Starting today, the @ParticipediaProject will use Medium as our primary news channel. We will share relevant content about participatory democracy around the world, generated by and for our community of academics, practitioners, and engaged citizens, and we invite you join us.
As our premiere Medium post we’re excited to announce the launch of our newly redesigned, open source, open edit website: Participedia.net! We’ll give you a sense of what the Participedia Project is all about and what makes it relevant in today’s global context, and how our open source and participatory approach to website design created new opportunities for collaboration and impact.
Known as ‘the Wikipedia of public participation’, Participedia content is created, edited, and accessed by anyone on the internet as part of the Creative Commons. Our new website is designed to inform and inspire policymakers, community organizers, and citizens. We are a resource for anyone interested in the new forms of civic engagement and democratic innovation being developed around the world.
The content published by our community of users reflects important global issues.The Citizens Assembly on Brexit case entry highlights the use of deliberative public engagement on a complex and polarizing issue, and Girls at Dhabas highlights a grassroots initiative that leverages social media to empower women and non-binary individuals in Pakistan. You too can help to collaboratively document the global phenomenon of public participation by joining the community at Participedia.net, where nearly 2000 entries have already been published and edited by close to 3000 users.
Our new website is being developed using open source, transparent, and participatory methods, and has created new opportunities for collaboration and experimentation that span political and geographic boundaries. For example, the Privy Council Office of Canada discovered and engaged with Participedia on Github, a platform for open source development where our new code and ongoing design process is available publicly. The resulting collaboration will use Participedia to document case studies of public engagement conducted by the Canadian Government. As well, student computer scientists in the UK connected with our developers while prototyping new tools for the platform using our open source API. In addition to other new features for the website that will soon be released, a tech-driven engagement plan for localization is in place that will connect and empower our community to translate site content into multiple languages, and share knowledge and resources in a more accessible and inclusive way.
Participedia is made possible by a Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The project was founded by principal investigator Dr Mark Warren of the University of British Columbia and co-investigator Dr Archon Fung of Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The new Participedia website was designed by the project’s Design & Technology Team, led by Amber Frid-Jimenez, Canada Research Chair in art and design technology and director of the Studio for Extensive Aesthetics at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.