Why politics is broken on the Internet and why we can fix it.

Citizens, by Wren McDonald for Policymakr (2019).

01

Can we reset Democracy?

Policymakr will reset the treatment and perception of politics on the Internet. We want to restore confidence in a model that has been partly broken by the onset of immediate, abundant and unverifiable information.

We will use the tools of 2019 to restore a modern, functional system for planning humankind’s long-term future.

By reconnecting Citizens and Policy Makers, our Democracy—the best system of government known to man—will be consolidated.

A global, independent, online platform for the world's citizens to shape policy by engaging with government institutions

Policymakr's overriding aim is to use technology to restore serenity and a long-term perspective to the political process. Any adult resident of a country in which Policymakr operates may open an account and either propose new Project for interaction or join the work on an existing one.

Fort Sumter Ferry Terminal, Charleston, United States. Photo: Taylor Wilcox on Unsplash.

An online place for fact-based, results-focused work on policy issues

Policymakr will harness the technological progress often considered a cause of the deterioration in political debate, to bring Citizens, Policy Makers and Experts together in a safe, fact-based, and distraction-free work area. In a spirit of consensus, they will work on Projects aimed at bringing robust, long-term solutions to the world's policy issues.

Miami, United States: fans of rapper Logic at a concert. Photo: Nicholas Green on Unsplash.

Non-profit, independent and ad-free

Transparency and the overwhelming importance of public service and of the general interest will be at the core of the Policymakr project. Its governance structure, rules and economic model are designed from the ground up to provide an online area for political debate that citizens can trust.

Bank Station, London. Photo: Jonathan Harrison on Unsplash.

Still wondering how Policymakr will reset Democracy?

We know our system of government has been damaged in the information era. While 66% of social media users post their thoughts about civic and political issues, just 3% of social media users indicate that they have a lot of trust in the information they find on these sites. Policymakr has been designed not to compete with existing social media, but to provide the missing layer between Citizens and Policy Makers.

02

Our philosophy.

The eight key words that set Policymakr apart from the rest of the Internet.

Nonprofit

The purpose of Policymakr is to serve the public and the general interest, globally, in the long term. It is not to make money or to enrich its founders.

Ad-free

There will never be a single ad on Policymakr. The site will run paid accounts and will be exclusively funded by donations, and member subscriptions.

Project-focused

The site's primary content will be projects curated by members, with a view to drafting and validating a robust, long-term solution to a policy issue.

Independent

No affiliation with a party, lobby interest, social class, or religion. Membership open to all, regardless of colour, class, creed, gender, or orientation.

Fact-based

Work on projects carried out by members shall not involve an exchange of unsubstantiated opinion, but only mobilization of verifiable facts.

Consensual

All shall show courtesy, approach their work constructively, with an open mind, and with respect for the approaches and proposals of others.

No wall

There will be no news wall of any kind available on Policymakr, and sharing of the content of Policymakr's Projects on social networks will be discouraged.

Conflict-free

We aim to solve problems through amicable, non-partisan study of all relevant facts: partisan political opinions have no place in this process.

03

How Policymakr will work.

There will be three categories of profiles on Policymakr: Citizens, Policy Makers and Experts, working together on Projects aimed at resolving a policy issue. These are the three essential actors who can usefully work together to find the best solution to a problem, but also one that is politically viable. Read more about how Policymakr will be structured and why it'll be different to anything that exists online now, and have a look at the FAQ.

Citizens

Any adult resident of a country in which Policymakr operates may open an account and propose a new Projector join the work on an existing one. Connecting with Policy Makers and Experts will bring Citizens a sense of renewed purpose, intellectual satisfaction, and civic pride. Bonds underpinning the wider communities to which we belong will be strengthened, reversing the damage done to online politics in recent years.

A child and his mother voting in the French presidential election. Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash.

Policy Makers

Policy Makers are those responsible, institutionally, for drafting policy and enacting it into law. Policymakr will give them a trusted vehicle to reconnect with the citizens they represent, and also to seek unbiased expert opinion, free from the pressures of the media and of the Internet.

President Obama talks to astronauts on the International Space Station. Photo: History in HD on Unsplash.

Experts & Institutions

Sound policy and legislation can't be drafted without expert advice. But in recent years the experts—think tanks, academic institutions, and structures representing industry, consumers or other groups—have either felt excluded from this process or, paradoxically, been accused of undue secretive influence. Policymakr will allow them to contribute constructively and transparently, rebuilding much needed trust.

John Kerry addresses the Oxford Union on May 11, 2016. Photo: State Department photo/ Public Domain.

04

Projects we would love to get into.

One of the most exciting parts of planning the launch is listing issues that would make good Projects. While a lot of these are global, with huge implications for humankind, others are more specific to certain jurisdictions and will have more of a niche audience.
Earth's hidden plastic problem
Plastic is continuing to be dumped in the world's oceans, and the consequences are even more catastrophic than most of us realize. The work done by Scientific American puts the subject into perspective.
Find out more
Managing rising healthcare costs
Regardless of one’s ideological outlook, there are plenty of reasons to be worried about the future financing of healthcare. There is a consensus among economists that most of the Western European countries today run healthcare systems that simply cannot be financed in future.
Find out more
The challenge of feeding Africa
While Africa continues to experience the highest occurrence of food insecurity worldwide, the continent also contains over 60 percent of the worlds uncultivated but fertile land.
Find out more
Strategies for stemming the opioid epidemic
​The opioid crisis in the United States continues to reverberate. Health plans and pharmacy benefit managers are using data analytics and technology to improve prevention and treatment. Deloitte is one of the actors that has worked on this subject.
Find out more
Palm oil producers are wiping out orangutans
The rainforests are the natural habitat of the Sumatran orangutan. When a palm-oil company moves in, forests are felled to make way for plantations. Orangutans are displaced as the trees are burned. Palm oil is used in approximately 50% of supermarket products..
Find out more
A better way of choosing Presidents?
French elections don’t always produce a winner who has the most overall support among voters. In the 2002 and again the 2017 run-offs, mainstream candidates were eliminated. Criticism has also be made, for other reasons, about the US system, especially in 2000 and again in 2016. Carefully-prepared institutional reform is a possible solution.
Read more
The right way to deploy 5G
5G wireless technology promises lightning-fast speed, incredibly low latency, and the capacity to carry massive numbers of connections simultaneously. Its arrival is creating a buzz in both the industry and the wider world. Yet the economics, business model, and ability to monetize these use cases at scale in the near term to justify a nationwide rollout of 5G in any country today remain unclear.
Read more
05

Regular news.

Between now and the day we launch, we'll be posting three types of content here: editorials, news about our progress, and guest posts. You're welcome to send in a contribution.

Photo by Rubén Bagüés on Unsplash.
Donald Jenkins

Is Policymakr out to replace Facebook?

Policymakr is built on the premise that the reason the Information Age became a challenge for representative democracy was circumstantial, not inevitable. The decentralized, deregulated state of the Internet left the field open to entrepreneurs who were quick to harness it to set up platforms that shared one thing in common: there were for-profit—which Policymakr is not. Thus Facebook is clearly at the heart of this problem. Yet it is aware of that and has stated it will be engaging with potential partners during 2019 to exchange on the subject. We intend to play a full part of that debate.

06

Timeline to launch.

Here's what's next on our way to launch. We hope to start in at least one country by the end of 2019, at which point we'll no longer be in beta. These dates are necessarily indicative. We'll be updating this timeline for you along the way.

December 27, 2018

Website goes live

Policymakr goes out of maintenance mode and enters beta mode. Inaugural editorial article published.

December 27, 2018
January 15, 2019

Community ideas lab launched

Our collaborative tool for sharing ideas and planning the launch goes live.

January 15, 2019
January 31, 2019

Kickstarter campaign

To gain traction and raise some funds, we will be launching a Kickstarter campaign.

January 31, 2019
March 31, 2019

First project launched

Work will start, experimentally, on a small number of Projects around the end of the first quarter.

March 31, 2019
June 30, 2019

Supervisory Board in place

Composition of Policymakr’s Supervisory Board announced.

June 30, 2019
By December 31, 2019

Policymakr goes live in its first country

This will be the moment when we flip the switch, leave beta and start our existence as a platform.

By December 31, 2019