Poplus - Global Outreach and Local Engagement

Poplus is a global federation of civic technology and open government efforts seeking to promote collaborative coding. 

Enter the heart of activities. Get involved in Poplus and join their online group.

Poplus Conference

E-Democracy is participating in Poplus in the following ways:

  1. Promoting global awareness and participation in the project via our Democracies Online Newswire, our Open Government and Civic Technology Facebook Group, the Code for America Brigade, and other online groups.
  2. Participating in the Communications (includes outreach) as well as the Finance committees.
  3. Encouraging local and state-level participation in the United States starting with Minnesota via our Open Twin Cities initiative. We propose making Minnesota a pilot state, including collaboration with government and our state legislature, for testing a comprehensive array of Poplus components and as a user-centered design input center on new components.

Our View of Poplus

Poplus is an extremely timely initiative in our field. 

For twenty years we've watched well-intentioned projects "go it alone" often with a mismatch between what the public wants and will actually use in civics and democracy and what technology developers are inspired to code. Any digital "public good" that distributes power and promotes government accountability, transparency or engagement with technology will simply not be well funded by those who fear they will lose even a bit of power.  


Poplus is introducing a "components" approach to promote sustained innovation so collectively we can reach millions more people with better democracy and civic engagement. These efforts help democratic and civic digital projects build with reusable Lego-style bricks that can be used across diverse political structures. 

This compares to building stand-alone tightly integrated code. While shareable in theory as a complete package, the customization costs across borders make reuse highly unlikely or more expensive than going it alone. When it comes to building civic apps and the inclusive outreach and citizen support we need surrounding them, Poplus will allow us to pool our efforts, share results, and bring down the long-terms costs of technology development while encouraging further innovation, experimentation, and necessary customization to our communities and political systems.