Welcome to the Experimental Democracy Console

With pre-existing democratic forms increasingly being questioned, participative experiments are proliferating with these publicly testing-out and possibly even pre-figuring political alternatives.

Shift the console's sliders and then click on the console's mouse (to the right of the sliders) to explore some of the multiplicity of contemporary forms of experimentation.

  1. eRepublik

    Become a citizen and 'change the world' in this online social strategy game. View experiment

    Experiment - eRepublik

    22 April 2010

    Democracy: Your Voice, Your Video

    A US Department of State backed competition inviting citizens from around the world to create a short video that completes the phrase 'Democracy is…' View experiment

    Experiment - Democracy: Your Voice, Your Video

    22 April 2010

  2. The Open Utopia

    A new edition of More's Utopia, that is open to use, copying and modification. View experiment

    Experiment - The Open Utopia

    7 April 2011

    Echo

    Platform which allows people from all over the world to jointly discuss issues of common interest and to develop and implement solutions to these issues. View experiment

    Experiment - Echo

    7 April 2011

    WeGov

    WeGov will develop a toolset that will allow pre-existing forms of participation on social networking sites to be used to inform policy making. View experiment

    Experiment - WeGov

    12 August 2010

    Citzalia

    Citzalia is a role playing game and social networking forum that captures the essence of the European Parliament. View experiment

    Experiment - Citzalia

    12 August 2010

    openIDEO

    openIDEO is designed to be an online platform for creative thinkers, a place where people design better, together for social good. View experiment

    Experiment - openIDEO

    7 October 2010

  3. Ideal Debate

    An EC wide online climate change debate. View experiment

    Experiment - Ideal Debate

    22 April 2010

  4. No matching experiment found

    Move the sliders below and click the mouse to view another experiment.

  5. Summit of micronations

    Summit of self-made micronations. View experiment

    Experiment - Summit of micronations

    19 April 2011

    European & World Social Forum

    The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism come together to share their experiences freely, pursue their thinking and formulate proposals for effective action. View experiment

    Experiment - European & World Social Forum

    22 April 2010

    World Wide Views

    World Wide Views is a response to this challenge of including and involving citizens worldwide in policy making processes around the issue of global warming. More than 4,000 ordinary citizens gathered in 38 countries worldwide and have been involved in this project to date. View experiment

    Experiment - World Wide Views

    7 October 2010

  6. No matching experiment found

    Move the sliders below and click the mouse to view another experiment.

  7. Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army

    Roll up, roll up - ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends and foes - welcome to the unparalleled, the unexpected, the perfectly paradoxical, the grotesquely beautiful, the new-fangled world of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army. View experiment

    Experiment - Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army
  8. Omnibus for Direct Democracy

    Democracy in motion, a maneuverable force touring around South-Eastern Europe. View experiment

    Experiment - Omnibus for Direct Democracy

    22 April 2010

  9. Europolis

    This project was set up to test whether a form of deliberative democracy might be used to help address the democratic deficit in Europe. View experiment

    Experiment - Europolis

    22 April 2010

  10. Tory 'Crowdsourcing' proposal

    The UK Conservative party have announced a competition, with a £1million prize, for the best new technology platform that helps people come together to solve the problems that matter to them. View experiment

    Experiment - Tory 'Crowdsourcing' proposal

    13 April 2010

  11. MyFarm

    The National Trust, in the UK, is asking the public to help run a real-life working farm via the web. View experiment

    Experiment - MyFarm

    10 May 2011

    Yoosk

    Putting publics in touch with famous people to answer their questions. View experiment

    Experiment - Yoosk

    22 April 2010

    38 Degrees

    People. Power. Change. Brings people together to take action on the issues that matter to bring about real change in the UK. View experiment

    Experiment - 38 Degrees

    22 April 2010

  12. A National Dialogue on Health, Information Technology and Privacy

    Experiment in 21st century democracy that engaged a diverse group of voices in tackling an issue confronting America's health care system: How can information technology be used to improve the way patients interact with the healthcare system, while safeguarding their right to privacy?

    Experiment - A National Dialogue on Health, Information Technology and Privacy

    22 April 2010

  13. UK Uncut

    On 27 October 2010, just one week after George Osborne announced the deepest cuts to public services since the 1920s, around 70 people ran along Oxford Street, entered Vodafone's flagship store and sat down. We had shut down tax-dodging Vodafone's flagship store. View experiment

    Experiment - UK Uncut

    22 April 2010

    Battlefront

    Battlefront is an online/on telly Channel 4 education project (in the UK) that supports 14-21 year-olds become campaigners by turning their ideas into fully-fledged campaigns. View experiment

    Experiment - Battlefront

    19 August 2010

    Gormley's One & Other

    A live and participatory artwork / representation of the UK by sculptor Antony Gormley. View experiment

    Experiment - Gormley's One & Other

    22 April 2010

  14. Precarity: A People's Tribunal

    A one-day tribunal that brought together people, testimonies, evidence and archives to stimulate collective discussions and propositions about the conditions of precarity that face workers and artists involved in the 'cultural industries'. View experiment

    Experiment - Precarity: A People's Tribunal

    7 April 2011

    If Not, Then What?

    A temporary creative think-tank for arts involvement with politics - exploring, developing and critiquing various forms of collective and local political engagement in a participative way. View experiment

    Experiment - If Not, Then What?

    11 February 2011

    How to Live in the 21st Century

    Summoning members of UK campaigning organisation Compass to generate and vote on new policy ideas. View experiment

    Experiment - How to Live in the 21st Century

    22 April 2010

    Building Democracy

    A 2008 UK Department of Justice sponsored competition for initiatives to facilitate and encourage democratic participation. View experiment

    Experiment - Building Democracy

    22 April 2010

  15. POWER 2010

    A campaign to give everyone (in the UK) a say in how British democracy works. View experiment

    Experiment - POWER 2010

    22 April 2010

  16. Democracy Village

    A creative space (on Parliament Square, Westminster) generated in 2010 to enable people to discuss and put into action solutions for the future, such as community, self sufficiency and sustainability. View experiment

    Experiment - Democracy Village

    11 February 2011

    May Day People's Assembly

    A proposal for a People's Assembly in Trafalgar Square in London, organised as part of the May Day 2010 'Election Meltdown'. View experiment

    Experiment - May Day People's Assembly

    22 April 2010

    Climate Camp

    Actions and events organised by a grassroots movement of people taking action on climate change. View experiment

    Experiment - Climate Camp

    22 April 2010

  17. Vote for Me

    A Pop Idol-style show to select potential MPs to stand for Parliamentary election. View experiment

    Experiment - Vote for Me

    22 April 2010

  18. Nanojury

    Designed to enable non-specialists to voice their perspectives on an emerging policy issue. View experiment

    Experiment - Nanojury

    22 April 2010

  19. Vote for Demolition

    An online survey to identify which building the population of Los Angeles would like to have demolished. View experiment

    Experiment - Vote for Demolition

    22 April 2010

  20. LocalEyes

    A community resource for any community, a local social networking site. View experiment

    Experiment - LocalEyes

    22 April 2010

    Comixed

    A networked conversation that works to bring different people in Manchester together to explore ideas collaboratively. View experiment

    Experiment - Comixed

    22 April 2010

    Demoex

    Short for Democracy Experiment, Demoex is an association with an elected local government representative that promotes and realises a form of direct democracy in Sweden. View experiment

    Experiment - Demoex

    22 September 2010

  21. No matching experiment found

    Move the sliders below and click the mouse to view another experiment.

  22. Barnet PledgeBank

    Barnet Pledgebank can be used to gather together people to get projects done […] PledgeBank is designed to help residents passionate about doing their bit for the community. By working together, we can offer services that are popular and worthwhile. View experiment

    Experiment - Barnet PledgeBank

    11 February 2011

    Who Wants to Be?

    A live reality game-show where the audience make up the questions, have all the answers, and set their own rules. View experiment

    Experiment - Who Wants to Be?

    22 April 2010

  23. A World in Waiting

    A World in Waiting is a day workshop that uses open space technology to let you set the agenda. It's a chance to share ideas and concerns with representatives of communities and authorities from across Bristol, the UK and Europe. View experiment

    Experiment - A World in Waiting

    11 February 2011

    Tagwagon

    Tagwagon is designed as a vehicle for capturing the opinions of young people as part of community consultation projects. View experiment

    Experiment - Tagwagon

    22 April 2010

  24. 21st Town Hall Meeting

    Opportunities for citizens to participate in public decision making. View experiment

    Experiment - 21st Town Hall Meeting

    22 April 2010

  25. Policy Slam

    Like Poetry Slams, Policy Slam events are designed to offer a way for people to come together to reflect on ideas and think about decisions. View experiment

    Experiment - Policy Slam

    22 April 2010

    Clay and the Collective Body

    A collective sculpture making project enabling a local public to express and represent itself through clay. View experiment

    Experiment - Clay and the Collective Body

    22 April 2010

  26. Totnes Primary experiment

    Ballot papers were sent to every member of this UK constituency and 23.9% of the electorate took part in this 'Primary' style process to choose the Conservative Party candidate. View experiment

    Experiment - Totnes Primary experiment

    22 April 2010

  27. No matching experiment found

    Move the sliders below and click the mouse to view another experiment.

About the Experimental Democracy Console

Contemporary popular democratic cultures are in flux. Democratic experiments are proliferating. This site offers a way of engaging with these developments. The console brings diverse governmental, social movement, popular media, arts and commercial experiments into relation providing a resource for those interested in tracking, sorting, analysing and further developing these practices.

Democratic experiments demonstrate and test-out novel ways of enacting democracy, opening out possibilities for publics to engage with and evaluate these practices. There will be no technical fix. Questions of who should and should not be involved, divisions of labour, agenda, technology, format, conduct and outcome will continue to be contested. The issue of what may (or may not) be being pre-figured by these experiments also remains an open question.

About the three console sliders

Scale

A striking feature of recent experiments is how they work to enact forms of democracy at different territorial scales.

Media

Contemporary experiments utilise different technologies of mediation, diverse spaces and forms of facilitative design.

Communicative norm

These experiments appeal to different publics, privileging divergent communicative norms and performative repertoires.

If you know of an experiment that should be added to this repository, a proposal for a new experiment or you have a comment, observation or question about anything on this site please get in touch with Nick Mahony, nick.mahony@open.ac.uk.

The Experimental Democracy Console is one part of a broader and longer-term research project concerned with exploring the qualities of contemporary popular participative cultures. The aim is to plot and conceptualise the politics of public mediation emerging from developments in experimental democratic practice. For more on this, including details of recent publications, visit Nick Mahony's Open University profile.

Nick is a Research Associate and member of the Publics Research Group located in the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) which is situated in the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University in the UK.