How Iceland Crowdsourced A New Constitution (Lawrence Lessig)


How Iceland Crowdsourced A New Constitution (Lawrence Lessig)


"So, in 2008, Iceland's economy totally collapsed. And when the Icelandic people looked around to try to see what had failed them, they recognized it was their government, a corrupted government that had failed them. And so, they started a process to fix it. By crowdsourcing a new constitution. They first collected a thousand people at random who met together to discuss what the values of that constitution should be. And then they had an election where 500 people ran to serve on the commission that would draft the constitution. 25 were elected. And for four months, they drafted a constitution. Now, four months is about as long as our framers took to draft our Constitution, but our framers didn't post their drafts to Facebook every week. But the Icelanders did. And after that process, they produced a beautiful constitution which was then ratified by two-thirds of the Icelandic people in a national referendum. Now, that story is in many ways inspiring, but it's also humbling because, of course, Iceland is different in a thousand ways from the United States. But when you think of the courage that they had to do what they did, it makes this debate seem so small." (Dec 5, 2016)

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“How Iceland Crowdsourced A New Constitution (Lawrence Lessig),” KRIA, accessed July 13, 2020,
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