"Time is of the essence, we need to make sure we don't lose any more information. It is crucial to citizens all over the world that we not lose sight of what happened."
The biggest movement you’ve never heard of, is at risk of disappearing into the night.
This matters. It matters to you as a free thinking human being. It matters to world governments as an evolution of democracy, that can affect policy around the globe.
So what is it? Back in 2008 Iceland underwent a catastrophic financial collapse that left the country reeling and its people questioning how things could have gotten so bad.
In response to the mismanagement of governance, the people rallied in protest, sparking a monumental and historical movement. What followed was a gathering of 1,200 randomly selected citizens, ultimately resulting in the first crowdsourced constitution… a document literally by the people, for the people.
This effort inspired participatory democracy, a theme that has since taken root in other societies around the world. It reshaped the dialogue on how a population can work with available technology, consensus building, and civic engagement while reinventing the governmental processes in supporting the needs of their constituents.
How was the process unique? The Icelandic citizens were able to share their voices and participate in creating change.
Input was collected from social media, handwritten letters, emails, chats, live feed videos, etc. Then it was assembled by an elected council of 25 people and their staff. All this content and deliberation was utilized when writing the constitution.
Eight years later the effort is still alive. Yet there’s a threat that this historically relevant process will fade into the great nothing.
Bits and pieces of this whole process have been kept in a variety of formats and locations. With proper documentation, this process can be a valuable resource for generations to come.
Much of what went into making this proposed constitution a remarkable process and relevant document, can be preserved and made readily available to everyone. Because it was the first crowdsourced national constitution in history, there hasn’t been a blueprint on how it should be cataloged…until now.
This is an effort to organize, maintain, and make available, all the many factors leading to this historic document.
The archive (named KRIA) will serve as a centralized host for the heart and soul of the Icelandic constitutional reform movement.
As exciting examples of creative reform using available technologies are popping up around the world, this archive could offer a template for future movements. Just a few of the regions that have already referenced the Icelandic constitutional reform include;
Hawaii, S. Korea, Scotland, Catalonia, Australia, California, Italy, Georgia, Greenland, Canada, Thailand, Cuba, Ecuador, and the Netherlands.
1) Through an interactive website (see sample below).
Qu: Why is a website important?
Ans: The site will make it simple and free to learn what lead up to the constitutional process, how it was carried out, and where it is today. The content experience will be customized to fit the user's interest. We are working with Icelandic and American web engagement specialists to ensure a fluid, fun, safe and clear experience for all that visit. In honor of the participatory elements of the Icelandic constitutional process, the site will also have engagement features, bringing the visitor into a dynamic space to share ideas with others also interested.
2) Massive searchable database.
Qu: Why is a searchable database that important?
Ans: Even though this story has reached all corners of the earth, it's still very difficult to find thorough information on. This database will make it simple to search keywords, leading the seeker to loads of content in their interest. This will serve those looking to dive deeper into the material.
Background on us: In 2014 KRIA's Creative Director, Eileen Jerrett released the documentary Blueberry Soup. The film followed the Icelandic Constitutional Reform process closely.
We as a community then took this film on a massive global outreach tour, to talk about the Icelandic Constitutional reform process and what that could inspire for civic engagement beyond Iceland. It was a bigger success than any of us could have predicted. People from far and wide took inspiration from what happened in Iceland and are now using that to advance participation in their own towns/cities/countries!
The Collaborators / Institutions
- University of Iceland
- University of Washington
- Build Up
- Icelandic Constitutional Society
- Icelandic National Archives
Kria (Arctic Tern) is a unique animal both unyieldingly devoted to its community and remarkably resilient to the intense environmental conditions, despite its small size. Throughout the development of this project, we kept seeing this bird as a guardian of the constitutional process, the citizens that worked openly to manifest it, and those diligently keeping it alive. This bird nests in Iceland and then embarks on a migratory route, farther than most any other animal.
I feel that giving it this name will help us be strong when challenges occur, prevail in honor of that which we are preserving, and remember that despite our size (and Iceland's size) we are committed to the community and this incredible journey.
We invite you to become part of the story. Those who donate will receive one of a kind gifts by Icelandic artists, that symbolize the beauty and power of this incredible moment in history.
Links to press on project, film, and outreach
- SWI (Switzerland)
- Medium (Global)
- Reykjavik Grapevine (Iceland)
- El Paīs (Spain)
- WUNC (USA)
- Syracuse.com (USA)
- In Spring of 2019 we will set out on a collections expedition throughout Iceland. Here, we will collaborate with citizens in shaping the tone of this archive. Many of the pieces of this archival puzzle live in shoe boxes, forgotten usb drives, and old phones/computers. With joy, determination, and a true desire to make sure this doesn't disappear, we are hitting the road.
- In Fall 2020 we will launch the official app and website. In this living archive, people can engage with other world changers, learn more about the Icelandic process that started this wave, and submit material to the archive. The site will be filled with videos, interviews, photos, structural documents, personal thoughts from those that authored the constitution and so much more.
THANK YOU !!!
Risks and challenges
Our projects greatest challenge is collecting the content on the constitution while it still exists. We have started the collection process but there is still so much to go. These funds make it possible for us to do this work NOW and not miss anything else. Too much has been lost already, please join us in ensuring its preservation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (26 days)