To develop and advocate reforms where elected officials have an institutionalized conflict of interest with the American public.
Founded in 2007, iSolon.org seeks to bring paradigm-changing ideas on the policy implications of new information technologies to the fore of public discussion. New information technologies are creating great opportunities for democratic reform that are not being exploited because elected officials have a conflict of interest in using those technologies to make themselves more democratically accountable.
iSolon explores how that conflict plays out in the design of democratic institutions and analyzes mechanisms, including the use of state constitutional conventions, to address conflict of interest problems. In recent years, iSolon has shifted from a focus on legislative transparency and redistricting to state constitutional conventions.
iSolon sees as one of its distinctive advantages in comparison with other public policy institutions that it can take a long term perspective. As Stanford University Professor Rob Reich has written about the potential advantages of such a perspective: “The institutional design of foundations allows them to operate on a different time horizon than the marketplace and the government…. They can use their resources to identify and address potential social problems decades away or innovations the success of which might be apparent only over a longer time horizon. In short, unlike the marketplace and the state, foundations can “go long.” iSolon pegs its reform agenda to current events, but its focus on fixing the constitutional mechanisms for reforming the constitutional foundations of our democracy is also “foundational” in the Reichian sense of the term.
iSolon is a non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.