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Leaders or Latecomers? Exploring the role of politicians in democratic innovation

A research report from the Apolitical Foundation

The current political landscape is characterized by declining trust in politicians and institutions, necessitating new approaches to democracy. Politicians can play a significant role in protecting and reviving democracy through embracing democratic innovation — a powerful tool to engage citizens in the political processes and address the challenges of the 21st-century.

Top Eight Insights

  1. Politicians across the world and political spectrum acknowledge the need to do things differently (especially women).

  2. The barriers to adopting democratic innovation can be overcome.

  3. Democratic innovation is not considered urgent on either “side” of the political spectrum.

  4. The term democratic innovation is confusing and can itself be a barrier to adoption.

  5. Politicians need to be convinced that democratic innovation can deliver on what they need to do.

  6. When reframed from innovation to practical tool, there is real appetite.

  7. There is a specific desire for new ways to engage young people.

  8. Engaging politicians needs to start with empathy.

There are already early adopter politicians, but work is needed to ensure democratic innovation crosses the chasm and is embraced by the mainstream. Curious to delve deeper? Explore the insights in our research report.

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