Debate Map

The debate map (above) is part of a global collective intelligence project, ESSENCE 2009 – co-organized by the Open University, MIT and Debategraph supported by the World Federation of UN Associations and The Independent – that is building towards the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

The aim is to weave together, collaboratively and iteratively, in a single space all of the key scientific and political arguments on climate change to create a transparent, multi-dimensional visual structure that lets anyone to explore and gain a reasoned understanding of the complex policy considerations and choices in a relatively quick and engaging way.

Like a wiki, the entire structure and content of the map are editable, provisional, and open to further refinement – with anyone being able to add new issues, positions, arguments, and evidence to the map, and anyone being able to challenge or support the individual points directly in context, until all of the salient views are represented fairly, succinctly and in full. The merit of each point can be rated too; with the thickness of the arrows reflecting the current average community rating for individual points.

Once an argument has been stated on the map it is visible to all; so there is no need for repetition; instead the community focus can shift to delineating its merit. And, as well as the short heading and rollover text shown in the view above, each point can described in an long expanded text that include images and other media.

At the time of writing the map is still in the early stages of development, so if you spot obvious gaps or unchallenged arguments please us accelerate its development by correcting these on the map.

As part of the Essence project, the map is being shared and embedded on multiple sites around the web, and any changes you make to the map here will be updated automatically across all of the sites where it appears. You can also keep track of any changes to the map remotely via RSS feeds and email alerts and digests.

If you have any questions about how to participate, David Price, one of the founders of Debategraph, will be pleased to help and can be contacted at david AT debategraph DOT org.”