PICOLA Deliberative Poll(R)
Many groups and individuals influenced the development of this software. Jim Fishkin's Carnegie Mellon presentation on Deliberative Polls (R) in the Fall of 2001 was the initial inspiration for developing a tool that could address various access and scalibility issues relating to the potential wide-scale use of deliiberative polls as a way of enhancing our democratic institutions. Conversations and critiques from various members of both Stanford's Center for Deliberative Democracay and PBS's By The People have helped us focus on the needs and issues relating to the creation of an online tool for deliberative polling. By far the most immediate source for the development of this platform was my participation in an NSF sponsored grant to create a media-rich Computer-Mediated Communication tool for doing Social Science research into the field of deliberative democracy. Peter Shane and Peter Mulhberger of the Heinz School's Institute for the Study of Information Technology and Society are the Principal Investigators who get most of the credit here (as well as the various project staff members -- especially Stuart Easterling -- of what is called the Virtual Agora Project). It was Peter Shane who came up with the name "PICOLA (Public Informed Citizen Online Assembly).
I wish to single out above all the skill and dedication of Mathew Hockenberry. Sam Zaiss, Miso Kim, and Stuart Easterling (again).
-- Robert Cavalier, Director, CMU's Digital Media Lab for Applied Ethics and Political Philosophy (Department of Philosophy).