Update Institute

A civil society organization that studies and fosters political innovation in Latin America – new political practices that bring citizens closer to politics, combat inequality and strengthen democracy – primarily focusing on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

Based on their cultural and political similarities, we assume that countries in the region can share innovative political practices and experiments that are most applicable to their realities and contexts.

The projects are developed using two strategies: to generate visibility and to strengthen the viability of the ecosystem of political innovation.


The Update Visibility program embraces the power of stories about a new way of doing politics. We believe that they are essential to provoke a political imagination capable of bringing citizens closer to politics.


The Update Viability program aims to accelerate innovation in politics, by increasing competence and resilience. To do that, we develop and share tools, technologies, training, and skill-building for political leaders in campaigns and in office.


Update Institute seeks to strengthen democracy in Latin America by bringing citizens closer to politics by restoring confidence, updating political practices, and seeking greater representation in positions of power.


An effective participatory Latin American democracy, free of self-serving politics, patrimonialism, and patronage, with organizations and individuals active and empowered to build equal, more just, and more inclusive societies.

Our origin

The Update Institute was born from the hypothesis that there is a political innovation ecosystem in Latin America that can bring democracy up-to-date on the challenges of the 21st century.

To support this hypothesis, we conducted our first survey, the Political Emergence — Trends. With 700 mapped-out initiatives, it is the largest and most extensive survey ever conducted on emerging innovative political practices in Latin America and has given rise to the Political Emergence research series.

From this research, and finding that there were no organizations dedicated to fostering political innovation in the region, we formalized ourselves as an organization.

In Latin America, we see still young, fragile, outdated, and unequal democracies because of their historical backgrounds and heritage. Thus, the crises of institutionalization, representativeness, and references that are seen worldwide are particular to the region. When compared against this background, we observe the development of an ecosystem of new actors and emerging political practices. While institutional politics seem to back down from various crises, we see a series of innovations flourishing at the edges of a society that seeks to bring citizens closer to public power, design new institutions, and connect people and transformative actions.


Update Institute believes that talk and practice go hand in hand. Accordingly, we seek to openly and transparently present our experience so that anyone can access it. Since we were founded, we have received investments from foundations, institutes, and individuals, and have generated our own revenue through our activities.

International Foundations38.139,00323.725,001.203.642,521.395.142,56
National Foundations100.000,00141.146,00200.409,00370.450,00
Other Revenue00216.455,30296.775,58
Service Provision139.155,00296.596,00641.265,76630.220,00
Training and Events10.044,4630.229,1215.377,38252.518,29
Administrative Costs32.799,0156.519,0073.927,32204.801,65



Drica Guzzi
Gisela Moreau
Maria Alice Setubal
Teresa Bracher


BMW Foundation
Fundação Arymax
Fundação AVINA
Fundação Ford
Fundação Porticus
Fundação Tide Setubal
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Brasil
Instituto Arapyau
Instituto Betty & Jacob Lafer
Instituto Clima & Sociedade
Instituto PDR
OAK Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Omidyar Network

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