In recent years, our society’s ability to solve problems seems to have decreased. Yet we face increasingly complex issues in important fields: the environment, health, social justice, our use of technology, for instance.
Ordinary citizens, those in charge of making laws and governing (policy makers), and experts (the specialized institutions with technical knowledge on the subject) all need to be actively involved in finding solutions.
Yet while the Internet means information is more readily available than ever before in history, it’s also made it more difficult to plan for the long-term.
Policymakr is an online tool to help us find solutions to complex issues. Below, you’ll find detailed, documented information about the problem we intend to solve, and examples of issues we believe we could work on solving. There’s a lot there, so take as much time as you like to read it. Anything that’s missing might be in the FAQ. Or it’s waiting for you to draw our attention to it.
It is a work environment dedicated to finding workable solutions to the world’s policy issues. Its focus is on projects, with citizens, policy makers and experts contributing their experience and expertise and benefiting from the contributions of others. It’s more like Wikipedia than like Facebook.
The longer perspective opened up by this approach will establish Policymakr as a platform on which policy can again be shaped by citizens and elected officials without being subject to media or political pressure. Tools will be provided for groups to engage in informed debate and political action, away from the pressures and superficiality characterising existing social media.
Once Policymakr leaves beta and launches in its first country, it will provide a modern, beautifully-designed online tool for the three categories of actors who have a legitimate interest or a useful contribution to make to the shaping of public policy to work together. People who had stopped talking to each other except to trade insults will become partners—which they should never have ceased being.
The serenity and quality that are prerequisites for this to happen will be made possible by Policymakr’s unique governance structure. As a non-governmental, non-profit platform, its independence will be guaranteed by a Supervisory Board drawn from retired politicians with unimpeachable reputations in their fields, representing a wide range of political traditions and geographical locations.
Well, only two, actually: (i) members will be able to open accounts and (ii) they will have profiles, which they will have the option to share with other members (but not the public).
A great deal of thought went into planning how Policymakr would be organized, how it would operate, and what this website would look like. If you want to read more about other relevant topics, the following list contains most of the material mentioned on this site. Feel free to contact us if you have ideas about possible additions.
Fisher, R., 2019. “The perils of short-termism: Civilisation’s greatest threat”. The Guardian, [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190109-the-perils-of-short-termism-civilisations-greatest-threat [Accessed 28 April 2020].
Our inability to look beyond the latest news cycle could be one of the most dangerous traits of our generation, says Richard Fisher.
Read this on the Guardian or download a PDF version.
Rich, N., 2018. “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change”. New York Times, [online] Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/01/magazine/climate-change-losing-earth.html [Accessed 28 April 2020].
Arthur C. Brooks, 2019. “Our Culture of Contempt”. New York Times.
The problem in America today is not incivility or intolerance. It’s something far worse.
Audrey Wright, 2013. “The Top 20 Biggest Man-Made Disasters”. Medium.
Tom Levitt, 2020. “Two billion and rising: the global trade in live animals in eight charts”. The Guardian.
The world’s seas and roads are awash with farm animals, with almost two billion pigs, cattle, sheep and chickens trucked or shipped as exports in 2017.
Top of the list of animals being exported in absolute numbers are chickens. The amount of live chickens being moved around the world has ballooned by a staggering sixteen times in fifty years.
Sustainability for All, 2020. “The Battle Against Planned Obsolescence”.
Planned obsolescence can cost people a total of up to 50,000 euros during their lifetimes.
Jonathan O’Callaghan, Natural History Museum (London), 2019. “What is space junk and why is it a problem?”..
Since the dawn of the space age in the 1950s, we have launched thousands of rockets and sent even more satellites into orbit. Many are still there, and we face an ever-increasing risk of collision as we launch more.
Science Daily, 2020. ” New strategy in the fight against antibiotic resistance”..
Bioscience engineers have developed a new antibacterial strategy that weakens bacteria by preventing them from cooperating. Unlike with antibiotics, there is no resistance to this strategy.
Harford, T., 2020. Saving the planet demands sacrifices just as Covid-19 does. Financial Times.
We could crush livelihoods to prevent ecosystem collapse — but that would be a last resort.
Luce, E., 2020. It’s the end of globalism as we know it (and I feel fine). Financial Times.
For the most part, its unravelling ought to be of deep concern. But we need a new social compact.