Rethink Democracy

Rethink Democracy started as a little side project ran by some members from Fjord Madrid studio. Some of us felt that something was wrong with voting and citizen participation. Why, in the digital age we live in, were we still using voting systems from more than 50 years ago. Something could be done and us, as designers, and as citizen activists, definitely had a part to play. And that’s when we started to talk.

And there we were 4 designers starting to brainstorm on what we could do about it, and how we could design new processes that help citizens, all of us, better decide for the common good.

Workshopping for common good

We started with a small 80 minutes workshop that eventually would turn in a full-day rumble. In this workshop we deliberately chose not to tackle the who and the what question (who can vote, on which question). We chose to focus on the how: how can we vote, how could we design a voting system that works.

In October 2017 we took the opportunity of the Service Design Network conference being organised in Madrid to run another Rethink Democracy workshop.

The theme of the conference, “Design at scale” was definitely an inspiration for our project and we propose the organisation to run a full-day session in our studio in order to rethink the decision making process for common good at different scales.

And somehow, during the workshop, something got clear. Our mission slowly arose on the horizon. In these times of extreme polarisation of people, groups, and communities, how could we use design to bring more convergence between people. How could design build bridges and help us, as humans, make better decision for the common good.

 From research to prototype

Human organizations at every scale, will need at some point to think about how to bring back the convergence into their dynamic instead of inciting polarisation between their citizens.

Horizontality and public participation are not state-owned issues anymore. Large and small companies, cities, federation of states, neighbourhoods, can prototype intelligent methods that can help them make better decision for their whole ecosystem. We just need to take any opportunity our projects bring us to prototype potential solutions!

 Ok but, what now?

Our objective now is to keep interviewing subject-matter expert and develop a broader understanding on the topic, at the same time as trying to prototype small convergence initiatives in the projects we are working on.

This work not only helped us grow as person, get to know our colleagues from another POV, but it is also oxygen for our brains, and innovation ground for our clients :)

Rethink Democracy

Rethink Democracy started as a little side project ran by some members from Fjord Madrid studio. Some of us felt that something was wrong with voting and citizen participation. Why, in the digital age we live in, were we still using voting systems from more than 50 years ago. Something could be done and us, as designers, and as citizen activists, definitely had a part to play. And that’s when we started to talk.

And there we were 4 designers starting to brainstorm on what we could do about it, and how we could design new processes that help citizens, all of us, better decide for the common good.

Workshopping for common good

We started with a small 80 minutes workshop that eventually would turn in a full-day rumble. In this workshop we deliberately chose not to tackle the who and the what question (who can vote, on which question). We chose to focus on the how: how can we vote, how could we design a voting system that works.

In October 2017 we took the opportunity of the Service Design Network conference being organised in Madrid to run another Rethink Democracy workshop.

The theme of the conference, “Design at scale” was definitely an inspiration for our project and we propose the organisation to run a full-day session in our studio in order to rethink the decision making process for common good at different scales.

And somehow, during the workshop, something got clear. Our mission slowly arose on the horizon. In these times of extreme polarisation of people, groups, and communities, how could we use design to bring more convergence between people. How could design build bridges and help us, as humans, make better decision for the common good.

 From research to prototype

Human organizations at every scale, will need at some point to think about how to bring back the convergence into their dynamic instead of inciting polarisation between their citizens.

Horizontality and public participation are not state-owned issues anymore. Large and small companies, cities, federation of states, neighbourhoods, can prototype intelligent methods that can help them make better decision for their whole ecosystem. We just need to take any opportunity our projects bring us to prototype potential solutions!

 Ok but, what now?

Our objective now is to keep interviewing subject-matter expert and develop a broader understanding on the topic, at the same time as trying to prototype small convergence initiatives in the projects we are working on.

This work not only helped us grow as person, get to know our colleagues from another POV, but it is also oxygen for our brains, and innovation ground for our clients :)

If you have any queries at all, please feel free to drop me a line at manel@manelabella.com and I’ll gladly answer them.

If you have any queries at all, please feel free to drop me a line at manel@manelabella.com

and I’ll gladly answer them.