Our friends at techPresident have posted an abbreviated version of a very interesting submission to the 2008 Buckminster Fuller Challenge (a $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems) dealing with fostering open government. This submission by Gong Szeto, a designer and inventor based in Sante Fe, N.M., is a Web-based application geared to empower citizens of any democracy in the world to engage directly with one another and their elected leaders on important issues on the local, state and national levels. What he envisions is a “participation-incentive/voting-strength algorithm.”

His concept is:

  • Apply today’s social networking, multimedia and financial tools to create a collaborative infrastructure that records and displays a population’s real-time sentiments.
  • Using a sophisticated, but user-friendly design to explain complex issues and legislation to a broad voter base.
  • Constantly measuring and visualizing voter sentiment data for the benefit of citizens, elected leaders and the media.
  • Making all issues digestible and actionable, thereby increasing voter participation in a complex democratic society.

By going to techPresident you can see mock screen shots that Szeto has designed showing how the apps could possibly look.

He writes that his hope is that this system gives citizens of a democracy a platform to become more educated and informed about their representative government and to be able to influence the machine of government in positive ways. As Szeto writes on his blog, “Basically, I think democracy itself needs to be a really kick-ass app shared and “owned” by millions.” I couldn’t agree more!