Updated Sep 05, 2019

newDemocracy Foundation

Global decisions will come when we recognise that "all politics is local"


The innovation has no owner


Stage 4: Transition to Scale


Global agreements to act on wicked problems such as climate change invariably make little progress. We suggest the problem in this is that representatives of governments engaged in these discussions cannot show a link to local populations which creates an opportunity for domestic policy arguments which prioritise perceived risks to local populations and result in a disinclination to act.

Innovation Description

Our solution works by randomly selecting 50-150 members of a population and deeply immersing them in a topic for 40-60 hours spread across a number of months. Where public opinion asks people what they think when they havent been thinking, this gives people a chance to consider multiple sources and then work together to find a common ground position. This works because the people come from all walks of life and are not the usual people seen in public advocacy: and as a result they are a unique political asset. When we show people from many backgrounds explaining how they think a problem should be solved it comes with greater resonance than having a politician explain it. Our long term vision for impact is that (a) it is a simple matter for any parliament to add on to how they make decisions today and (b) can be scaled up to a global decision with fundamentally the same methodology.

Competitive Advantage

Many democratic advocates are seeking to use online technologies to "count votes" and build support. We contend they are solving the wrong problem. We think our problem to fix is that our decision making system are overly responsive to shallow public opinion. If you share that view, then you come to see online technologies as large public opinion machines. Instead, we are building ways for people to read, question and think - and stand alongside elected politicians to share what they have learned (and thus why a hard course of action may need to be followed).