Using Technology to Crowd Source Ideas


A short webinar in the 4D evolution webinar series

Held Friday 12 February 2016 @ 12 noon



Guest:  Nivek Thompson

Nivek is the Principal Consultant for Synthetron in Australia. Synthetron is a unique online crowdsourcing platform which provides a dynamic, interactive and effective way to gain insights into what your community is thinking. Synthetron has been operating for over ten years in Europe and is now available in Australia.

Nivek is also undertaking a PhD looking at the impact of democratic innovations on the broader political landscape.


Here is the link to the research Nivek referenced in her talk:…

See the official video about Synthetron at

Answers to questions that were not able to be answered in the webinar are listed below:

· Neil
Q: does Synthetron give the document, photo and video functionality of the Bang The Table type products?
A: Synthetron is a stand-alone platform which supplements the functionality of other more static platforms. It does not replace or duplicate platforms like Bang the Table’s Your Say sites. Participants in a Synthetron session can engage with video or documents on other web sites and provides a dynamic one-hour online discussion akin to a face-to-face workshop but without the travel, venue hire and catering. It also provides more information about people’s views as there is a record of the entire discussion.

· Caris
Q: How do you ensure that you recruit well?
A: As with any community engagement process it is important to know who you want to engage with and then to identify how to reach those people. Where Synthetron is used as part of a broader engagement process recruitment could have two components: people who have already been involved, say via a Discussion Forum and a more public call for participation. If you are targeting members of particular organisations or stakeholders, recruitment can be done via existing database lists. And if you want to engage more broadly, with the so-called ‘silent majority’, then you are best to use the approach taken for citizens’ juries, where invitations are sent to randomly selected people and from those who volunteer to participate a further stratified random selection is made to ensure you have a good cross section of the community involved. This latter approach will definitely support the cognitive diversity identified by Helene Landemore.