The Open Democracy is an open source platform for democracy by the people, for the people. It provides a digital infrastructure that facilitates the proposal, testing & implementation of public policy by communities themselves. This project aims to create an actionable framework for the platform.

In light of recent developments in Britain and their exit from the EU, in light of the rise of right-wing conservatism and a fear-driven brand of populism across Europe and the United States, now dramatically punctuated by the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, and in light of the enormous divide between those in power and those that ultimately pay for the failures of those in power, I had to put some thoughts to paper.

It is about us. The people who go about their business every day, making a living by doing what they need to do -and hopefully what they want to do- to feed themselves, to feed their family, to develop their skills, to grow. The people in search of a truth they can believe in, who want to contribute to the welfare of their fellow men and women, be it a neighbour, a colleague, a family member or the world at large. We are the people who want to live a good life, a fulfilled life with friends, family and community.

We, the people. You and me. It is us that make this world what it is. That person in the room with you right now. That person across the street outside. That colleague, friend, stranger, lover, hater, neighbour, idiot, that genius and even that extremist. Together we create this world. So why aren’t we deciding where our money goes? Why don’t we have a say in how we run our neighbourhood, our town, our city?

I think it is painfully clear that our democratic system is not functioning. The concentration of power and money with a small elite is causing corruption across the board, be it finance, sports, corporate business or politics. The US is sceptical of its leadership and have elected an outsider that the majority doesn’t even feel is capable just to rebel against the establishment. We in Europe are sceptical about the EU, because we are sceptical about the people running it: a non-elected bureaucratic elite out of touch with the people they are supposedly representing. That doesn’t mean we don’t feel European.

I am from Groningen in the Netherlands. That is my motherland. I live in Amsterdam, where I feel at home. I have spent time in Italy, Spain, Australia. Their cultures have become points of reference, their languages have enriched my own. I’ve travelled and made friends across the world. Always I’ve found that it’s the differences between us that challenge us to grow and learn, and it’s the similarities between us that bind us as human beings and open our minds to one another. I am Dutch. I am European. I am a world citizen.

And I would like the world to work for everyone, not a few. I would like to have the power to decide what policy to spend my tax-money on. I would like to have the power to evaluate ideas based on facts, research, tests and analysis in stead of relying on lobbyists to influence politicians too busy to critically assess any claims. I would like to be able to propose policy I believe in and see if others believe in it too.

I would like to have a real democracy by the people, for the people. An Open Democracy.

So let’s begin. Let me propose something I believe in. It’s a rough idea, but it can work if you contribute. You, whose heart has started beating a little quicker reading this. You who thinks in possibilities and collaboration. The Open Democracy needs all of you. Coders, systems thinkers, sociologists, scientists, designers, writers, promotors, and most importantly, believers in the vision that this is the next step for democracy.

The first policy I would like to propose is the creation of the platform that enables this new democracy. The Open Democracy Platform.

This is a volunteering gig, at least until we have enough of an outline to raise funds.
OPEN CALLS

Big Data Analysts

We need to find out how we can categorize, analyze and present large amounts of data to citizens in an understandable and intuitive way. Also, we need to find out how we can guarantee the accuracy of the information.

Location:Amsterdam
Join Until:2016-12-31 00:00:00

UX/UI Designer

We need to create a platform that is intuitive and easy to use for the average citizen, leading them through the process of creating, evaluating and/or voting on policy proposals.

Location:Amsterdam
Join Until:2016-12-31 00:00:00
Courage Box
THANK YOU!Project encouraged on 09/12/16
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Rockajoint connect.

Christiaan Maats

To collaborate on this project please contact me by email.

Send collaboration request.

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