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Freedom Marathon | Day 3 Recap

Atlas’ Freedom Marathon opened on the 15th of September 2021, on the international day of democracy.

In the past 2 days, we heard from activists on the ground about what's happening in their countries and what is the best way to support them. We discussed how we could hold governments accountable and take action.

On the 3rd day of our marathon discussion, we advanced our discussion to how we could innovate democracy!

This is a recap of the 3rd day: “A new utopia for democracy is needed!”! 

🎙️Panel discussion | How can we innovate democratic practices across the world?



  • Chiayo Kuo from Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association, 
  • Andreas Bummel from Democracy Without Borders.
  • Moderator: Andrea Venzon, Co-founder of Atlas

In this panel, we looked to the future to try to come up with concrete outcomes that we can advocate for. We focused both on innovative best practices coming from Taiwan, that can be used at all levels of governance, and use that to talk about how to create a participative global democratic governance system.

Here are some of the key recommendations that the speakers had for the audience, on how we might support one another for democracy: 

Chiayo Kuo

  • Taiwan has platforms that facilitate communication between citizens and the government
    • VTaiwan allows citizens to interact directly with government agencies
    • Government or even citizens can put issues to a vote
    • Government meetings - more open and available to public
    • Digital referendum put to electronic vote is less costly than old methods
  • Digital Minister position is quite successful
  • Democracy is built on trust: government increases trust through digital communication
    • The frequency of interactions is important
    • The format must be easy to access and flexible (Twitter, scanning QR codes, etc.)
    • Changes in rules quickly communicated (e.g., during the pandemic)
  • Security and privacy concerns are watched and can be raised by nonprofit organizations
  • Wishes for the future of global democracy
    • More alliance around the world regarding democracy and other issues
    • More inclusion of Taiwan by international organizations
    • More countries are speaking up against China 
    • Future depends on global citizens working together; can find solutions when pursued together

Andreas Bummel

  • There exist some initiatives to innovate democracy and enable greater citizens participation: 
    • European Citizens Initiative
    • Citizens’ assemblies 
  • Many issues are no longer able to be handled nationally; require intergovernmental cooperation (e.g., climate change, nuclear disarmament).
  • Wishes for the future of global democracy
    • All people are able to exercise their rights at all levels of government: local, regional, global
    • Every citizen on the planet should have a voice in the future of humanity and affairs that affect us
    • In a critical time now: decisions made will affect the future for centuries


💬 Workshop| Innovative democracy: how can we build tomorrow’s governance model? Let’s discuss and create an action plan!

Following the inspiring panel of Day 3, several members and participants gathered to discuss how to create an innovative, global governance model! Inspired by the debate, more than 20 proposals were debated in the session. Find here some of the most acclaimed ideas:

  1. (idea developed in day 1) Push Governments to have a Democracy Minister: 
    • This would mean working for democratic governments to have a secretary of democracy/minister of democracy in their governments. This minister would focus on the status of democracy in the country on a regular basis and recommend policy changes, and assess the country foreign policy and its ability to support democracy abroad, especially pro-democracy governments and pro-democracy freedom fighters, and file recommendations 
    • Action Plan. 1. Make list of democratic governments 2. Outreach to representatives with request to create petition; 3. Create a campaign to create the petition if no response though a. Mobilization, B. democracy correspondents in media outlets (see idea below)
  2. Global consultations efforts every 5 years with citizens proportionally selected from all over the world to discuss the biggest topics that need to be addressed by intergovernmental organizations
    • Action Plan: Ad interim, until democratic global governance is created: 1. create a campaign pushing for the UN to involve more citizens, through broad on the ground and online consultation efforts (to push for inclusivity), 2. mobilise people to strike in front of UN buildings to get attention, 3. get social media traction on # #WorldPowerToThePeople, 4. involve traditional media with their democracy/justice correspondent, 5. get countries to propose it at UNGA 
  3. Develop a transnational e-nation where everyone can become a citizens
    • Action plan: 1. Develop the constitution of the e-nation, and prepare the tech platform to host such an effort. 2. Isolate the policies and services that such an e.nation could advance.3. Provide the possibility to citizens to join the e-nation and partaket in its activities, 4. Pressure the UN to accept it as a nation 5. expand internet coverage worldwide (seize private investments). 6. make it safe for minority and minoritized groups

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