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A vibrant democracy needs civic engagement, civil discourse and informed citizens, as well as responsive and transparent government. The Internet can help foster all of these values, but in other ways it can also often undermine them.

Our project is looking for creative new ideas to help make the internet, including all forms of social media, a better tool for strengthening democracy. Your own proposal need not be technical in nature, just realistic and forward looking.

dotDemocracy: The Challenge


The application asks you to answer the following three sets of questions (each with 300 - 500 words):
  1. What is your proposal for helping make the internet an even better tool of democratic citizenship?
  2. What opportunity does your solution create/expand or, alternatively, what problem does it help solve?
  3. How would your solution be implemented and what hurdles might it have to overcome (aside from technological ones)?


1st Prize: $2000
Runners up (2): $1000 each

These awards will be distributed among the 3 finalists based on the merits of their proposals and their presentations at the Weingartner Digital Citizenship Forum. The 3 finalists will be chosen from the 3 categories outlined in the "eligibility requirements" section as follows:


  • The solution must be an original idea formulated by the applicant
  • Each applicant may submit only one application every year
  • Applicants must agree to the terms and conditions of the award found at the bottom of this page
  • A submission may be from a group of people rather than an individual, but an individual in the group must be chosen to fill out the application in his/her name. More rules regarding group submission may be found in the "terms and conditions" section below.


  • January 5, 2014 at 11:59pm EST - All applications must be submitted in order to be considered for the awards.
  • January 8, 2014 - All applicants will be notified of their status, including the 3 finalists and the recipients of honorable mentions.
  • February 11, 2014 - The winners will be announced at the Weingartner Digital Citizenship Forum.


    To be eligible for this award you must be in one of these categories:
    • Category A: Enrolled in a high school within the United States and its territories, including Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, and American Samoa.
    • Category B: Enrolled at an accredited institution of higher learning within the United States and its territories at least part-time, and born on or after March 1, 1987.
    • Category C: Not enrolled at an accredited institution of higher learning within the United States an its territories, but born on or after March 1, 1987.



    dotDemocracy is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization aimed at fostering democratic citizenship in the digital age. Employing events, entrepreneurial competitions, and promotion of online resources, we seek to harness the revolutionary connectivity of the Internet to educate, to unite, and to empower citizens and policymakers alike.