Yesterday was ‘Democracy Day’ on the BBC in commemoration of the 750th anniversary of the first parliament of elected representatives at Westminster — the de Montfort Parliament. I dipped in and out of programmes and the online discussion but it struck me that the debate was all really within the framework of representative democracy and our current institutions. Even the stuff about technology felt a bit constrained.
My guess is that reinventing democracy is actually a huge opportunity. The current system is so unfit for purpose and misaligned with 21st century values that when change starts to happen, it could happen pretty quickly and unleash a lot of social energy and value. ‘Democracy’ hasn’t traditionally been an area associated with startups or investment (with a few notable exceptions) but I think the scale of change we’ll see over the next decade probably warrants it becoming one. If you’ve got ideas for tech that could enable a new type of democracy, we’d certainly like to hear from you at BGV.