2018 Edelman Trust Barometer: “The Battle for Truth”

Every year, the Edelman Trust Barometer measures the trust in institutions (government, business, media and NGOs) across 28 countries. In 2017, the Edelman Trust Barometer found a “global implosion of trust” amongst the general population – the majority of respondents do not believe that the overall system is working for them.

In 2018, while trust amongst both the informed public and general population has not improved on average, there is a distinct split between countries with extreme trust gains and declines. Most strikingly, aggregate trust has declined in the United States by 37 points: a 23 point drop amongst the informed public, and 9 points in the general population. On the other end of the spectrum, aggregate trust in China has risen by 27 points.

Painkillers vs. Vitamins: Two Approaches to Citizen Engagement

“Prevention is better than cure.” In diverse fields ranging from healthcare to public safety to education, leaders have long recognized that the preventative approach is crucial for averting problems before they occur. For example, screening for hypertension and managing the condition is preferable to waiting for a heart attack to occur before treating it. It is far easier to identify and mitigate issues early, rather than letting them fester and intensify over time.

When gathering feedback on controversial community issues, the same paradigm can help reduce challenges associated with the public input process. The need to balance the interests and perspectives of multiple stakeholder groups can be contentious and divisive. The “painkiller” vs. “vitamins” paradigm helps illustrate the necessity of engaging with the public early in order to ensure an effective and productive citizen engagement process.

Customer Success: Bridging Divides on Controversial Issues

In Elkhart County, Indiana, County Commissioners were seeking public input on a proposed rezoning to build an immigration detention center, which would house up to 1,400 immigrants being held and facing possible deportation.

In Conversation With Mark Klein

Each month, PlaceSpeak presents a Q&A with experts in public engagement and civic technology.

This month, we spoke with Dr. Mark Klein, a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. He received his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Illinois in 1989, and since then has worked for the Hitachi Advanced Research Laboratory, Boeing Research, Pennsylvania State University and (for the last 20 years) the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with visiting appointments at the Nagoya Institute of Technology, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and the University of Zurich. His research draws from such fields as computer science, economics, operations research, and complexity science in order to develop computer technologies that enable greater ‘collective intelligence’ in large communities faced with complex decisions. His current projects are focused on crowd-scale online deliberation, as well as on negotiation with many interdependent issues.

The Government of Canada wants to hear from Canadians on the Ottawa River watershed

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has begun a study on the Ottawa River watershed, and it is engaging Canadians on this initiative. The study is in response to Motion M-104—from Member of Parliament, David McGuinty—which was adopted by the House of Commons, on May 3, 2017.

A healthy watershed is vital to the economic, ecological, and cultural well-being of the people who live around it. The input from Indigenous Peoples, citizens, and organizations is important as it will feed into the study, which will examine the current knowledge about the Ottawa River watershed and how best to protect, manage, and conserve it.