Help us catalyze targeted innovation so that our republic is genuinely
We aim to help cultivate the viability of athat would give candidates of any party a credible shot at winning office while relying on a broader cross-section of their electorates, so that officials elected using this playbook would be more incentivized to advance broad public interests than those who run with the conventional playbook.
After extensive consultation and analysis with leading political campaigners, political scientists, tech entrepreneurs and others, we issued an open call for proposalsOver 120 startups, non-profit organizations, campaign consultancies, think tanks and researchers applied. Here are the winners in three areas:
Financial capital is the dominant currency of campaigns and will always be important, but what about social capital? Even in our money-drenched campaigns, dedicated volunteers or activist networks can alter the contours of a race, but these participants are often more extreme and intransigent than everyday Americans. We now see technologies emerging in many sectors that lower the barriers for regular people to get involved in ways they couldn’t just a few years ago and that amplify their impact. How can we activate and increase the relative value of strong, diverse networks of human resources to achieve campaign objectives responsibly and effectively?
For the last several decades, the vast majority of campaign funds has gone to winning the hearts and minds of the electorate by producing and disseminating television advertisements and direct mail sent through the postal service. Yet we are living in the midst of an historic shift in the way we receive information, communicate with people, and form our opinions on issues. Few doubt the primacy of television advertisements will change: The researchers, campaigners, media outlets and entrepreneurs below are trying to ensure that we capitalize on the potential for many-to-many distribution and interaction in our new media paradigm to cultivate a more constructive conversation about what matters, as opposed to an ever more expensive war of attack ads that manipulate and demoralize the American public.
We cannot have a federal government responsive to broad public interests if the people who are active politically are not reflective of the full diversity of our public. In recent research commissioned by Google’s Civic Innovation portfolio, Kate Krontiris and colleagues claim that nearly 50% of the American public are what they call “Interested Bystanders” — they care about what is happening in their communities and our country, but feel too powerless, uninformed, busy or put off by how our politics are conducted to participate in a sustained and meaningful way. The resulting vacuum is filled by special interests and the most partisan extremes, leaving us with a system that can be bought by the highest bidder or held hostage by hysteria. The projects below seek to wake that sleeping giant and ensure that our government is reflective of its electorate.
To inform our selection process,across the political spectrum to understand the key trends influencing the campaign sector.
To synthesize the “wisdom of our curated crowd” and identify the most promising areas for high-impact innovation, we have organized our analysis into the following matrix according to two foundational questions:
Whatdo campaigns have to achieve in order to compete successfully?
Whatcould increase the use of People Powered means of achieving those objectives, relative to the use of conventional approaches?
Please click on a row below to see what domain experts say about how these areas are evolving and share your insights so we can make more informed decisions regarding our strategy and funding decisions moving forward.
According to our domain experts: = High Potential = Mid Potential
|Increase People Powered ROI 3||Decrease Conventional ROI 2||Influence Campaign Culture 1|
|Understand Public Opinion|
|Gather and Organize Voter Information|
|Craft Effective Messaging|
|Disseminate Media Content|
|Personally Connect with Voters|
|Leverage Support & Endorsements Effectively|
|Get Out the Vote|
|Raise Sufficient Money|