Participedia harnesses the power of collaboration to respond to a recent global phenomenon: the rapid development of experiments in new forms of participatory politics and governance around the world. We live in a world in which citizens of most countries are asking for greater involvement in collective decisions. Many governments, non-governmental organizations, and even some corporations are responding by experimenting with ways to increase public participation.
Hundreds of thousands of participatory processes occur each year in almost every country in the world. They are occurring in a wide variety of political and policy problems. And they often supplement and sometimes compete with more traditional forms of politics, such as representative democracy. Participedia responds to these developments by providing a low-cost, easy way for hundreds of researchers and practitioners from across the globe to catalogue and compare the performance of participatory political processes.
The Participeda project will (1) create an extensive common pool of knowledge that will support a new generation of research on democratic innovations, and (2) develop an extensive community of research and practice focused on participatory democratic innovations. At the heart of Participedia is an innovative research platform (www.participedia.net) that enables extensive, decentralized, collaborative creation and mobilization of knowledge beyond what might be achieved by a more traditionally-organized research team. The cooperation partners of Participedia will develop this platform and its supporting communities of research and practice.