The Third Way/Voice

Horizon 2025

Designing and deploying public algorithms is not an easy task. Between injunctions and intuitions, the opportunity to, or not to, implement an algorithm is often at the heart of discussions.

To go beyond this binary vision, each public innovation team includes someone, called the Third Way/Voice (or Third W.oice), tasked with an exploratory duty. This uncommon profile has to consider all marginal leads of plausible, clashing and non-consensual alternatives that could exist.

 The Third W.oice is the embodiment of the disagreement with the status quo that could emerge from decisions made by the team or that could be imposed from the top down. Their (unofficial) motto: ‘To do or not to do, that is beside the point!’.

The duty of the Third Way/Voice specifically aims at identifying what solutions or reappropriations by communities already exist. Where required, the Third W.oice speaks in favour of their adoption, their use or their upkeep by administrations or citizens.

In this respect, this side of their exploration entails to highlight solutions coming from people who are the most affected by the problems to be solved through the considered algorithm.
A wide range of tools are available to inquire, criticise, anticipate or compel their team or their management.

— A call for applications to recruit new Third Way/Voice agents

Ad for the Third Way/Voice recruitment campaign

— Excerpts from the Third W.oices’ training

Training slidedeck: introduction to the Third Way/Voice mission
Training slidedeck: presentation of the exploration and ideation tools for the Third W.oice agents
Training slidedeck: presentation of the Reframer, a tool to explore the alternative to the deployment of a public algorithm

— The Third Way/Voice library

The Third W.oice library, including the good practices and thoughts and building a collective memory of the alternatives to a public algorithm deployment

Let’s debate about this future!

This scenario deserves to be discussed, disputed or even enriched.
We propose three participatory activities and tools to collectively debate about this scenario.