December 17, 2019

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Something New: Building an open source political party

Something New: Building an open source political party

Openness is a political idea, and our democracy is changing for the network age. Something New is a startup political party in the UK built for the network age and founded on open source principles. The party created an open source manifesto, ran it in the 2015 general election, and is now building momentum for the future. Join James Smith to learn what an open source democratic future looks like.

Talk Title Something New: Building an open source political party
Conference O’Reilly Open Source Convention
Conf Tag
Location London, United Kingdom
Date October 17-19, 2016
URL Talk Page
Slides Talk Slides

In 2013, the OpenPolitics project was founded to build a political party manifesto using open source collaboration ideas and tools. In 2014, one of the founders, James Smith, decided to run for election on the manifesto in the 2015 general election. Over the next year, a new party was formed based on the open manifesto and dedicated to open ideas. Not only was the manifesto open source, but all the candidate and financial data was released as open data, in a practical effort to show how politics can be more open. During 2015, four candidates stood for various elections, including two for MP. James Smith explores the history and development of the party, the practical lessons learned from the 2015 elections, and the way ahead for open source democracy. This is the beginning of a journey of open source politics—not the politics of the digital issues or the Internet but a new way of overhauling our entire democratic system. From citizen panels to direct democracy, there are a lot of ways we can improve decision making at a societal level. Something New believes that we need to build new political choices that understand that future and that aren’t wedded to the politics of the industrial revolution.

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