Logo and poster treatment, ChatGPT

EU Converge: Bridging Communities for Inclusive Policy (a ChatGPT proposal)

Mathew Lowry


Earlier this week I used the following excerpt from a chat with Philip Weiss & Jesús Azogue as a starting point for a conversation with ChatGPT about some of the content in my Hub:

Reposted from Linkedin

(This and previous experiments are all available online — this was experiment 9. This post is reposted from LinkedIn as the original chat was hosted there).

As explained in my followup comment, I ended up in an echo chamber as too much of the content sent to ChatGPT was stuff I’d written between 2009 & 2019. Nevertheless, ChatGPT combined this work into a single, integrated idea: an EU project called EU Converge — Bridging Communities for Inclusive Policy.

Converge at a glance

(This section is purely from ChatGPT, although I’ve added some relevant links it’s clearly sourcing):

The “EU Converge” project aims to bridge communities, promote intellectual empathy, and actively involve diverse individuals in shaping EU policies and decisions. It combines the ideas of integrating physical events and online spaces, developing an online community within a thematic portal, promoting intellectual empathy, and integrating social media through a Collaborative Blogging Network. The project seeks to foster dialogue, understanding, and collaboration among citizens from diverse backgrounds, with a focus on a specific EU subject area.

Key Features:

  1. Thematic Portal: The project establishes a dedicated thematic portal on the European Institution’s website, covering the entirety of EC activities in the selected subject area. The portal provides clear and accessible information, including relevant documents, reports, and news updates. It serves as a central hub for engaging with the EU policies related to the subject area. (So, farewell thematic portals on EUROPA, 2009)
  2. Online Community Space: Within the thematic portal, an online community space is created where individuals can join discussions, share insights, and interact with experts, policymakers, and fellow citizens. The community space includes forums, live chat sessions, and Q&A sessions, allowing participants to actively engage in shaping EU policies through their inputs and feedback. (Building Communities of Practice with Event-in-a-Box, 2009)
  3. Converge Conference Series: The project organizes a series of Converge conferences, both physical events and virtual experiences, focused on the selected EU subject area. The conferences aim to bring together experts, stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens in an inclusive environment. Through panel discussions, interactive workshops, and collaborative activities, participants can exchange ideas, share perspectives, and collectively work on policy recommendations (Three steps to engage Europeans with the EU, 2017).
  4. Integrated Social Media Engagement: The project integrates mainstream and alternative social media networks, including popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as alternative Fediverse spaces, to amplify engagement and reach wider audiences. Social media channels associated with the thematic portal and the overall project provide regular updates and encourage conversations around EU policies, creating a vibrant online presence.
  5. Collaborative Blogging Network: The project establishes a Collaborative Blogging Network that invites participants from diverse backgrounds, including citizens, experts, and policymakers, to contribute their insights and perspectives on the selected EU subject area. A dedicated section within the thematic portal houses the blogs, allowing visitors to explore different viewpoints and engage in fruitful discussions (Does the Brussels Bubble care enough?).
  6. Blogging Competitions: As part of the Collaborative Blogging Network, periodic blogging competitions are organized to encourage active participation and highlight exceptional contributions. The competitions provide an opportunity for aspiring writers and experts alike to express their ideas, share experiences, and contribute to informed discussions about EU policies. Winners of the competitions receive recognition and their articles are prominently featured on the thematic portal. (How Brussels ignored the Young European of the Year (and what must change), 2018).

Obstacles and Solutions

(I then fed it The limits of public participation in policy and asked it to consider the obstacles the project would face propose some solutions):

1. Overwhelming Volume of Contributions

  • Obstacle: The sheer volume of contributions, including physical events, online submissions, social media comments, and tweets, may pose challenges in processing and making sense of the feedback effectively.
  • Solution: Implement an efficient and scalable system for processing contributions, including advanced data analytics and natural language processing technologies. Utilize automation and AI tools to categorize, analyze, and extract key themes and insights from the submissions.

2. Limited Resources for Responding to Individual Questions

  • Obstacle: The lack of resources to respond individually to each question or comment received through public participation platforms.
  • Solution: Implement a clear communication strategy that sets expectations upfront, informing participants that while individual responses may not be feasible, their contributions will be considered collectively to inform the policy-making process. Emphasize the importance of collaboration and the significance of collective insights in shaping policies.

3. Ensuring Meaningful Influence and Representation

  • Obstacle: Concerns regarding how public participation efforts can genuinely influence policy decisions and avoid algorithmic biases that may disproportionately highlight certain voices or opinions.
  • Solution: Implement transparent processes that demonstrate how participants’ contributions are taken into account. Ensure diverse representation among participants, including people with subject matter expertise, and consider measures to minimize algorithmic biases in platforms. Implement mechanisms to validate inputs from participants against broader policy objectives and incorporate checks and balances to increase legitimacy.

4. Managing Expectations and Demonstrating Credibility

  • Obstacle: Ensuring that public participation processes are perceived as credible and worthwhile, encouraging constructive contributions from participants.
  • Solution: Clearly communicate the objectives, scope, and potential impact of the “EU Converge” project. Foster a culture of inclusivity, trust, and respect through open and collaborative dialogue. Provide participants with access to information and resources that showcase the credibility and transparency of the project. Establish feedback mechanisms to demonstrate how contributions have influenced policy discussions and decisions.

5. Alignment with Ongoing Policy Development

  • Obstacle: Aligning the “EU Converge” project with existing policy development processes, rather than treating it as a one-off communication exercise.
  • Solution: Integrate the project into the existing policy development frameworks of European Institutions. Collaborate with relevant policy teams and departments to ensure continuous engagement and alignment. Establish feedback loops between public participation initiatives and policy development processes to create a sense of continuity and demonstrate that contributions are part of an ongoing dialogue rather than isolated events.

By addressing these obstacles and implementing the proposed solutions, the “EU Converge” project can strengthen public participation, enhance policy-making processes, and ensure credibility and inclusivity in shaping the future of EU policies.


Unsurprisingly, most solutions clearly reflect The limits of public participation in policy. However, ChatGPT didn’t see any problems with relying on AI to process the contributions (Solution 1), as I had not fed it something I wrote in 2017, although it’s directly relevant:

And as far as I can recall, my own content didn’t consider the diversity of participants, so this part of Solution 3 is ChatGPT’s own contribution.

But the most interesting idea is Solution 5. Although it is clearly sourced from Does the Brussels Bubble care enough?, the language and some of the idea development is original.

So there is some value in this approach, particularly given that the entire experiment took less than half an hour. However, the whole idea of a Hub is to curate and annotate knowledge from multiple sources, and then chat with an AI about it to generate new ideas, so working purely with my own content was of limited use to me.

Putting the chatbot on my Hub where visitors can use it, however, might be quite a lot of fun. Who knows what they’d come up with?

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.