European Science Foundation Programme


Towards Electronic Democracy:
Internet-based Complex Decision Support (TED)

Workshop on

Facilitation Issues in e-Democracy

Manchester Business School,
Manchester, UK

November 13th 15th, 2006


The advent of web-technologies has brought the possibility of supporting geographically and temporally dispersed group decision making. Technically it is now possible to discuss issues, debate objectives, formulate problems, access data, analyse models, conduct sensitivity analyses, vote, decide and implement actions, all without the group meeting other than virtually. Moreover, web-based group decision support can be extended in principle to structure deliberative e-democracy and e-participation in societal decision making. The facilitation of such large scale group decision support will not be easy and may need skills and techniques beyond those currently used in small groups, be they face-to-face or web-based. This workshop will focus on facilitation issues of deliberative e‑democracy and e‑participation, firstly seeking to identify the issues that need addressing and secondly to outline programmes of research.


Objectives of the Workshop


  To bring together behavioural scientists, information systems engineers, decision analysts, political and social scientists, psychologists and others to discuss multi-disciplinary perspectives on the facilitation of deliberative e‑democracy and e‑participation.

        To map out a research agenda on the development of effective facilitation of deliberative e‑democracy and e‑participation.




The workshop will be held over three days at Manchester Business School. There will be a mix of keynote papers from invited speakers, contributed papers, a PhD Q&A session, a laboratory session using group support systems to explore a case study and a facilitated discussion to map out a research agenda. Two invited discussants, usually from a different discipline, will be assigned to each of the invited keynote papers to ensure that a range of perspectives are covered. There will be no parallel sessions so that the discussion of issues may grow continuously over the three days. Numbers will be limited to 50 participants.


Invited Speakers


Gene Rowe (Institute for Food Research): Deliberative e‑Democracy and e‑Participation

Gwendolyn Kolfshoten (TU Delft): Facilitation

Alec Morton (London School of Economics): Group Decision Support

Duncan Shaw (Aston Business School): Problem Structuring Methods and Facilitation




Registration fees (including coffee, lunches, teas, dinners on 13th and 14th Nov, handouts):

160 full registration;
80 student or young researcher registration.

Late payment of registration fees after November 3rd, 2006 will incur an additional fee of 30 (15 for students/young researchers).


Registration forms and full announcement


Please download the PDF or the Word files.


Further details available from:


Prof Simon French,

Manchester Business School,

Booth Street West,

Manchester, M15 6PB, UK.

Tel: +44-161-275-6401.

Fax: +44-161-275-7134.