The Jan. 6 infraction as well as additionally trouble at the U.S. Capitol, and the larger initiative to reverse the outcomes of the political election, have brought brand-new attention to the larger demand for political reform– dealing with the insects in the system of democracy, to use a metaphor supplied by Jon DeVaan, the previous Microsoft engineering leader.

Jon DeVaan, former Microsoft design leader and board participant of Represent United States.

DeVaan has become deeply involved in the political reform movement considering that relinquishing Microsoft in 2013 after 30 years at the company. He gets on the board of Represent United States, a bipartisan company looking for to end corruption in politics.

In recent weeks, he has additionally served as an informal ombudsman, of kinds, to Microsoft as the firm navigated a debate over its political contributions prior to introducing last week that it would certainly not donate throughout the 2022 political election cycle to members of Congress as well as other politicians who that sustained initiatives to rescind the election.

DeVaan joins my associate John Chef and me as the visitor on today’s GeekWire Podcast, discussing the events of the past month, the course forward for political reform, and the duty that technology companies and also various other businesses can play in the movement. Below, he shares advised publications, write-ups and also other sources that have informed his understanding of the problems.

Listen listed below or sign up for GeekWire in any kind of podcast app.

Jon DeVaan: It was my pleasure to speak with Todd and also John about freedom reform in the podcast. I detail those along with others I assume are fantastic primers on democracy reform.

Vital Articles

  • The very first is a study done at Princeton about exactly how people have nearly no effect on public policy.
  • The second is a Harvard Organization Institution evaluation of the “Political Sector” as well as its poor impact on financial competitiveness:
  • The Economic expert’s ranking of democracy (the UNITED STATEA.’s democracy score has been succumbing to over a years): Freedom Index 2020– Financial Expert Knowledge Device (

Vital Publications

  • Dark Money by Jane Mayer– This publication describes the political characteristics that birthed the modern conventional motion as well as the cash strategy that moneyed it.
  • Exactly How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky as well as Daniel Ziblatt: Why everybody should be afraid of where the USA is right currently.
  • Conservative Celebrations and the Birth of Freedom by Daniel Ziblatt: Why reform of the GOP is quickly needed (or a brand-new facility right party).
    • Also article: Why Conventional Events Are Central to Democracy– The Atlantic
    • Also podcast: Point Of View|An Appalled Republican Considers the Future of the G.O.P.– The New York City Times (
  • On Freedom by Robert A Dahl– This is an academic book yet is the best explanation of what democracy is (really self-government in various forms) and why it is the most effective type of government recognized until now. This is my philosophical holy bible on what makes great freedom reform.

Films– Not all of us have actually time to read publications!

  • Dark Cash(not connected to guide): A deep dive into money’s corrupting impact
  • Slaughter the Dragon: Why gerrymandering misbehaves as well as exactly how to fight it.
  • Eastpointe: How rated option ballot assists develop better representation.

Nationwide groups:

  • RepresentUs: Champions neighborhood as well as state legislations that make the political system benefit normal people
  • Unite America: Champions regional and also state legislations emphasizing independent and also reform minded politicians
  • FairVote: Champions rated selection ballot across the country
  • IssueOne: Champions freedom reforms in Congress
  • ProtectDemocracy: Champions liability and avoidance of presidential power
  • Management Now Project: Building a union of businesses to promote reform

Teams in WA:

  • Fair Vote WA: Championing ranked option voting in WA
  • Deal With Democracy First: Champions a host of reforms
  • The Sightline Institute: An excellent research group servicing freedom reforms and various various other social problems

Twitter– Adhere to these individuals as well as additionally groups to get perspective

  • Charlotte Hill
  • Lee Drutman
  • Trevor Potter
  • Marc E. Elias
  • Heather Cox Richardson
  • Teri Kanefield
  • Brennan Center
  • Evan McMullin
  • Ballot At Home Institute

[Editor’s Note: Duration of DeVaan’s Microsoft tenure corrected since publication.]