Since its origins, democracy has been a work in progress. Today, many question its resilience.
How to Fix Democracy, a collaboration of the Bertelsmann Foundation and Humanity in Action, explores practical solutions for how to address the increasing threats democracy faces. Host Andrew Keen interviews prominent international thinkers and practitioners of democracy. Their conversations are designed to provoke discussion and curiosity about the state and future of democracy across the globe.
DeLesslin "Roo" George-Warren
A political wilderness? | DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren is a queer artist, researcher, and organizer from Catawba Indian Nation and a Humanity in Action Landecker Fellow. He talks with host Andrew Keen about Catawba Nation views of property, democracy, and the environment in the search for an indigenous view of the meaning of citizenship. Just as arriving Europeans falsely viewed the North American landscape as wilderness, when it was in fact masterfully stewarded by indigenous peoples, they discuss what misconceptions Europeans had about indigenous political and societal organization.
Roya Hakakian is a writer and poet and the author of A Beginner's Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious. Talking just before July 4th, host Andrew Keen speaks with Roya Hakakian about her own experience coming to the U.S. from Iran, the meaning of America’s Independence Day, and what we should think about during the holiday.
Bonus Episode: Live with Dr. Carol Anderson
On June 1st, 2021, we hosted a live session of How to Fix Democracy with Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, to discuss recent voter suppression measures in the United States and her new book, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America.
Wietse Van Ransbeeck
Wietse Van Ransbeeck is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Citizen Lab, a Brussels-based company that works with governments to enable public participation in decision-making. With host Andrew Keen, Van Ransbeeck discusses his goals to make citizenship easier by using new technology to help local democracy be more participatory. In many past How to Fix Democracy interviews, technology’s negative impact on democracy has been highlighted, so it is great to have Van Ransbeeck’s perspective on the positive potential of digital democracy.
Democracy through the camera lens | Astra Taylor is an author and filmmaker whose documentary What is Democracy? covers much of the same ground as our own series, but with a different essential question in mind. In this interview, Astra Taylor and host Andrew Keen reflect on what they drew from ancient Athenian democratic practices in their respective quests to understand democracy and predict what it will look like (and sound like) in the future. From the evolution of citizenship to the impact of capitalism and debt on democracy, Taylor and Keen trace threads of democracy from antiquity to the present day.
Citizen power | Eric Liu is the co-founder and CEO of Citizen University and the Director of the Aspen Institute’s Citizenship and American Identity Program. In this episode that delves into the meaning of citizenship and the nature of power in politics, Liu and host Andrew Keen discuss contemporary conceptions of power in the United States and responsibilities of citizens. There is a tension, especially in America, between individualism and citizen responsibility toward building communities and cooperating for a common good, argues Liu, and it's important to explore this and find a way to give citizens positive agency.