An open-source tool
for evolving governance in
online communities

Author custom community governance procedures with PolicyKit, an open-source tool for democratising community governance online.

What if there was a way to embrace more democratic governance models tailored to community needs?

PolicyKit empowers online community members to concisely author a wide range of governance procedures and automatically carry out those procedures on their home platforms. Inspired by Nobel economist Elinor Ostrom, we've developed a framework that describes governance as a series of actions and policies, written in short programming scripts.

We're now building out an editor, software libraries, and connectors to community platforms for members to author actions and policies.


Ranked Voting for Community Users

Each voter is asked to rank candidates, who are then assigned a score based on their ranking.

Board Voting

Community members of a specified role, i.e. a Board, can vote on a proposal. The board can either approve or reject a proposal through either a designated moderation channel or mpim with the bot.

Benevolent Dictator

A benevolent dictator has the final say on all proposals. The dictator can either approve or reject a proposal through a DM with the bot.

Majority Voting

A simple yes-no vote procedure: if the percentage of yes votes is greater than or equal to the minimum required, the proposal is passed. If the percentage of no votes is greater than or equal to the maximum allowed, the proposal is failed. Otherwise, the proposal is still in progress.

Create your own voting structure

Customise and merge different voting templates in PolicyKit's no-code editor.

Our research

Pika: Empowering Non-Programmers to Author Executable Governance Policies in Online Communities


PolicyKit: Building Governance in Online Communities


Contribute to our open-source ecosystem

All voting templates can be edited, downloaded, and merged in JSON.

Our Github

Meet the team

Thank you to the following people who have contributed to this open-source project: Amy Zhang, Leijie Wang, Julija Rukanskaitė, Jack Murray-Brown, Nicholas Vincent, Val Elefante, Miriam Ashton, Or Zubalsky, Shauna Gordon-McKeon, Michael Bernstein, Ricky Grannis-Vu, Grant Hugh, Sreya Guha, Evan Yong-Seok Kim, Daniel Carr

Thank you to our funders National Science Foundation (NSF), Mina Foundation, OneProject, Facebook, Office of Naval Research (ONR), Grant for the Web

Collaborating institutions

Metagov Open Collective Stanford HCI Group

Brought to you by

Social Futures Lab University of Washington