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Inaugural Designing Open Democracy Meeting (Monday, December 19 2016)

This is a historical post from where we sent the first message after our very first meeting at 19/12/2016

Hello Everyone!

Thanks very much to all who were able to attend the first Designing Open Democracy Meetup!

Below, I wish to give everyone a summary of what was discussed for those who were unable to make it, here's a summary of what occurred:

  • Introduction of attendees; background of their interest and involvement in democracy reform
  • Basic concepts of democracy (direct, representative, deliberative and majoritarian)

How to conduct the discussion:

• Continue talking about the concepts of democracy • Focus on the goals of the group, work backwards • Focus on the goals of Democracy, and work backwards • Focus on the problems of the current system, and see whether they can be fixed • Discuss the proposals for Democracy reform

What is "the problem", why isn't Democracy working as it should?

• Poor Media • Limited Human Rationality

Requirements of Democracy

• Does democracy require a common acceptance of information, facts, and or the scientific method?(Popper in "The Open Society" thinks scientific method is important) • Decisions made through the democratic system need to have some impact

Do people want democracy?

• Priorities are food/shelter, maybe “wanting to be left alone” • Amartya Sen believes that Democracy is important for helping ensure people get basic needs met (No famines in democracies) cf. "Development as Freedom" by Sen

Let me know if there’s anything else major I’ve missed.

We thank everyone who’s given suggestions for how the group could run the next session and in future, and if you have more ideas on that, please join the discussion via the meetup comments.

Thanks also to everyone who’s provided feedback. If you have any more feedback, please feel free to contact us at

Next meeting will be mid to late January 2017. We think monthly meetings might be best.

Look forward to seeing you at future meetups!

Cheers, Nick Merange Designing Open Democracy Co-founder