Occupy Wall Street. Arab Spring. Greek Riots. We’ve been experiencing a great crisis of representation these past decades, regardless of our location, ethnicity or culture. The political system insists in excluding most of us from the spaces where the decisions are made that impact our lives. The internet has changed everything: the way we share and consume culture, how we engage in commerce, and how we communicate with others. But the internet has failed to change in one key area of our lives: politics. Democracy is in great need of a serious upgrade.
We are working on a user-friendly, open-source, vote and debate tool, crafted for parliaments, parties and decision-making institutions that will allow citizens to get informed, join the conversation and vote on topics, just how they want their representatives to vote. A tool that will transform the noise we create during protests into a signal that has a clear, direct and strong impact on the political system. Our vision is that DemocracyOS will become the operating system of a more open and participatory government. Live Demo for the City of Buenos Aires.
We're about to start a Kickstarter to seek funding for our mission. Join Us.
* We do not send spam. We will e-mail you once, notifying you when the Kickstarter is launched, and then you can opt-out of future e-mails, if you like.
Behind the project there's a group of 40+ millennials; young entrepreneurs and active enthusiasts,
software engineers, artists, political and social scientists, and educators. All aligned for a
a common purpose: to stop choosing between pre-set options and take part in designing new options.
The balance between coders and social scientists is key, because we are building technology with meaning: building an internet democracy.
We presented DemocracyOS at the World Economic Forum, the World Justice Forum and TEDx.
Check out those videos and learn more about our story on our blog!
DemocracyOS has a much more user friendly interface, especially in terms of data visualization and browsing. It is a two-way platform: bottom-up (citizens can present projects to be debated) and top-down (the representative presents for debate those bills currently in debate in Congress). DemocracyOS has three basic actions: "get informed," "join the conversation," and "vote."
We’ve built the initial 20% of the software—the basic, initial architecture and front end. We are working on a law markup language for legislative data. (That is, a data structure standard to incorporate data scraped from legislative sources around the word. The goal is to build an LML to be read by DemocracyOS as well as other apps that accept this open standard.) Finally, we have a tested initial prototype.
For us to build a stable version, in multiple languages, with mobile support and a RESTful API, we'll need at least one year of development, with an experienced team of 5–7 people, working full-time.
It should be similar to installing WordPress. We will provide content (videos, tutorials) so that ideally anyone can setup DemocracyOS.
We will also be building a self-setup mechanism for those of you who just can't wait.
As a part of the project’s financial sustainability plan, we provide consulting services, training, support and adaptations. DOS can be used by public or private organisations.
Of course! Although currently there's no customization module available, since DOS is licensed under MIT, anyone can download/clone it and modify it suiting their needs while respecting the license.
Firstly in English and Spanish, we will be incorporating translations as we progress.
We share the philosophy behind Kickstarter, we want to crowdfund our project. We want to take the software to the next level and we need support to make it happen.
Crowdfunding DOS will help us hire programmers and hosting to build a stable and scalable product that contemplates a vast number of users. Secondly, we want to carry out actions that allow us to build an enthusiast community of citizens participating regularly.
Users must provide both an online identity (twitter, facebook, email) and a legal identity (drivers license, ID card, passport) and then get validated by at least six other validated users. We are also looking into mechanisms such as, personally knowing at least one validated user or visiting in person with your ID Card to obtain a user name.
A system's security depends as much on its code as the platform on which that code is executed. DemocracyOS is open source and under MIT licence. This is why we invite all programmers and hackers to collaborate in the information security building process. Also, it will allow for any implementation to extend its code to the conditions it deems necessary. Every interaction inside DemocracyOS is registered and an alert mechanism will be put in place to detect bugs as well as unwanted interventions and correct them.
Technically, DemocracyOS is conceived to be independent from the operating system, hence an implementation’s security will be subject to the security measures its environment provides. DemocracyOS guarantees the transparent and safe functioning of the platform but can also be empowered by the security arrangements each implementation chooses.
If someone feels they are not sufficiently informed to cast a vote on certain topic, he/she can choose another citizen as their proxy on a that particular topic (tag). We’ve put in place an alert system that informs those who have proxy voters, how the proxy will vote and thus the user can then confirm or pull back their delegation and cast a vote directly (the default setting for no-action is confirmation). Proxy delegates are allowed to delegate their vote (and therefore those votes delegated to them) on someone else for that same tag.
You can always take back that delegation, anytime.
DemocracyOS is built on HTML5 and is responsive-ready, so it works on most mobile browsers out of the box. Please report a bug if you find it not to work on your device!
There are going to be settings at the user level and proposal level. Notifications will be sent for every update or a report every certain period of time.
We're currently seeking topical experts, students and enthusiasts to help out and take action with us. If you feel you can help by spreading the word, doing some press or simply by giving feedback or mentoring our current beta, don't hesitate in contacting us. We're all ears!