Democracy 2.0, The Power of Integrated Human Networks

I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act. - Bill Gates

Worldwide there is a gap of trust between politicians and the people they represent. I don't blame politicians. I surely don't blame the people.

First of all, many people have blamed politicians, shamed and named it, but didn't change it. It, being the way politics works. Secondly, I have learned from one of my online teachers, Dr. Paul Ekman, that if you make people angry by blaming them the likeness of a constructive dialogue and finding a real solution to your problem is gone. It might feel good to get rid of your anger in the short term, in the longer term however you're also hurting yourself. Thirdly, I believe the necessary democratic system change is going to come from those who give energy to constructive forces. I do my best to live by this philosophy.

Michael Ignatieff, a former Canadian politician, says: "A political system is not there
to apportion blame. A political system is there to find solutions." Off course we may differ on what the best solution for a particular problem may be. In a democracy the "best idea" is the one which gets the most support in parliament or congress.

The disconnect many people experience in the current system is that the politicians who are voted in are not keeping up to the promises they made in election time. And what's even worse, the dialogue between society and most politicians in the years between elections is also experienced as minimal by most of us. This is a major democratic deficit in an age of hyper connectivity.

Instead of making promises it would be better if politicians would talk about goals and invite people to take part in the journey of developing, executing and adjusting ideas to reach those proposed goals.

When you make promises you start from the outcome you want to reach. When you make promises as a politician you start with convergent thinking instead of divergent thinking. You start with the single "solution" instead of mobilizing the collective intelligence to find multiple solutions (divergent thinking) by asking a question, explaining a problem or pointing to a goal which needs our attention.

It is my believe that if you find a way to mobilize and connect the collective intelligences we have, then in the end you will find better solutions. Great politicians of the future should be masters at caring, collecting, and connecting. From having the answers to finding the answers. From making the decision in the beginning of the process to making the the decision at end of the particular political process.

There's a lot we can do to make democracy more inclusive, open and creative. My first blog for the Huffington Post was precisely on this subject. On how we could use and connect the collective intelligence we have in society by creating an open and public online platform on public subjects.

To my great surprise I just found out that someone I have never met and who lives in Argentina has more or less the same idea as I do. However, there's a real difference, she had the courage to execute her idea. While I was and still am trying to convince companies like Google and Microsoft to build a great Democracy Dialogue System. She and her friends built it on their own. Bravo!

Her name is Pia Mancini. She spoke at TED Global on behave of the organization called DemocracyOS. A newly created online system to upgrade democracies. An online tool which creates a conversation between politicians and the people they represent. Behind this project there's a group of 40+ millennials; young entrepreneurs and active enthusiasts, software engineers, artists, political and social scientists, and educators. In the beginning they were not taking seriously by the political elite in their homeland Argentina, so they decided to run for public office themselves. A bold and courage move. DemocracyOS did not win the election, but got enough attention to wake up the politicians to the changing tides. Mancini ended her outstanding and marvelous TED talk as follows:

Our political system can be transformed, and not by subverting it, by destroying it, but by rewiring it with the tools that internet affords us now. But a real challenge is to find, to design to create, to empower those connectors that are able to innovate, to transform noise and silence into signal and finally bring our democracies to the 21st century. I'm not saying it's easy. But in our experience, we actually stand a chance of making it work. And in my heart, it's most definitely worth trying.

In Israel, Eugene Kandel, Head of the Israel Economic Council, is leading an effort called the Whole-Of-Government Initiative. A strategic approach to make government work more as a whole by connecting the processes in the different departments. Kandel also wishes to create an ecosystem in which the collective intelligence of Israeli society can find its way to their government.

In America the Broadscale Group has created a network for industry leaders in order to scale up innovation. In this presentation at Yale, founder Andrew Shapiro explains how it works.

According to Peter Senge the power of aspiration is much greater than the power of desperation. He says the desire and vision to bring into being and develop something new in networks of relationships with collaborators is a "collective, creative process."

On Google+, Facebook and Twitter I have joined the Power to Create dialogue, which was started by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA in the United Kingdom, with the slogan "We have the #PowerToCreate a #Culture of #Creativity!" I would recommend scrolling through this Google+ page, where I have added presentations on creativity and innovation with the account of my organization Arts, Culture and Education Forum. A lot of great ideas on how we can become more creative as people, organizations and as a local and global society. We really have the power to make a collective difference in our own interests.

I love the concept of integration. Dr. Daniel Siegel states that integration is a process by which separate elements are linked together into a working whole. The concept of integration can work for your own mind, your family and society at large. We need to invest energy to unleash the power of integrated human networks.

I am young, impatient and a little naive. At this point in my development I do know this much: I cannot do it alone. It has to be a joined constructive effort.

It is my hope that like minded organizations like the RSA, The Aspen Institute, The Elders, The B-Team, The Gates Foundation and others will work together, and with governments which are open to it, with the goal to upgrade democracies worldwide. Create the space for constructive change and dialogue. Not by force, but by helping and cooperating with those governments and people who want to transform their own institutions. Or as Jordan Klepper of The Daily Show put it, lets be World Buddies. All different and connected in a harmonious environment.

It is not that we do not have the ideas. It is just the we have not yet found the way to execute them in a constructive way for all people. To scale them up to serious proportions. I am hopeful that with the help of established organizations and committed citizens we over time can and will create something wonderful which will flourish indefinitely. Are you ready to engage?