The Future of Democracy Project

Launched at the Global Progress Summit in Montreal in September 2016, the Future of Democracy project holds roundtables with leading technologists, political leaders, intellectuals, and campaigners to examine the impact that new communication technology has played on the evolution of civic engagement, public debate, and democratic practices in mature democracies. This includes creating a set of solutions and suggestions for strengthening democracy and rebuilding the public square as well as a blueprint for how governments can restore trust and legitimacy in democratic institutions.

The Berggruen Institute‘s Future of Democracy Project consists of three working groups: redesign of democratic institutions; a second on social cohesion and the new public square; and a third on social media for democracy.

The project will look at the challenges modern democracies are facing across the industrialized world. The remit of each of these groups is as follows:

• Redesign of Democratic Institutions: Designing new governing practices and institutions that incorporate new means of citizen participation through social networks, with the check and balance of deliberative filters (Chaired by Nathan Gardels and Mario Monti).

• Social Cohesion and the Public Square: The underlying causes of, and cures for, the collapse of social cohesion – including the explosion of identity politics – which once stood behind a politics of consensus (Chaired by Anthony Giddens and Helle Thorning-Schmidt).

• Social Media and Democracy: How can we change the incentives for platforms in order to dampen its negative effects and heal the divisions? How can we harness technology to create a new democratic culture (Chaired by Francis Fukuyama)?