A few years ago, when political candidacies for the first decade of the 21st century were being outlined, a group of young people invited me to design and carry out a digital platform that would support an eventual presidential nomination.
I declined, not only because I had no intention of running for President of Chile again, but because I had been thinking for some time that the challenge was bigger: building an open digital community that would amplify citizens’ voices by channeling debates and turning them into concrete policy-making, through direct participation. That’s how Quinto Poder was born, as part of the Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo (Foundation for Democracy and Development) I chair since 2006.
Eight years later, Quinto Poder has consolidated itself as an autonomous space for the circulation and discussion of ideas and actions. It is from this trench that I join the debate and the building of a Democracy 2.0.
Making the most of digital media, I will share ideas and reflections about the changing environments and the new challenges posed by the irruption of the 21st century in our societies and daily lives. My desire is to cling on the freedom offered by social media in order to make a contribution in the construction of a we that will allow us to think and shape our country, our region, our continent, and even the world we want to live in.
As I pointed out in a column published in Argentine newspaper Clarín (“Con nuestra casa llena de visitas”, August 3, 2014), Latin America began the new century as a consolidated region, with a sustained economic growth stimulated by a strength ended democratic system, which allowed it to reduce poverty and become a key player in the new international order led by the Asian powers.
In this scenario, and like the rest of the world, Latin America must capitalize on diversity and install the debate under its own terms: democracies and economies based on sustainable, innovative and inclusive development, led by participatory societies with a better access to growth opportunities.
In this new phase, citizenship has the leading role and is called to take part and reach agreements on a set of issues that will materialize in the main challenges of the future. As a part of it, I leave the door open for those who wish to join in.
We are all invited to participate.