Innovation Democracy


Innovation democracy is an innovative kind of democratic practice that aims to revolutionize democratic governance and citizenship by providing places for citizens to contribute to public decision making and solve issues. It combines four methods of participation: deliberation, citizen representation, digital engagement and direct voting. These innovations are often inspired by social movements and they take a broad definition of citizenship to be inclusive of all. They also share the goal of improving confidence in the political institutions. They respond to growing discontent with public policy and a lack of confidence in the current structures of institutions and mechanisms of representation. They are designed to address the wide range of public issues and uphold diverse kinds of values, from environmental protection to racial justice. They are triggered by many types of pressures and crises, from resentment over social injustices to the challenges posed by globalization.

These new forms of participation, while they could be rooted in specific movement imaginaries, do not necessarily represent a radical transformation in the nature of democracy itself. For example, they can be seen as a way to restore legitimacy to existing institutions by demonstrating that they are capable of responding effectively to public demand like in the case of a collective effort which was successful in addressing the issue of water scarcity. They can also be interpreted as attempts to encourage co-operative business models or solidarity economies, such as the policies of Barcelona en Comu.






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