Professors Archon Fung (Harvard University) and Mark E. Warren (University of British Columbia Vancouver) developed the idea of Participedia in the summer of 2009. Soon after, they asked Clearview president Patrick Scully to provide advice on program development and fundraising. Pat played a leading role in writing a grant proposal that resulted in the award of a $200,000 Partnership Development Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada. He was named Participedia’s project manager in January 2011.
The Participedia Project responds to a transformation of democratic governance that involves hundreds of thousands of new channels of citizen involvement in government, often outside of the more visible politics of electoral representation, and occurring in most countries in the world. Given this rapid and extensive development, we need to know what kinds of processes exist, and we need to know what kinds work best for specific problems and issues, for specific goals, under specific circumstances.
The Participedia Project combines an extensive global partnership with new information technologies to create the information base necessary for high quality research and evidence-based practice. At its heart is an innovative research platform (www.participedia.net) that enables decentralized, collaborative creation and mobilization of knowledge in ways that will exceed the capacities of a more traditionally-organized research team.