Fellow Since 2008
This profile was prepared when Tom Steinberg was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Tom is using the internet to engage people in the democratic process across both representative and participatory structures. Through small teams and innovative websites, he encourages participation and inspires many people to take part in the democratic process for the first time. In seeing the direct benefits of their actions, individuals’ attitudes about democracy and politics progress from a position of pessimism to one of optimism and hope. Overall, Tom’s work is creating an environment where politics and democracy is demystified and made accessible to the general public though an architecture by which citizens can engage with democracy locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. This has allowed the people who politics were originally designed to serve—society at large—to reconnect with the decision making structures that affect their lives and shape their societies.