Something New is a startup political party in the UK, dedicated to open source democracy and building a new form of politics for the network age. Our manifesto is fully open source, and anyone can submit a change to be voted upon.
We believe that “open” is a political statement, not just a way to do better at what we do already. Our industrial-era institutions and political choices need to change for the network age, and change so fundamentally that some need building afresh. We are here to provide a new political choice that has grown out of the network revolution, and which is optimistic about our long-term future.
I’m interested to know what you mean by ‘network generation’ – its a term unfamiliar to me, but i’m keen to know more.
We’re at the beginning of a revolution perhaps even bigger than the Industrial, the network revolution. The network generation is perhaps a bad term, I might change it a bit (if edits are possible) but it’s really those younger generations growing up in and embracing the new era that I mean.
Before we can get you mapped, please answer a few quick questions with short answers so we can understand more about this project:
– What is your main aim and what problem are you solving?
We are building a new political party that is built for the network age. Our existing institutions and politics are built for the Industrial age, and new ways of thinking and collaborating demand new organisations.
– How is it particularly innovative? (Tell me about the technology involved.)
The innovative part is perhaps looking at democracy as a system of collaboration, and exploring ways of making that collaboration easier and better using the new tools we have at our disposal. We’re not fixated on any particular technology, though we’ve use off-the-shelf open source collaboration tools (GitHub) to build what we’ve done so far in the policymaking area.
In terms of online policymaking projects, I’d say we’re fairly unique in that we’ve actually stood candidates on those policies that have been crowdsourced online. We’re not the only ones doing this, but it’s rare.
– What are your next steps and long term plans?
Building momentum and interest, getting more people involved, and standing more candidates in future elections.
– How will this commit to lasting positive impact?
A global society will need to find new forms of democracy to solve out biggest problems. I think we’re a small part of that puzzle, working towards better group decision-making for our societies in the long term. What could be better?
– What is the most interesting part of this whole story for you?
I really enjoy thinking about the future, and about how we can present an optimistic vision. I want humanity to have a long and glorious future, and I love presenting that viewpoint when so much of politics is about managing the next day’s headlines.
– What do you understand by ‘democratising the future’ and how is this an example of this?
The future will bring better forms of democracy that enable us to work as a collaborative community at a global scale. We’re an experiment in trying to make some of that happen and build a political movement to take us there.
Activist, engineer, and technologist. Believer in the power of open to make a better world for everyone.
James Smith, Party Leader
United Kingdom (London)