Pilot projects for a Global Voting Platform and a Global Democracy Lab

Some of the participants in the pilot Global Democracy Lab in Berlin, October 2019
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The GVP: a “new old” internet tool for global democracy

Together with Democracy without Borders, the World Parliament Experiment has been working on a Global Voting Platform (GVP).

The GVP is an internet based tool for promoting global democracy which will be scalable from small numbers of participants to mass use at the global level. In a structured way it allows for creating initiatives, debating them and voting on them, with the option to delegate votes. The GVP is the successor to an internet tool implemented in the year 2000, and so builds on real-world experience.

In 2019, the programming of the GVP progressed to a stage that allowed for beta testing. A first phase with a focus on the main mechanisms was successfully completed identifying only minor bugs, and a second phase is still ongoing prior to the official launch.

In 2020, we plan to further develop the GVP under the motto “generating political impact”. These will be our next steps:

  • Use case testing of the GVP as a debate and voting tool for conferences – from preparing and supporting proceedings to follow-up and preparing for subsequent events;
  • introducing web scraping functionality so as to automatically generate new votes on upcoming political issues. Thus, the GVP could develop into a tool for participative debate on issues on the political agenda;
  • introducing state-of-the-art authentication, identification, and data protection in order to prepare for voting in cases where high standards of fraud prevention and data security are required, thereby allowing for a world citizen’s ID.

The GDL: A first step towards a Global Democracy Academy?

The GVP was used to support the World Parliament Experiment’s other project in 2019: the Global Democracy Lab (GDL). The GDL 2019 was a week-long leadership course for global democracy activists that took place from 21-25 October in Berlin. Participants from six countries gave positive feedback and shared good ideas for improving the format. The course was aimed at activists interested in using modern concepts of leadership, introduced by professional coaches, to be more effective in supporting the mission of Democracy without Borders.

During the lab, the GVP served as a learning and organizing tool for participants, and catalysed a discussion on how steps towards global democracy could be made workable.

We are planning a follow-up workshop on “internet and democracy” in April or May 2020 where we will invite experts to discuss challenges to internet governance, for example national internet shutdowns, and how free internet access and democracy-friendly internet usage can be supported – by open source software, good data protection and data security, and potentially blockchain technology for decentralization and transparency. We also hope to generate ideas for using the GVP to promote global democracy, and what requirements it must meet to fulfil this purpose.

Also in 2020, there will be a second GDL that will integrate the results of the previous workshop with further ideas and concepts, such as the establishment of a GDL fellowship for committed and capable global democracy activists. We intend to link GDL and GVP more closely by using the GVP as the organizational platform for such a fellowship, preparing the next GDL event on the GVP, and feeding GDL content on future initiatives into the GVP for debate.

If this second GDL delivers good and measurable results for Democracy Without Borders, we will propose making the GDL a permanent DWB project – a Global Democracy Academy.

Want to stay tuned or be involved?

To join our mailing list or to get involved in the above projects, please write to team@world-parliament.org. There are numerous options for creative contributions, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Michael Weidinger
Michael Weidinger is a member of Democracy Without Borders and lead contributor on e-voting
Rasmus Tenbergen
Rasmus is a board member of Democracy Without Borders
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