To build a more participatory, fair, inclusive and just democracy for all by promoting and supporting the new emerging field of democracy entrepreneurship.
We will support democracy entrepreneurs to achieve their potential and knit them into a community for larger collective impact, systems change and movement building.
Why Democracy Entrepreneurship is important
America’s democracy is in trouble. And while Americans feel and understand this in daily headlines, a growing body of objective research quantifies these challenges. The Economist ranks America’s “flawed democracy” as 27th in the world, behind the likes of Chile, Spain and Costa Rica – and reports that America is no longer a “full democracy”. The World Press Freedom Index ranks the United States 45th in the world and falling. The number of American citizens choosing “army rule” over full democracy has doubled to 12% in the last two decades. According to the Democracy Project – an initiative of Freedom House, The George W. Bush Institute and the Penn Biden Center – eighty percent of Americans express concern about the health of our democracy. Seventy seven percent agree “that the laws enacted by our national government these days mostly reflect what powerful special interests and their lobbyists want”. According to a new Axios/Survey Monkey poll conducted in October 2018, just fifty one percent of Americans have faith in our democracy. These are not partisan opinions based on recent elections, but the products of long-term challenges to our political processes that need to be addressed with investments and efforts aimed beyond the next election cycle.
With the growing awareness of these issues in our country, there is also growing hope. New leaders are engaging in civic problem-solving and participation in unprecedented ways and groundbreaking numbers. In the recent midterm elections, thirty one percent of 18-to-29-year-olds voted, representing a fifty percent increase from 2014, according to an exit poll analysis from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). This turnout represented the highest youth participation in the last seven midterm elections. Voters also approved a number of pro-democracy ballot initiatives to restore voting rights, end gerrymandering, make voter registration/voting easier and to fight corruption.
This new civic engagement is led and facilitated by the rise of a new generation of what we should call “democracy entrepreneurs”.
FOUNDER & CEO
PROGRAM & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER