A mock-up of Gong Szeto's YOUROWNDEMOCRACY.org platform
My friend Gong Szeto is intimidatingly brilliant. He's an amazing designer, a thinker, a dreamer and one of the kindest, most idealistic people I know. At the dawn of this new political era, he's started cooking up an ambitious plan for an online platform to be called YOUROWNDEMCOCRACY.ORG.:
This past week I decided to sit down and concretize some thoughts on how to make democracy more transparent, efficient and participatory. I spent 5 days around the clock developing the designs for a new online platform called YOUROWNDEMOCRACY.ORG, and submitted it to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. It embodies many of the ideas that I have been working on in the capital markets space, and I seek to merge that domain with my passion for politics and economics, as well as my favorite pasttime of blogging and Facebook. Basically, I think democracy itself needs to be a really kick-ass app.
I am impressed and inspired by Gong's desire to build something to "make democracy even better" in this country, but what's most amazing is that he believes that he CAN, and I believe he's right to do so. I have spent my entire adult life feeling indifferent, alienated, angry and/or powerless about how our country was being run. Over the last few months of this ugly, ugly campaign for the presidency I saw what a lot of other people did: things can be different. Our ideals have not been defeated.
Gong's naming inspiration came from this quote, shared with him by his wife Bonnie:
"But most importantly, I will open the doors of government and ask you to be involved in your own democracy again." --President-elect Barack Obama, 2008
YES WE CAN! Can't we? Yes.