SUMMARY:"The proposal respectfully submitted to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge represents the conceptual intent of the initiative. YOUROWNDEMOCRACY.ORG is conceived to be a new non-partisan tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mandate is to implement, maintain, and continue to innovate the described system in this proposal.
The implementation plan is very straightforward. Year One will be spent finalizing the concept with the help of a number of focus groups of various citizen segments, and the implementation of the finalized design. The team in the first year will be a relatively small development and design team consisting of the best and brightest in multi-scale, high performance web applications.
Year Two will be when the system gets rolled out to the public in BETA form, and user testing further enhancements and improvements continue during this phase. The hiring of a dedicated editorial, research, and customer service staff will be necessary to support users in the system and deal with the constant flow of new issues and legislation.
Year Three will be the official public rollout, and the organization is projected to grow to about 30 full time personnel, from the aforementioned to dedicated legal, fundraising, and administrative staff."
PROBLEM SPACE: "Democracy is defined as a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system. The system in the United States and other countries is known as a representative democracy, whereby the eligible voting populace elects representative leaders in government to develop and enact laws that serve the best interests of the people.
However, democracy as an institution is influenced by the political zeitgeist, where complex issues are not all agreed upon, much less their solutions. Another troubling reality of modern democracies is corruption in government, leaders enacting laws that are not necessarily in the best interest of their constituencies, often influenced by corporations and their army of lobbyists that seek their own competitive marketplace agendas using public policy as a means to advance and protect their market positions.
Government is a very complex, multi-layered endeavor, and the political climate du jour often determines the modus operandi on how policy is created. Bills, legislation, and lawmaking is a highly technical pursuit, the issues and language often beyond the reach of the average citizen. Even with the Constitution’s mandate for checks and balances between the respective branches of government, there lacks a system whereby the populace is able to keep up with everyday political forces and inertia of lawmaking.
There are a few grassroots initiatives that address individual aspects of the holistic system described here, however, none exist that incorporates media and real-time measurement and recording as this proposal describes. None are as socially-centered. None are geared for 100MM users.
Today’s technology allows for innovative online collaboration, networking, transactional, and information visualization. Integrated together in a coherent set of solutions for the citizens of democracy, it is now possible to conceive of a single-platform which is an independent non-partisan party whose sole mandate is to harness the power of these technologies into an accessible framework that will allow citizens the ability to stay informed about complex issues and to register their votes in favor or in opposition to processes in government. Transparency will lead to a stronger citizenry and accountable government."
COMPREHENSIVE: This citizen support platform addresses ALL current issues that exist in a society. It is scalable and utilizing today’s information management technologies, will grow and evolve as society does.
ANTICIPATORY: This system is based on the inventor’s deep experience designing and building financial equity derivatives trading systems for the American stock market.
ECOLOGICALY RESPONSIBLE: This is an online system that is made completely from digital bits. No materials natural, man-made or otherwise is directly expended or consumed in the creation of software.
FEASIBLE: This system is not more complex than any modern commercial financial exchange or trading platform, nor is it more complex than Facebook or Myspace.
VERIFIABLE: This system is designed with the American voting population in mind. Which is approximately 100 million voters.
REPLICABLE: This system’s underlying architecture is designed with large-scale failover in mind, as to minimize downtime in a high-performance environment.