Engage in our community challenge to collaboratively explore and learn about the futures of democracy. Open to all, the challenge runs from November 2 to November 30, 2023. All results are fully accessible to every participant.
Introduction to the topic
A healthy democracy is the foundation of freedom and equality in society. It means the rule and governance of the people, by the people, for the people. As we venture further into the 21st century, democracy faces serious challenges. Around the world, trust in democracies is eroding, authoritarian regimes are on the rise, and accelerating global crises are pressure-testing the capacities of democratic nations to find solutions.
What might the futures of democracy look like? How can democratic systems adapt to our current times, remain inclusive, and tackle global issues?
In this Community Challenge, we want to explore the futures of democracy together by mapping and discussing our individual and shared expectations, hopes, and fears.
About the challenge host
Futures Space hosted by Futures2All is one of the world's largest online communities, and learning platforms for futures knowledge and collaborative futures design. With over 1600 members from over 90 countries, we provide unique crowd-sourced knowledge and the opportunity to share the experiences of future thinkers worldwide.
Find out more: futures-space.com
Join the digital kickoff event on Nov 2nd, 2023, 16:00–18:00 CET
Visit our community channel on the Futures Space platform to discuss further and deepen the exchange on the topic.
Participate in this interactive survey by rating opinions from others and submitting your own.
Democracy Faces New Challenges
- Citizen participation and representation in democratic institutions could evolve with the influence of AI.
- More flexible organizational structures are emerging due to challenges faced by international organizations.
- Incorporating public input into public budgets will become the norm, giving citizens more say.
In the future, citizen participation and representation in democratic institutions and processes could take on new forms. Alongside the influence of AI, other important topics such as education and corruption must also be discussed to ensure the future of democracy. It is suggested that gradually empowering small communities could help better represent the will of the people.
The mandates of international organizations are currently facing significant challenges, making it difficult to reach consensus on a global scale. As a result, more flexible organizational structures are emerging, based on shifting values.
Incorporating public input into the formulation of public budgets is expected to become the norm. This means that citizens will have a greater say in how public funds are allocated.
Local politics will likely become more participatory and inclusive, while national and global issues may continue to be dominated by polarized opinions that serve vested interests. However, the effectiveness of decentralized local governments could help appease people.
The global south may increasingly turn away from western democracies and prioritize security over freedom. They may form alliances with eastern players such as China, India, and Russia. As a result, the power balance could shift from the West to the East.
In this future era, rulers in the Middle East, who control both renewable energy and oil reserves, may hold significant economic power. They could expand their influence behind the scenes of western democracies, leading to a new era of kingdoms.
Growing Disconnect Threatens Global Democracy
- Western countries may experience a further disconnect between citizens and democratic institutions.
- Democracy may face destabilization worldwide due to mounting economic problems.
- Middle Eastern rulers may expand their influence behind the scenes of Western democracies.
In the coming years, Western countries may experience a further disconnect between their citizens and democratic institutions, leading to increased distrust. This could be fueled by the growing complexity and impact of global crises, which may benefit populist and anti-democratic movements. Furthermore, democracy may face destabilization worldwide due to mounting economic problems. Inefficient decision-making in politics might also contribute to rising frustration among the people.
Some argue that democracy, once seen as a highly valued system, is now considered an overrated popularity contest. They suggest that a different system is emerging to replace it. Additionally, authoritarian regimes seem to face little consequence for their actions, including engaging in war conflicts and violating human rights. This lack of accountability empowers these regimes, resulting in a decline in the global democracy index.
As the number of climate refugees continues to rise, countries hosting them might experience a rise in populist movements. This correlation indicates a potential connection between the two phenomena. Moreover, there is a concern that the tragedy of the commons may persist, where individual self-interest undermines the well-being of the entire community.
Looking ahead, there is a possibility of entering a new era dominated by Middle Eastern rulers. These rulers hold significant economic power, controlling both renewable energy resources and oil reserves. They may expand their influence behind the scenes of Western democracies, potentially shaping global dynamics in the process.
Shift from Representative to Participative Democracy Sparks Citizen Involvement
- Power of cities and regions growing, leading to new opportunities for citizen engagement in democratic processes.
- Shift from representative democracy to participative democracy, with citizens having a more active role in decision-making.
- Possibility of a rise in kingdoms, particularly in the Middle East, with rulers holding significant economic influence.
As the power of cities and regions grows, moving away from nation-states, new opportunities arise for citizens to engage in democratic processes. Government systems are evolving beyond popularity contests, focusing on substantive policies and leadership qualities that truly benefit the public. Similar to Switzerland, an aggressive democratic system encourages citizens to vote on a wide range of issues, ensuring continuous and direct public involvement in governance. This transition signifies a shift from representative democracy to a participative one, where governance becomes less centralized and citizens have a more active role in decision-making. However, we might also see the rise of a new era of kingdoms, particularly in the Middle East, where rulers hold significant economic influence. Controlling both renewables and oil reserves, they could potentially expand their power behind the scenes of western democracies.
Future of Democracy: Assessing Citizens, Direct Participation, Power Shift, and Middle Eastern Influence
- Future democracy could evaluate citizens' capabilities for participation, possibly through a merit-based system.
- "Extreme voting" system may allow for extensive direct democratic participation, leading to a more exhaustive democracy.
- Anticipated shift in power from the West to the East, with global south countries aligning with eastern players.
In a democracy, citizens are given the opportunity to participate, and their quality may be evaluated to determine their eligibility. One possibility is the introduction of a merit-based system, which could consider factors like knowledge and education when deciding who can vote. However, to implement this system, a fair and balanced method would be necessary to assess these qualifications and determine voting rights.
Another potential development could be the emergence of an "extreme voting" system, where every decision is put to a vote. This would allow for extensive direct democratic participation, ensuring that citizens have a say in all matters.
In the future, there may be a shift in power dynamics as the global south increasingly turns towards western democracies. In many cases, they might prioritize security over freedom and form alliances with eastern players like China, India, and Russia. This shift could lead to a decline in the influence of western democracies, with power shifting towards the east.
Overall, the future of democracy could involve the implementation of a merit-based voting system and the rise of extreme voting. Additionally, the global south might align itself with eastern powers, potentially leading to a redistribution of global power.