Dr. Piotr Skowron Awarded for Innovations in Participatory Budgeting

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    Dr. Piotr Skowron, UW computer scientist, awarded for redefining participatory budgeting, introducing a proportional voting algorithm for fairer project selection.

    Breaking new ground, Dr. Piotr Skowron, a computer scientist from the University of Warsaw (UW), has been honored by The Society for Social Choice and Welfare for outstanding contributions to social choice theory. The award recognizes Skowron’s work on refining the voting system for citizen budget projects.

    A Visionary Approach to Participatory Budgeting

    Dr. Piotr Skowron, under 40 years old, received the prestigious award alongside Souvik Roy from the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata. Skowron’s groundbreaking research focuses on enhancing the fairness of allocating funds in participatory budgeting, aiming to elevate voter satisfaction with outcomes.

    Challenging the Status Quo in Voting Systems

    Traditional majority voting in participatory budgets often prioritizes projects with the most votes, neglecting the nuanced preferences of a diverse electorate. Skowron advocates for a proportional voting algorithm, the “equal share method,” designed to better represent the preferences of a broader spectrum of voters.

    Innovative Proposals for Enhanced Representation

    Skowron’s proposed algorithm, a modern variation of proportional representation, introduces a novel dimension to participatory budgeting. While proportional methods aren’t new, Skowron’s approach offers a fresh perspective on how to amalgamate existing voting formats, such as approval or scale voting, with proportional representation.

    Balancing Fairness and Simplicity

    Crucially, Skowron’s algorithm ensures a seamless experience for citizens while revolutionizing how projects are selected based on the same votes. By combining equal share principles with diverse voting formats, the method seeks to strike a balance between fairness and simplicity in participatory decision-making.

    This recognition underscores the importance of incorporating advanced computational methodologies in shaping more equitable and responsive democratic processes.

    The purpose of the Social Choice and Welfare Prize is to honour young scholars of excellent accomplishment in the area of social choice theory and welfare economics. The laureate should be 40 years or less as of January of the year when the International Meeting of the Society for Social Choice and Welfare is scheduled to take place. During this meeting, the prize winner(s) will give a plenary lecture. (scwsociety.org)

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