2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

We Can Help Countries Write Better Constitutions

It may come as a surprise, but on average five countries write new constitutions every year. The people who write these documents are often outgunned and under-resourced as they try to search and analyze constitutions from the past.
Enter Constitute, a new product developed by UT Austin, U Chicago, and University College London. Constitute leverages a rich set of original data about the content of constitutions together with a complete set of constitutional texts. Users can search and extract constitutional passages using a powerful search engine and then compare and analyze them. All in a simple and beautiful typesetting environment.
Our presentation will introduce Constitute, its features and potential uses, and how it's changing constitution-writing in countries like Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen.
We anticipate an active discussion among activists and techies about how best to share and apply the linked open data that is at the core of Constitute.



Juan Sequeda

PhD Student

The University of Texas at Austin

Juan Sequeda is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. His research is in the intersection of Semantic Web and Databases. Juan is also the founder of Capsenta, which is a spin-off from his research and is active W3C standardization efforts.

Robert Shaffer

PhD Candidate

The University of Texas at Austin


Zachary Elkins

Assoc Prof

The University of Texas at Austin

Zachary Elkins is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Government. He studies constitutional design and democracy, mostly in the context of Latin America.

Thanks to our sponsors

Miller Lite Monster Energy Esurance Chevrolet AT&T IFC Subway Austin Chronicle

Music sponsor

Sonic Bids

Interactive sponsors

Deloitte American Express Pennzoil