Participative-X is a design process that harnesses the intelligence of the crowd.

Participative-X by OPPi

Published in
5 min readOct 9, 2020


There is an old adage: “Too many cooks spoil the broth”.

Democracy does not always work. We cannot satisfy everyone. Often, we defer to a group of qualified and trustworthy individuals to decide on behalf of the collective whole. This form of decision-making is centralised decision-making.

Decentralised decision-making is like involving everyone in cooking a meal: it can lead to disastrous results.

On the other hand, having too few minds deciding over an issue has its downsides. We cannot always assume that a few people at the top can know everything about what our customers, citizens or audiences want.

Centralised decision-making is like having just a few people decide on an issue: it has its downsides as well.

The table below summarises the advantages and disadvantages of both models of decision-making.

Does middle ground exist between the two models?

Could we have the best of both worlds while mitigating their disadvantages? In other words, could we have our cake and eat it? The answer is yes.

Introducing Participative-X, a breakthrough and radically new design process that harnesses the wisdom of the crowd for leaders, designers and decision-makers.

Participative X is a participatory design process powered by AI-conversation platform, OPPi.

Participative-X leverages the wisdom of the crowd without compromising speed, accuracy and agility in decision making, or giving in to populist and polarising sentiments that could be detrimental to the long-term success of organisations and societies.

Participative-X harnesses the collective intelligence of the public while preserving the opinions of minority groups and cultivating self and collective awareness of the group.

So how do we do it?

The traditional design process includes just the first pillar of client engagement. Participative-X includes the other three pillars of client engagement and participation.

The inspiration behind Participative-X was actually Participative Design (PD).

PD, (originally co-operative design, now often known as co-design or collaborative design) is an approach to design that actively involves all stakeholders (e.g. employees, partners, customers, citizens, end-users) in the process to help ensure the result meets their needs. The term is used in a variety of fields such as software design, urban design, product design, graphic design and even medicine as a way of creating environments that are more responsive and appropriate to their inhabitants’ and users’ cultural, emotional, spiritual and practical needs.

Whether designing for consumers, employees, service providers, or other audiences, when we move past the challenge of designing for them and begin designing with them, we find the outcomes are more innovative and people-centered.

To fix this, PD is a creative invention which aims to include the end-users not just at the start or the end of the project, but rather during the entire project design phase. The concept here is user involvement in design projects and design teams.

PD is not the same thing as empathic design though. As opposed to empathic design, in which researchers and developers move into the world of end-users, participatory design can be seen as relocating end-users into the world of research and development. It is ubiquitous (and still is in many aspects) to include users and customers at the beginning of the design process (pre- and market research, ideation phase) and later in the process (usability testing, design audits, and evaluation). But what about the central part of the design work? What about the place where the bulk of the work gets done?

Participative-X is run by an AI-powered conversation platform, OPPi. OPPi’s sentiment engine helps leaders to scale their ability to listen to their audiences, participants and stakeholders to the order of hundreds and even thousands of people.

The “X” in Participative-X refers to an infinite realm of possibilities: design, scientific research, market research, evaluation, appraisal, theatre, democracy, leadership, budgeting, learning, education, government, citizenry and more.

Imagine a world where students will design what and how they want to learn with their teachers. That will be a world powered by Participative-Education.

Imagine a world where research subjects have a say in how the research process is design and executed. That world is called Participative-Research.

Imagine a world where citizens design the future direction of a country together with the government. A world where policies are co-created with their citizens. Participative-X has brought that dream of participative citizenry and government into reality.

Partici[Native-X aims to scale mass participation with design thinking.

What is in it for me and my organisation or movement if I were to employ Participative-X?

Participative-X helps your organization to convert strangers into advocates for your movement or cause by giving them a stake and ownership in shaping the course and vision of your movement.

Download our Participative-X process brochure to understand how we do it.

Let’s work together to scale mass participation with design thinking.


OPPi provides you with a new way to feel the pulse of the people. OPPi crowdsources opinions and ideas, finding out what others think. OPPi aims to find common ground where people seem to be divided. We locate shared values and not what divides us.



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AI-powered opinion crowdsourcing tool to help people to understand, participate and share perspectives about issues, places and ideas.