About Democat

Practical tools to create communities and make decisions together.


Democat’s aim is to bring democracy into everyday life. We bring the best digital tools available into one space, so you can find the right one for your needs. We do the hard work so you don’t have to!

We envision a world where everyone can be heard, no matter where or who you are. Strong communities engaged in conversations and debate, where people take part in decisions that affect their everyday lives.


Democat is and initiative from Digidem Lab, and was initially developed by an international team of designers, researchers and communication strategists during a two week workshop at Medialab Prado in Madrid.

There is a growing field of digital tools to facilitate democratic processes on all levels of society. This guide does not try to be a comprehensive list of all initiatives and user cases, but a practical introduction this field and to the tools that we think best suit the different needs of practitioners.

Digidem Lab is an independent non profit organisation, and none of the people in the working group have any financial incentives in any of the tools presented in this guide.


The categories used in this guide were inspired by the Swedish municipalities’ Participation Steps (SKL, 2009), which builds on Arnstein’s Participation Ladder (Arnstein, 1969). The main influence however is the DemocracySpiral by the D-CENT project, which has a more horizontal and participation driven approach to democratic processes and digital participation.

participation steps

  1. I want to raise awareness
  2. I want to create discussion
  3. I want to generate ideas
  4. I want to collaborate on solutions
  5. I want to decide on an issue
  6. I want to get involved
  7. I want to give feedback and evaluate

The first and foremost criteria for the tools selected for this guide is that they are adding real value to democratic processes.

The initial selection of tools was based on recommendations from the international community of ninety experts gathered at the Inteligencia Colectiva Para La Democracia 2016. From the 18 tools most favoured by the community, the Democat Working Group has selected 6 tools in line with the following criteria:

User friendly

Easy to set up for facilitators; intuitive and user friendly for participants.


Well tested by diverse communities around the world and with comprehensive documentation.


Open Source software that can be built on and adapted for the public good.

Contribute to the project

Democat is looking for sponsors and partners to be able to continue our work. Please get in touch if your institution or group can contribute to the project.

Contact us: admin@digidemlab.org

The Democat 2016 Working Group


Petter Joelson, Founder, Sweden
Athanasia Panagiotidi, Urban Planner & Designer, Greece
Nicolás Diaz Montenegro, Developer, Colombia
Manuel Vega-Cuberos, Political Researcher, Colombia and Spain
Ramsés Lopez, Sociologist & Musician, Panama
Sara Woodgate, Communication Strategist, UK
Jennie Lindell, Digital Designer, Sweden