Project 2059



What if the principles of open source could be applied to politics? You know- transparency, collaboration, meritocracy... well guess what?
Kids are already doing it.

Project 2059 is part of Oregon's celebration of 150 years of statehood. Open source tools are being used to create a collective vision of what our state should be like in the year 2059. The project focuses on youth, and will culminate at Willamette University for three days in June and July. There, the input of youth throughout the state will be synthesized into the Oregon Blueprint, which will be delivered to the legislature and monitored for years to come by the Oregon Progress Board.


DemocracyLab created the Project 2059 website to facilitate collaboration on a collective vision for Oregon’s future. The conversation is structured by Values-Focused Thinking, and takes a why, what, and how approach to political thinking:

  • Why – the values, beliefs and principles that form the basis of our decisions.
  • What – the objectives and goals we have for the future.
  • How – the policies we should implement to achieve our objectives.

Users are asked to create and rate content, and make connections between concepts. Analysis of the resulting data structure will allow for identification of points of consensus and disagreement, and (hopefully) result in the creation of better solutions to public policy problems.

Project 2059 is a pioneering democratic experiment, and a bold attempt to bring the principles of open source into politics. This session will describe the project’s work to date and outline its anticipated evolution.

Speaking experience


  • 2007 07 04 enchantment lakes 165

    Mark Frischmuth



    An unlikely evangelist for open source politics, Mark is just smart enough to recognize a revolutionary idea, and just dumb enough to make it the most important thing in his life.

    When not volunteering his time to DemocracyLab, Mark earns a living wholesaling 401(k) plans in seven Northwestern states. He grew up on Air Force bases around the world, studied architecture and philosophy at Miami University, and has lived in Portland since 1995. Mark’s recreational passions are backpacking and telemark skiing.