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1. WO2020113344 - SYSTEM AND METHOD OF PROVIDING A COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PLATFORM

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

SYSTEM AND METHOD OF PROVIDING A COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

PLATFORM

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present specification relates generally to an engagement platform, and specifically to a system and method of providing a platform for common social action.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Governing bodies are often relied upon to handle issues or potential issues. For example, the elected government of a democratic jurisdiction is often relied upon by constituents of the jurisdiction to handle issues that are not easily dealt with by the individual constituents themselves.

[0003] However, governing bodies, such as elected governments, are often driven by ulterior motives, such as a desire to be re-elected. For example, they may initially support one goal and then, in a time of re-election, begin to support a different goal in order to cater to a larger group of potential voters.

[0004] Often, when important issues are avoided or mishandled by governing bodies, the constituents or other parties suffer.

[0005] Accordingly, there remains a need for improvements in the art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] In an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a system providing a platform for social action, comprising at least one processor operatively connected to a network to receive input from a set of users, the at least one processor configured to implement the following steps: receive a funding quantity from the set of users, transfer the funding quantity into a locked-in account, receive a set of social issues from the set of users, receive a set of actions from the set of users, employ artificial intelligence to identify a set of highly supported social issues, present the set of highly-supported social issues to the set of users, receive a set of social issue votes from the set of users, the set of social issue votes indicating a favoured issue of the set of social issues, present the favoured issue to the set of users, present an indication of the funding quantity to the set of members, and release the funding quantity from the locked-in account for use in addressing the favoured issue.

[0007] Other aspects and features according to the present application will become apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art upon review of the following description of embodiments of the invention in conjunction with the accompanying figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The principles of the invention may better be understood with reference to the accompanying figures provided by way of illustration of an exemplary embodiment, or embodiments, incorporating principles and aspects of the present invention, and in which:

[0009] FIG. 1 is a user interface of a voting application, according to an embodiment;

[0010] FIG. 2 is a user interface of a voting application, according to an embodiment;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a flow chart of the operation of a voting application, according to an embodiment;

[0012] FIGs. 4A, 4B, and 4C are a flow chart of the operation of a voting application, according to an embodiment;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a user interface of a voting application, according to an embodiment;

[0014] FIG. 6 is a user interface of a voting application, according to an embodiment;

[0015] FIG. 7 is a user interface of a voting application, according to an embodiment;

[0016] FIG. 8 is a user interface of a voting application, according to an embodiment;

[0017] FIG. 9 is a user interface of a voting application, according to an embodiment; and

[0018] FIG. 10 is a user interface of a voting application, according to an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

[0019] The description that follows, and the embodiments described therein, are provided by way of illustration of an example, or examples, of particular embodiments of the principles of the present invention. These examples are provided for the purposes of

explanation, and not of limitation, of those principles and of the invention. In the description, like parts are marked throughout the specification and the drawings with the same respective reference numerals. The drawings are not necessarily to scale and in some instances, proportions may have been exaggerated in order more clearly to depict certain features of the invention.

[0020] An aspect of this description relates to a system and method for addressing issues, such as social issues. In some embodiments, the system and method dynamically accumulate money to put towards an unanimously agreed upon social issue. In some embodiments, the system and method provide a way for uses to select a social issue to deal with, and to choose an action or solution, or to choose a combination of issue and action.

[0021] In some embodiments, a system and method ensure that a highly supported social issue is chosen and that a highly supported action or solution to the issue is identified by tallying user input and narrowing down the input to a manageable number of solutions to vote on.

[0022] An aspect of this description relates to a social network democracy voting application. In some embodiments, a system and method provide a community engagement platform. An aspect of this description relates to a wireless communication device which has a stored application layer protocol. An aspect of this description relates to an application layer in the form of a web interface that is accessible from any Internet accessible computing device. An aspect of this description relates to an application which automatically receives money from users, such as by debiting their accounts, and then, when agreement, such as unanimous agreement, is reached, the application uses the money in a locked-in account to take action to help resolve an issue.

[0023] An example application for receiving input and support from users is shown in FIG. 1. An application first accepts input from a user, such as through input screen 1000. Input screen 1100 includes prompts asking a user for input, which the application uses to recognize user interests. In the embodiment depicted, the input is a text input and the application uses keywords to match the user’s input with that of other users within the application layer. Having identified target words that correspond to the structured query, highly supported issues and actions are chosen for use in creating an initial news feed. For example,

unanimous matches are then placed together in a first initial news feed. A further embodiment 5000 of the application for receiving input from users is shown in FIG. 5.

[0024] A user is then provided with a news feed, which includes news items such as articles, videos, or other media items. In some embodiments, the news items are items which match the user’s interests and, particularly, interests that also match the interests of others. In other embodiments, media items are provided by users and may be linked to a social issue in a newsfeed 9000, for example, as shown is FIG. 9. According to further embodiment, posted news items may be retrieved from online social networks or other off-platform media channels, such as Facebook™, CNN™ or other online news and social media channels. The user is provided an opportunity to vote on the news items, and news items of particular interest are chosen as favoured social issues which the community wishes to act on. In some embodiments, voting takes place periodically, such as monthly, to choose social issues and to narrow down a list of social issues to choose a favoured social issue for each designated period of time. For example, voting may be triggered to narrow down a list of social issues to one favoured social issue per month.

[0025] In some embodiments, a decision timeframe may be determined by other factors, such as election timeframes, the event of a natural disaster or war, or other dynamic or static factors. For example, the creation of a community may be triggered by the event of a hurricane or by some preponderance of news articles about the damage caused by a hurricane, the time frame for a final decision may be set at a particular time or may also be triggered by some event or criteria such as the announcement of government relief for the hurricane damage. To continue the example, the community may vote on a number of different potential actions to take to respond to the hurricane damage, with the community’s decision being finalized at the time of the government announcement or shortly thereafter.

[0026] In some embodiments, a user is presented with information about social issues which are being considered by the community of the system or method. For example, a user may see a list of popular social issues next to their news feed or otherwise in connection with their news feed.

[0027] In some embodiments, the user is also presented with information about steps that could be taken to address one or more social issue. For example, the user may be presented

with a list of action items next to their news feed, each action item setting out the steps proposed to deal with a particular social issue or a number of social issues.

[0028] In some embodiments, machine learning or other artificial intelligence is used to define the list of potential social issues. In some embodiments, one or more human editors define the list of potential social issues. In some embodiments, a combination of artificial intelligence and human editing is used to define the list of potential social issue. Similarly, human editors, artificial intelligence, or a combination of human and artificial intelligence may be used to associate key words or other input with each of the potential social issues to be used in determining the levels of support for the issues and which news items, such as media items, to associate with each social issue.

[0029] Action items may also be defined and associated with social issues, such as by a human editor, artificial intelligence, or a combination of human and artificial intelligence. In some embodiments, action items include one or more actions to be taken to solve or at least address a social issue.

[0030] In some embodiments, a user provides funds to the system to be used in connection with the action items chosen by the community or a segment of the community for dealing with a social issue chosen by the community or a segment of the community. In some embodiments, a user joins a jurisdictional -based community to deal with issues related to that jurisdiction. Jurisdictions may be geographical or defined by other criteria. For example, a user may join a community that has come together to deal with provincial issues, or a community that is dealing with country -wide issues, or a community that is dealing with worldwide issues. Example applicant interface embodiments for national 6000 and world wide communities 7000 are shown in FIGs. 6 and 7, respectively.

[0031] In some embodiments, the user provides funding to each community. For example, a user may provide payments to a fund associated with a community dealing with country wide issues. The payments may be associated with the defined period in which decisions about actions are made. For example, if the system triggers a decision to deal with one selected social issue each month, or to choose one set of actions each month, the user may be asked to contribute a pre-determined amount on a monthly basis. However, in some embodiments, the contribution may be needs based, or as desired, or yearly, or an otherwise periodic schedule.

[0032] In some embodiments, an application is provided to force one favoured issue into the spotlight each month. As users choose the issue, the action items, or a combination of issue and action items, the funds gathered are used to further the cause, such as by following a set of actions chosen or by following a set of actions associated with a social issue.

Example applicant interface embodiments of a selected issue of the month 8000 is shown in FIG. 8.

[0033] For example, a community could choose an action to strike, and the funds could then be added to a strike fund. As another example, a community could choose to back a particular politician, and the funds could be donated to the politician or otherwise used to further the cause of the politician. As another example, the community could choose to help an impoverished city or invest in a chosen technology or field to save lives or otherwise contribute to the world. In some embodiments, a pre-determined or needs-based amount of a fund may be used on administrative matters, particularly if an action may have regulatory implications that would need to be addressed before the fund could be applied.

[0034] In some embodiments a run-off type voting is used, where users choose from an increasingly narrowed list of social issues or action items to select one favoured issue or action to tackle. For example, by selecting their favorite issue to help resolve, a user helps the system narrow down a set of potential issues to a second or further stage, which includes fewer issues to choose from or which defines the chosen issue of the decision time period.

[0035] In some embodiments, users or editors or influencers may be offered or may purchase or otherwise obtain an opportunity to advocate for a particular issue or action. In some embodiments, advocate videos or other messages may be associated with an issue or action. For example, FIG. 10 shows an embodiment of a user interface 10000 with an advocate video associated with a social issue. Users of an embodiment application can select a video or other message to receive the message. In some embodiments, users can vote on or otherwise promote advocate messages, such as promoting a particular advocate video so that the video continues to be associated with the issue or action. For example, if a set of issues or actions moves through multiple voting stages, at each stage the number of issues or actions may be paired down and also the number of advocate messages associated with each issue or action. In some embodiments, a user may be able to pay to promote one particular advocate message, such as their own message.

[0036] In some embodiments, however, the ability to pay to advance an item, such as a message, an issue or an action, may be restricted or prohibited, so as to protect the grassroots nature of an application. For example, restrictions may restrict the number of stages that payment can be used to advance through, or the level of voter support that payment can overcome.

[0037] In some embodiments, keywords or machine learning or other artificial intelligence is used to determine the news items to be displayed. Such may also be used to determine which issues or actions to associate with news items, in order to be able to vote, interact, or otherwise indicate support for a news item to a particular issue or action.

[0038] In some embodiments, a first stage of selecting issues or actions to vote on may be determined via keywords, votes on news items, interaction data related to news items, other shows of support for news items or issues or actions, or some combination. For example, the top 5% of potential issues may be added to a first stage based on information provided in a user’s profile. In some embodiments, a percentage-based quantity of social issues is advanced to a first stage, although there may be caps on total numbers. In some embodiments, issue or action advance from stage to stage by receiving social issue votes cast by users.

[0039] In some embodiments, users are permitted to cast a social issue vote for one issue presented at each stage. In some embodiments, users may get more than one social issue vote, at least for earlier stages where more issues are being considered. In some embodiments some users may get extra social issue votes or permissions to cast multiple social issue votes for a single issue or action.

[0040] In some embodiments, users are required to cast a social issue vote against an issue or issues in a first stage, if not also to vote on news items. In some embodiments, users are reminded of the need to cast a social issue vote, such as by having a pop up or highlighting or flashing message.

[0041] An interface of an embodiment application is shown in FIG. 2. Interface 2000 shows a set of community prompts 2100 at the top asking users which communities they wish to join. Interface 2000 also shows a set of issue and action prompts 2200 asking a user to detail the issue, action or set of issue and action they wish to see addressed. Interface 2000 then shows an interaction screen which has a news feed 2300, a list of social issues 2400, and a list of action items 2500.

[0042] Social issues list 2400 shows a set of stage boxes 2410, 2420, and 2430 setting out a list of issues that have reached that stage. Stage box 2410 lists 20 issues that have reached a first stage, and is associated with a number of advocate messages 2412. Stage box 2420 lists 10 issues that have reached a second stage, and is associated with a number of advocate messages 2422. Stage box 2430 lists 3 issues that have reached a third stage, and is associated with a number of advocate messages 2432.

[0043] Similarly, action items list 2500 shows a set of stage boxes 2510, 2520, and 2530 setting out a list of issues that have reached that stage. Stage box 2510 lists 20 issues that have reached a first stage, and is associated with a number of advocate messages 2512. Stage box 2520 lists 10 issues that have reached a second stage, and is associated with a number of advocate messages 2522. Stage box 2530 lists 3 issues that have reached a third stage, and is associated with a number of advocate messages 2532.

[0044] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, beside each stage box there are several scrolling videos called advocate videos. Users can click on the video to watch someone who has video taped their point of view in order to help sway votes to their social issue of choice. Users can also click‘like’ on advocate videos, this will promote the advocate video along to the next stage.

[0045] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, users can pay money to have their videos show up more often in the advocate videos in order to promote their point of view. They may also promote their video to the 2nd stage by paying.

[0046] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, through user keywords the software uses an algorithm to find the most pertinent posts on news and social media. It then puts those posts into the democracy application news feed for users to vote on.

[0047] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the set of issue and action prompts are useful for multiple reasons. First, the social issue chosen by the user allows the application to find the most recent news posts regarding the issue. In some embodiments the news feed is based on the user’s interest, while in some it is based on the community’s interests, the general media popularity of an issue or article, other indications of interest, or a combination of factors.

[0048] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, after tabulating the keywords for the top-mentioned issue, the software places 5% of the accumulated usership issues into the news feed. This

means that up to 20 issues may show up in the news feed, although other quantities may be used as well based on a percentage of users or user interest.

[0049] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, users will be able to choose one of the social issues that is pertinent to them. In this news feed it is not mandatory that a user vote on news items, however the top 20 voted-on issues of the feed move on to the first stage. Social issue votes on issues listed in a first stage box, social issue votes on news items related to issues listed in a first stage box, or some combination of news and stage social issue votes are used to determine which issues move onto the second stage.

[0050] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, users must cast a social issue vote when called upon to vote on issues listed in a stage box. When a stage box is flashing, users must cast a social issue vote. When a user clicks on the first stage box to the left of the news feed, the stage box page opens, and the top 20 news feeds start scrolling down; the users then has the ability to click on their favourite issue or issues.

[0051] In the embodiment of FIG. 2 the application is for mobile devices or computers. The application may contain a module to automatically receive debit payments from users on a periodic schedule. This payment module may include a mobile gateway authentication module operative to mutually authenticate a mobile gateway and the mobile payment module. For example, according to some embodiments the application directly debits the users’ accounts on a monthly basis and the money is transferred into a locked-in account. According to some embodiments, other in-app purchases may be available, such as to allow the receipt of debit payments related to specific community membership.

[0052] In the embodiment of FIG. 2 a driver’s licence number, phone number and email are required from a potential user before they can become a user. In some embodiments, confidential information such as financial information or certain kinds of personal identifying information may be kept confidential or protected by appropriate security. However, in some embodiments, identifying information such as a driver’s licence number, phone number, email and name is provided publicly, such as to allow the community to verify that they are interacting with a peer and that votes are not being generated by the government. According to a further embodiment, to ensure the integrity of the system, facial recognition technology or other biometric data, such as a thumb print, is required to cast a social issue, action, or funding vote, or any combination of the foregoing. In a further embodiment, votes may be

recorded for authentication purposes, such as to confirm or challenge the validity of votes cast.

[0053] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, a user may choose to view a news feed based on a particular community they have joined, such as a provincial community news feed, a country community news feed or a world community news feed. In some embodiments a news feed may be related to a combination of communities.

[0054] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, each news feed presents balanced coverage of issues. For example, news item 2320 concerns a political social issue and includes a first video clip 2322 presented by a political actor on a first side of the issue and a second video clip 2324 presented by a political actor on the second side of the issue. In other cases, news items may be specifically from one side, but balanced by news items from the other side or one of the other sides.

[0055] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, each user has a gripe column or complaint column for use in determining how dilemmas are chosen for the feed. Each complaint is scrapped for key words. Each key word helps put it in a category with others that are alike.

[0056] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, if complaints are repeated by 10% of usership they are promoted, either to the first stage of box 2410 or a pre-stage.

[0057] The embodiment of FIG. 2 also includes a pulse page. To land on the pulse page,

5% of users need to have complained or mentioned an issue. The news list of the pulse page may also indicate how many users mentioned the issue.

[0058] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, if 10% of the usership have raised a concern about an issue, it is escalated to a vote; the first stage compulsory social issue vote. At this first stage, the usership’s money is safe; they never have to do anything about the many 10% problems that arise. However, users to have to vote on which issues move to the second stage.

[0059] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, at the second stage, issues are added which won the most social issue votes in the first stage. Social issue votes at the second stage happen once a month, and the top 3 move onto the third stage. At the third stage, a favoured issue is selected, and the concern moves onto what action to take.

[0060] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, in considering actions, users have already given their opinions on their own social issue by filling out the two questions at the top of the application page, including what they propose to do. The answers are used to populate the action column with options. A similar round of popularity and action votes are used to choose an action, highly supported action and favoured action as was used to choose an issue.

[0061] For example, if usership decided they want an oil pipeline and that the action to be taken is to put a selected politician in power, the funds may be used to promote that politician.

[0062] In the embodiment of FIG. 2, advocate videos may also be added to explain why a particular amount of money is needed.

[0063] FIG. 3 is a flow chart of an embodiment voting application. FIG. 3 shows a process 3000 of the voting application, which is similar in many ways to the voting application of FIG. 2. This further embodiment of the voting application includes an indication of a funding quantity 3100 to users through the application interface. Funding quantity 3100 reflects the amount of funds provided by users to the system and, in some embodiments, may reflect the amount of funds provided by users in relation to a particular community.

[0064] FIGs. 4A, 4B, and 4C are flow charts of an embodiment of a voting application.

FIG. 4A is a flow chart of the application-side process receiving the issue 4000. FIG. 4B is a flow chart of the application side showing social issues and actions 4100. FIG. 4C is a flow chart of the server side 4200.

[0065] As shown in FIG. 4B, a user may directly input a social issue, action or both at step 4001. Alternatively, input may be received from, for example, an online social network or other off-platform media, or a combination of user input and an online social network or other off-platform media At processing step 4002, input is processed to determine a set of keywords for keyword matching. Processing step 4002 may use artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine keywords for keyword matching, human editors or a combination of artificial intelligence and human editors. Keyword matching step 4003 assesses the keywords against a predetermined record, to determine whether a new topic should be created and saved at step 4004 or whether the social issue, action or both should be transmitted to users for voting at step 4005.

[0066] As shown in FIG. 4B, issues, actions or both issues and actions received by the voting application are processed further. As users vote on issues, actions or a combination of issues and actions, the votes are processed at step 4101 to determine a set of issues, actions or a combination of issues and actions to transmit to users. With each set of issues, actions or a combination of issues and actions displayed, related video thumbnails and topic are processed at step 4102 and, if related to the set of issues, actions or combination of issues and actions processed at step 4101, associated topics, videos or both topics and videos are processed at 4102 and transmitted to users at step 4104.

[0067] As shown in FIG. 4B, issues, actions or both issues and actions received by the voting application are processed further. As users vote on issues, actions or a combination of issues and actions, the votes are processed at step 4101 to determine a set of issues, actions or a combination of issues and actions to transmit to users. With each set of issues, actions or a combination of issues and actions displayed, related video thumbnails and topic are processed at step 4102 and, if related to the set of issues, actions or combination of issues and actions processed at step 4101, associated topics, videos or both topics and videos are processed at 4102 and transmitted to users at step 4104.

[0068] As shown in FIG. 4C, an application layer 4201, accessible from any Internet accessible computing device is authenticated and decrypted at step 4202. User authentication and decryption is stored in database engine 4203 and stored as table 4205. Similarly, input 4001 and keyword processing 4002 are processed and stored in database engine 4203 as table 4204. Tables 4204 and 4205 can also be encrypted at step 4204 and transmitted to application layer 4201.

[0069] The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. Certain adaptations and modifications of the invention will be obvious to those skilled in the art. Therefore, the presently discussed embodiments are considered to be illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than the foregoing description and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.