

Health care reform, globalization, the increasing computerization of the workforce, global warming, or when a city plans a major construction like a stadium. These are just a few examples. Designing a simple door knob might also be a wicked problem if you do not take people with certain disabilities into account. Design problems are often wicked problems.

Why are wicked problems so hard to address?

Being able to deal with wicked problems requires the ability to correct one’s own reasoning.

Why focusing on deliberation?

Wicked problems can only be approached in collaboration with others. We need different points of view and we need to learn from others.

If you have questions, please contact:

Dr. Michael Hoffmann, 404-385-6083,

The VIP Digital Deliberation is supported by a grant from DILAC, the Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center at Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.