Having started from a very broad question the main challenge was finding the right balance of breadth and specificity for the HMW statement. To that end I went through the exercise and came up with a number of questions that I felt tackled both very specific and more general parts of the larger problem, e.g.:
HMW make politics seem more consequential?
HMW make civic participation and political engagement more fun?
HMW make voters focus on more relevant issues in elections?
HMW improve government transparency while remaining within the attention span or regular citizens?
HMW make government more interactive without leading to chaos?
I chose one that I felt got to the core of two of the critical “demand-side” and “supply-side” issues of the problem:
HMW create incentives to organically improve the average level of political discourse
10 Divergent Ideas
- Create technological tools to better aggregate and summarize politically relevant news and data for users
- Regulate social platforms after their user base crosses a certain threshold and develop guidelines on how they must report and control the ways in which they are influencing their users
- Create a publicly funded alternate platform that serves the civic roles of social media
- Encourage cultural shift in tech companies to think longer term (not over-optimize short-term metrics) and to adapt quickly once harm of certain actions is clear
- Create an election day holiday weekend (similar to Deliberation Day proposed by James Fishkin) to encourage thoughtful and unhindered political participation
- Start automatic voter registration and compulsory voting to force improvement in turnout and reduce impact of suppression tactics
- Make basic online literacy and fraud detection part of core secondary school curriculum
- Create better technological tools to flag and trace low-quality or misleading content
- Create new class of technological methods to track user engagement to remove incentives for “click-bait” and high-engagement false content.
- Invest in community based engagement to reduce political polarization and re-establish bipartisan trust in the political process