Why We Invested
Civic Hall is a one-of-a-kind community center for the world’s civic innovators. Located in the heart of New York City, it is a space where social entrepreneurs, change-makers, government employees, hackers, academics, journalists, and artists can share knowledge, build tools, and solve problems, together.
The Civic Hall Rethinking Debates Project is the continuation of work begun by its parent organization, Personal Democracy Media, in 2007 with 10Questions.com. Their goal is to enable greater public participation in political debates by studying, modeling, and encouraging the use of innovative approaches from around the country and around the world to make debates more substantive, engaging, and accountable to public concerns.
In the 2016 cycle, Civic Hall will draw on the wealth of experiments happening around the world. Instead of asking debate sponsors and participants to adopt a platform they didn’t build from people they didn’t hire, Civic Hall will encourage them to try new approaches by showcasing the work of their peers. In the first phase of this Project, Civic Hall will produce a comprehensive, multimedia report detailing the innovative approaches being used to open up debates. Civic Hall will debut these approaches with conferences in New York and in Washington, D.C., aiming to bring leading proponents and stakeholders together to address its recommendations.