How It Works2022-01-17T07:50:05-07:00

How It Works


The Ethelo platform is designed for decentralized decision processes in which stakeholders have a high impact on the final outcome. Along with the platform, we provide a full-service, integrated "eDemocracy" solution that includes a suite of professional services including custom technology configuration, content development, moderation, data analysis and validation and custom reporting.

Learn more about our services

What's it like to work with Ethelo?

“Ethelo was really great. They had a lot of great ideas, samples and templates that we could use. It made me feel that we didn't have to start from scratch.”

Shauna Conard

Financial Planning & Budget Administrator, City of Lethbridge

An empowering experience​

In the terminology of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), Ethelo focuses on Collaborative or Empowering processes.

Take a sneak peek at Ethelo's technology

The Ethelo platform and decision engine underlying it enables groups of any size to collaboratively solve complex, constrained problems and find practical decisions with broad support.

Fairness is key

Ethelo enables participants in group decisions to explore millions of scenarios and find outcomes that leave everyone roughly equally satisfied. The two pictures below represent levels of support and opposition for two potential plans. In each picture, red-orange means "unhappy", green-blue means "happy", and neutral feelings in between are yellow or grey.

The decision on the right is a better plan than the one on the left. Why?

People on the right are roughly equally happy. They will be united in moving forward together, which increases the chance of success. The plan on the left is divisive and polarizing, with winners and losers. This means there will be conflict and resistance to moving forward. Traditional democracy, with its “rule by majority,” can easily lead to these kinds of divisive outcomes eg. Brexit and the US elections. Fairness is very important in group decisions and for society in general. People get justly angry when things are unfair (learn about inequality aversion). The decision on the right distributes happiness in a fair way, which is critical to social cohesion and the democratic legitimacy of government.

Fairness is not only important to humans

Other social species view fairness as important too! Watch this short video to see how capuchin monkeys reject unequal pay.

Want to learn more about how Ethelo's technology works?​