Democracy needs power, but healthy democratic institutions also need to build the places and the mechanisms where the ongoing critique of their own power can be achieved. We need to re-design those democratic institutions that traditionally hold power to make sure that their power is questioned and challenged. Democratic Society will focus on developing better tools to understand, map, use, and share power from the bottom-up
We will know we are making progress in this field when (from the shorter to the longer term):
- In all our work, people involved (including our staff) feel that they can talk openly about power as they have the knowledge, the confidence, and the spaces to do so;
- Citizens (especially under-represented groups) and social movements have more opportunities to form alliances and work together for better access to, and more control over, economic, natural and intellectual resources (e.g. knowledge and access to information);
- Institutions and actors that reinforce and sustain existing power structures (such as the state, market, education, media, etc.) are challenged to be more transparent, and open to change, from actors from the outside;
- Ideologies that justify and sustain social inequality are challenged and new ways of advancing social equality and promoting justice become mainstream and embedded in governments and societies.