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Democratic Innovation

We want to help politicians institutionalize the democratic innovations that will help address the world's most pressing problems.

Check out our Politicians' Democratic Innovators
Hall of Fame

Why Democratic Innovations?

We know politicians all over the world are working incredibly hard to try to make their societies better. Many have started using Democratic Innovation processes and tools to help in that work, with great results - and many more could benefit. The evidence from around the world is that these processes and tools can help them deliver for their constituents and breathe new life into democracy in the process. 

We are currently finalizing a guide for politicians of all parties and countries, and the people who work closely with them, to help them make the most of the opportunities offered by Democratic Innovation. 

What's a Democratic Innovation?

For the sake of this project, a democratic innovation is any process which gives citizens meaningful power in shaping societies in ways that go beyond the existing basics of voting in elections and referenda, and responding to consultations.


Some examples of democratic innovations include, citizens assemblies, open idea generation, legislative theaters, and participatory budgeting.

OK, So What’s In the Guide?

First we will introduce you to some of the Democratic Innovator politicians who are leading this work, show you where it’s taking hold all over the world, and address some common challenges, so you start out with a sense of what’s possible. Then the main part of the guide is structured around a series of five key questions politicians should ask themselves in planning any Democratic Innovation work, introducing them to five of the most effective processes they can use along the way. It’s based on a combination of extensive desk research and interviews with politicians from all over the world - including both those who are already working with Democratic Innovation approaches, and those who are open to using them more..

Stay tuned! The guide will be out soon. Please reach out if you’re getting impatient and want to know more before the official publication

Our Team


Omezzine Khelifa

Project Lead

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Jon Alexander

New Citizenship Project

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Aaryan Salman

Policy and Research Fellow

Advisory Council


Graca Fonseca

Minister and Member of Parliament, Portugal

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Thomas Asher

Senior Fellow, Office of Management and Budget, 

White House,

United States


Marjan Ehsassi

Future of Democracy Fellow (non-resident), Berggruen Institute

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Matt Leighninger

Director, Center for Democracy Innovation, National Civic League

Do you want to get involved with our democratic innovation work?

Write to Omezzine at

This project is supported by the Open Society Foundations. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Society Foundations.

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