The vTaiwan process was established by a civil society movement called g0v, at the invitation of the Taiwanese Minister for Digital Affairs. It followed g0v’s major role in the 2014 Sunflower Movement protests; started over a controversial trade agreement with China.
The process was designed as a neutral platform to engage experts and relevant members of the public in large-scale deliberation on specific topics.
The process itself is designed to facilitate constructive conversation and consensus-building between diverse opinion groups. It does this by creating several stages, including an initial ‘objective’ stage for crowdsourcing facts and evidence, and a ‘reflective’ stage using mass deliberation tool Pol.is, which encourages the formation of ‘rough consensus’. Finally, key stakeholders are invited to a live-streamed, face-to-face meeting to draw up specific recommendations.
Facilitators and g0v volunteers guide people through each stage using different web tools, including timelines, email updates and access to clear information. In a radical approach to transparency, the entire consultation is continuously summarised, transcribed and published in an open, structured and searchable format.
vTaiwan’s achievements to date include: a crowdsourced bill successfully passed through parliament on Closely Held Company Law; the resolution of a disagreement between civil society activists on the topic of internet alcohol sales; and the ratification of several items on ridesharing (Uber) regulations.