How difficult can it be?
That was the question asked moments before the concept of Waaromkiesjij.nl (and with that, the Vox Pop Foundation) came into existence. The simple thought that, in a world more and more polarised by social and traditional media, we can send a message across the globe in seconds yet a political discussion with someone outside your 'bubble' seems unlikely at best. For many, 2016 felt like the pinnacle of Internet-led polarisation. The words ‘filterbubble’, ‘echochamber’, and, for some for the first time since high school, ‘algorithm’, were all proudly added to our collective vocabulary. We therefore wanted to create an online platform that facilitated these discussions, where voters could randomly meet and share their opinions in an anonymous one-on-one environment.
The Vox Pop Foundation is founded by friends Ruben Treurniet, Leon Horbach, Willem Herter and Sem Houben. The initial platform, Waaromkiesjij.nl, was built with the help of numerous volunteers and developed by Studioweb, who are also responsible for developing Diskutiermitmir.de.
The vox pop foundation
After the successful launch of Waaromkiesjij.nl running up to the Dutch elections, it became clear that the concept could work for every democratic country. After Diskutiermitmir.de the foundation now has a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities when creating a Vox Pop platform. The clear benefits of enabling voters to discuss politics one-on-one has led the foundation to believe that the concept should be used in every democratic election. Together with our German partners we launched platforms in Hungary and Catalonia, and will launch soon in Sweden using a new digital infrastructure.
We are now setting up a social enterprise for civic education in the Netherlands and abroad, Vox Pop Academy. With VPA we are looking to promote active citizenship and social integration among students.
The 2018 foundation report is now available below (in Dutch), for English or the report of 2017 - please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org