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Democracy2: The Future of Collective Decisions

Speaker  Glen Weyl

Affiliation  University of Chicago

Host  Jennifer Chayes

Duration  01:22:34

Date recorded  26 February 2014

Standard democratic institutions fail to account for the intensity of preference, leading to classic flaws like the tyranny of the majority and Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem. In this talk I propose and defend Quadratic Voting (QV), an alternative mechanism that addresses these weaknesses. Individuals purchase votes from a clearing-house using some continuous currency, paying the square of the votes purchased on any issue. QV is not as tightly optimized to the narrow environments that motivate most existing economic alternatives to majority rule. However, unlike these previous proposals, it is simple and performs nearly perfectly across a wide range of environments. This has persuaded my collaborators and me of its promise in a range of commercial, social and political applications. To bring this message to the broad audience it has to reach to be adopted, we are publishing in popular media as well as legal and social science journals, and have formed a start-up venture, Collective Decision Engines, to develop software and culture around the idea.

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