Democracy’s Path Forward is a new national initiative designed to connect and harness the power of the American public’s voice, by tapping into hundreds of local, state and national efforts. Through inclusive and non-partisan, digital and in-person platforms, our goal is to amplify and combine that public voice as a means to heal our present, honor the roots of our past, and choose our future.

Why Now

These are very fractured times in the history of our nation.  Many feel that we are on the edge of being ripped asunder as a divided nation faces issues of real consequence: the painful legacy of racial injustice; increasing social and economic disparities; a woman’s right to live and work free from sexual assault or intimidation; immigration and its impact on families and our nation; making space for all sexual orientations and gender identities; and the growing separation between urban and rural life - to name just a few.  These fractures are showing up in alarming ways – from large portions of our population who are convinced that differences in core values and political ideology make us “enemies,”  to embattled politicians whose inability to work together holds hostage the most basic government functions; to actual violence erupting between groups on opposite sides of these divides.


Yet as painful as these fractures feel, they are not the primary challenge facing America today. Our primary challenge is reminding each other that it is possible for our complex population to lean into and work through these fractures - together. The roots of democracy run deep in our nation. The United States Constitution, despite its contextual challenges, continues to offer us a vision and set of principles that bind us together for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The challenge before all Americans, then, is to come together in peaceful struggle to develop a sense of shared vision to carry us into a stronger future for each of us individually and for our nation as a whole.


All over the country, efforts are underway for the public to engage in this peaceful struggle– from “Dreamers” re-defining the meaning of legal status, to resurgent voices from rural and manufacturing communities to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements to women’s safety and voice, to the new Poor People’s Campaign, calling for a moral revival to combat inequity. More and more movements and voices are adding to this call to re-shape what democracy looks like in America. It’s time to amplify and make THESE the voices that are shaping our future. 


Below is our concept paper and seed campaign overview.

The Network

Democracy’s Path Forward is actively reaching out to the partners needed to build, expand and sustain a flexible, nimble network to carry out these efforts. Resource partners will support network development, acquisition or creation of technology and community dialogues/engagements needed to amplify and project the American public’s voice. Democracy’s Path Forward is designed to exist side-by-side with and add value to projects that participating networks and their members are already doing. A wide range of community partners will allow Democracy’s Path Forward to connect with people all over the country in as wide and deep a manner as possible.


The time is now, the need is great. Your ideas and support are critical. 

Who We Are

Democracy’s Path Forward is a collaborative movement 

initiated by:

Civic Design Network @ MIT 

The Athena Group

Innovation by Design