Another person sharing the same idea!

Me and my students where really grassroots. We had the idea of how to develop the democratic system, but where would we start? We had no money and no organization behind us. Around the year 2000 there were a couple of E-democracy projects in Sweden, hosted by different companies. I contacted them, talked about the students’ ideas and asked what the service would cost? It would be far too expensive. Then I found a newly opened system called NetConference. The company’s CEO Mikael Nordfors lived in Stockholm.

I met dr Mikael Nordfors for the first time in January 2002. He is a great person, both in literal and figurative sense. He received me in his apartment, dominated by a giant grand piano and modern information technology. I told him what we wanted to do and Mikael saw the potential immediately.

Several years earlier he attempted to introduce telephone polls in politics. When computers evolved, he decided to form the company Vivarto and invest in developing a decision support systems. Back in the head Mikael Nordfors was carrying the idea of reforming the political system with the help of technology. In Demoex dr Nordfors saw a new opportunity. He believed in us, and when I walked away, he had already created an administrator account for me so that we could test NetConference.

We invited the public to a first constituent meeting for Demoex. We booked Vallentuna theater with 340 chairs, because we had no idea how many people would be interested. Only seventeen persons showed up, most students under 20 years. The atmosphere was curious and unsure. How would we manage this? I started the meeting a little hesitant, trying to seem moderate enthusiastic. I told about the background and showed a bad powerpoint. The silent question was how it would go to in practice?

Then Mikael Nordfors arrived to the meeting. He introduced himself, sat down at the computer and demonstrated the advanced functions of NetConference. Then he told us that we could use the system free of charge until the election in September. Applause! Now, there were no longer funding obstacles and thus no turning back. We felt compelled to make an attempt.

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