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Sortition in practice - a new kind of governance in the information age

  Sortition is a possible and suitable way of governing society. It consists of a representative, occasional, temporary body selected at ra...

 Sortition is a possible and suitable way of governing society. It consists of a representative, occasional, temporary body selected at random from among the members of society to make social decisions and proposals. 

Sortition-based social governance can eliminate many of the drawbacks of current governance methods - corruption, protectionism, etc., which are inherent human characteristic in the abuse of power - while allowing for broader social engagement in solving problems. A solution that is developed with the involvement of society is regarded by members of society as more valid for themselves. 

There are developed methods and examples of the practical application of sortition. However, the practical applications that have been implemented so far have not been comprehensive and have focused on specific areas. 

How can sortition become a commonly used tool for social governance? For sortition to become the basis for social governance, it must comply with the following guidelines:


Sortition is a tool for solving social problems, and it is therefore effective if it is used by society to solve as wide a range of social problems as possible. Social trust is a prerequisite for and an inherent part of its effectiveness. Sortition should be used as a general societal management tool in a transparent manner and the sortition solution method should be used for all decisions affecting society. Its application must be declared in the most basic law of society, with rules of operation, if and when there is significant social approval.

Social task assignment 

A fundamental condition for the effectiveness of sortition as a method is the specific social issues that the tool is used to address. Who can ask the social questions to be solved by the tool of sortition? Who and how can identify the social problem to be solved by the sortition method? Who in society can define the specific purpose of the tool of sortition? 

The specific area where sortition should be applied is where the problems occur, where the issues arise. 

1. In society
Any member of society may propose  problems to be solved by means of sortition, by identifying the social class concerned. If the appropriate proportion of the relevant social class, as defined in the sortition's operating rules, approves the issue to be resolved, the issue becomes a task to be resolved by using the sortition. 

2. By the government 
The government is the executive body of the decision made by the sortition method. The government is set up by the social class for which it is the executive body.
The government can raise questions about its activities to be resolved by the method of sortition, based on its internal decision-making mechanism. 

Validity with social approval 

The solutions proposed by the sortition method are not necessarily accepted by all members of the society concerned. To make the sortition solutions binding for the whole of the social class concerned, they need to be validated by majority social approval within a certain period of time. If the proposal does not receive qualified majority approval within the specified period, a new sortition-based solution proposal must be created for the issue to be resolved. 

Automated operation 

A major drawback of current social management methods is the slow of decision-making. Often, by the time a solution is proposed, the problem has changed and the solution is no longer valid. 

The sortition method can be automated to a significant extent and can be efficiently managed using info-communication technology. With automated processes, the sortition method enables rapid decision-making. 

Info-communication operation of sortition  

Social database: a database maintained by the community, voluntarily contributed, protected by law, declared to be valid, containing relevant data for the selection of the sortition's board, and containing information about the members of society. 

Task database: contains the tasks to be solved with sortition and the information used to solve them. 

Information system functions supporting the sortition process:

- It enables members of society to propose tasks.
- Administers the acceptance of proposals, depending on the social group concerned.
- Administers the questions asked by the government.
- Supports the selection of the participants who will propose solution in the sortition process:
Linked to the social database, automatically assigns and manages participants in the decision to approved tasks in a representative manner. It registers who has accepted an invitation and automatically replaces those who have declined, according to the guidelines of the representative group, until the number of proposers defined in the sortition's operating principle is reached.
- Supports sortition-based proposal development
Provides access to the information needed to make proposals and provides an interactive communication platform for proposers to work together.
- Supports the social approval process for sortition proposals.
It automatically manages the approval process within the IT system, sets deadlines, draws attention to the vote, administers the level of approval. 

The information system must operate with open source-code. 

The sortition information system user workflow:

When a member of society (user) logs into the system, he or she updates the data relating to him or her in the system.
The system records if the user asks a question to be solved by the sortition method.
The system lists the proposed questions to be solved for the user's social group.
The system administers the user's vote on which question he or she supports.
The system notifies the user if he/she has been selected to propose a solution to an approved issue, which the user can accept or reject.
The user, if he/she is a member of a suggestion group, collects information through the system and communicates synchronously or asynchronously with the other members of the group, and they jointly generate a solution proposal within the system.
The system list for the user the solution proposals created for his/her social group, where the user can indicate which ones he/she supports.
The system sends a list of approved solutions to the government, which is responsible for implementing the approved solution. 

The practical application of sortition, supported by info-communication, can maintain an active, pro-active, problem-solving, revolution-free society interested in solving social problems, which allows for rapid response to problems. 

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