Michael Pilling is a chief editor at Openpolitics.ca, as in he funds it and cleans up once in a while. Pilling, who lives in Thunder Bay,Ontario, has a career which has spanned public policy, writing, technology and web development. With a lifelong interest in good government and making politics work for citizens, he designs, and promotes tools and methods that facilitate deliberative and participatory decisionmaking. His work on democratic innovation has been featured in the globe and mail and an academic paper examining his work is to be included in a book on Online Deliberation published by Stanford University.
Grassroots ActivistFrom 2001 to 2005 Pilling played a key role in assisting the Green Party of Ontario and the Green Party of Canada achieve a new level of success. In working with a growing political party though several elections, he gained first hand knowledge of the challenges facing citizens and citizens groups wishing to make a difference in public policy. Pilling helped the Green Party of Ontario achieve a balance between deliberation and efficient decision making at party conferences. In 2004, as Head of Platform and Research for the Green Party of Canada, he designed, with the help of other party activists a process called the living platform which enabled the decentralized creation of a party platform on the internet.
Open Politics FounderIn 2005, with the support from friends and a generous donor he was able to take the techniques and technologies developed in the Green Party to a wider audience, and initiated the openpolitics project. The small amount of gap funding didn't get far, however and the project was back-burnered in 2006.
Defending OpenPolitics.caIn 2006, Pilling was served with a libel suit by former Green Party of Canada financier and manager Wayne Crookes. Crookes demanded that numerous pages regarding himself and events in the Green Party be removed from openpolitics.ca. Given the database's history as the original living platform Pilling declined on the grounds that, in his opinion, most of the material was either fair comment on a political controversy, or part of a unique and primary history of the rise of the Green Party of Canada. A few pages of little merit were removed, many others were edited to remove heated rhetoric. Pilling offered Crookes a page to publish anything he wanted see Wayne Crookes' right to reply, that offer has yet to be accepted.
Highproductivity.caIn 2006, Pilling expanded his activities to private sector business consulting, under the company name, HighProductivity.ca. With this company he advises businesses, institutions, NGO's and other consultants about web based collaboration and productivity software.
GLobe:Don't neglect lower education
Wiki Use by Political Parties: A Case Study - Online Deliberation 2005 Globe:Green Party pins growth on living platform