• American Experiments

    Showcasing how technology and innovation can reinvigorate our democracy.

  • ShowCase your idea

  • July 25, 2016

    10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

    Microsoft Innovation Center and Quorum

    3711 Market Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19104

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  • Our Vision

    On the first day of the Democratic National Convention, join us for a showcase on how technology and innovation can reinvigorate our democracy. American Experiments is an event for civic tech and political reform organizations to pitch their ideas on how to improve elections, voter access, and our political process. American Experiments is the right event at the right moment in the right city to gather innovators who are working for a better way.

  • Imagine the year is 2024...

    After the discontents and chaos of the 2016 campaign, the civic tech community and election reformers worked hard to create new ways to improve campaign transparency and dialogue, to promote voter access and turnout, and to make elections more competitive and fair. In local, state and federal elections in 2024, signs of those initiatives bearing fruit can be seen across America. Now, imagine further that your organization has executed a project that played a significant role in one or more of those improvements.

    This event is limited to nonpartisan organizations; any group promoting a particular political party or candidate may not participate.

    Click here to participate! 

  • Showcase Your Idea

    Organizations can participate in two ways

    American Experiments Showcase

    The American Experiments Showcase will run from 10 a.m. to noon.  Everyone in town for the convention – delegates, journalists, advocates, philanthropists, venture capitalists – is invited to visit this exhibit of innovative ideas to improve the conduct of democracy in the United States. 


    The Showcase will put your organization’s ideas and products in front of people who could become your champions, partners or supporters.  (This event is limited to nonpartisan organizations; groups promoting a particular political party or candidate may not participate.)


    Space is free of charge but very limited, so act quickly.  To reserve your space or learn more, contact Committee of Seventy CEO David Thornburgh at dthornburgh@seventy.org.

    Microsoft American Experiments Challenge

    From noon to 1:30 p.m., will be Microsoft’s American Experiments Challenge. During a buffet lunch, six competitively chosen organizations will present their best ideas for improving elections or democracy.


    The presentations will be in the fast-paced Ignite style (20 slides in five minutes), to an audience and an elite panel of judges from the the worlds of technology, politics, journalism, philanthropy, and venture capital.  Stan Freck, Microsoft’s senior director for technology and civic engagement, is confirmed as a judge.


    Presenters are eligible for two awards: One will be decided by the panel of judges. The other, the People’s Choice Award, will be chosen in a live, mobile vote by the entire audience for the Challenge. Winners will have their ideas featured in articles by the event’s media partners: Governing.com and the Technical.ly chain of digital news hubs.


    To enter the afternoon Microsoft Challenge, click here to respond to a prompt asking you to tell us, in 200 words or less, your best idea for improving elections or our political process.  We’ll pick six promising ideas out of all those submitted, and invite those applicants to prepare their Ignite talks.

  • Agenda

    July 25, 2016

    10 a.m. - 12 p.m. - American Experiments Showcase

    LOCATION: Quorum

    12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Lunch

    LOCATION: Microsoft Innovation Center

    12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. - Microsoft American Experiments Challenge

    LOCATION: Microsoft Innovation Center


  • Microsoft Innovation Center & QUorum

    University CIty Science Center

    3711 MArket Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19104

  • Partners

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    Committee of Seventy

    A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization holding government accountable and working to make this region a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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    University City Science Center 

    A dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region.

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    Microsoft Innovation Center

    Through a combination of programming and outreach activities, the MIC will seek to spur economic development and create new opportunities for the local tech startup community.

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    Knight Foundation

    Supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. 

  • Civic Partners

    Code for Philly

    A community of civic and social entrepreneurs who use tech and data as a mode of civic engagement to better the city.

    Young Involved Philadelphia

    Builds relationships and increases civic engagement to empower and connect young Philadelphians.