Friends of Democracy is a new project aiming to build more effective advocacy for democracy at the global level. The world faces a democratic recession amidst the rise of elected authoritarian leaders, and many leading democracies are at risk. The coming few years could be a tipping point between a more democratic or more authoritarian world order. Friends of Democracy seeks to connect respected voices from across political, diplomatic, business, civil society and creative fields to advocate for positions, policies and paradigms that defend and renew democracy.
2024 in particular will be a big year for democracy. 46 countries will hold elections and in 38 of them democracy is likely to be on the ballot. These frontline countries include India, the US, Indonesia, South Africa, Europe, Mexico, Poland, Taiwan, Ukraine, Russia, South Sudan, Peru, Venezuela and many more. This could be a decisive year for the threat of authoritarian populism.
The Chair of Friends of Democracy is Ricken Patel, who until 2021 was the founding CEO of Avaaz, one of the world's leading movements for democracy.