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openDemocracy needs your help to survive. We have to raise £18,000 by March 31 – if we don’t, we will have to close.

Magnus Nome
19 February 2013

This has not come out of the blue. In December we realised we must put openDemocracy on a better footing. We had redoubled our efforts to secure funding through project funding and editorial partnerships. This is showing great promise but is not quick enough – and our Board has judged that we need £250,000 to secure our future.

We have raised £200,000 of this, thanks to very generous donors. But this is conditional on achieving the target we need - and now we have a deadline: March 31.

We know you want fresh investigation, strong ideas and good writing to address the extraordinary events of our time. We also know you don’t want to pay for it. We don’t either. We like our web free.

Web publishing is increasingly dominated by giant corporations and lone bloggers. To keep open and independent spaces like openDemocracy alive with a richness of content and a variety of voices, we need the help of those of you that can pitch in.

We are not asking you to pay for content, but to make sure we continue to exist.

Every £1 or $1 or €1 that you give will be worth £5 or $5 or €5. Every £10 will be worth £50. A monthly commitment of $20 counts as $200 over the year and will be worth $1,000 to us.

At openDemocracy we give you a depth and originality that is all too rare, and we don’t charge a penny. We never will – oD is a not-for-profit digital commons made possible by the thousands of authors and contributors who donate their time and thoughts because they believe in what we do and the space we’ve created.

We will never hide their work behind a pay-wall. We will always make sure it is freely available for everyone, including the impoverished, young and old across the world.

You can read our appeal document, which explains our situation and sets out our very modest budget.

The generous pledges we have so far secured mean that for every dollar, pound or euro you donate to openDemocracy – we’ll get five.

But: if we fail to raise the £50,000 by March 31 we will get nothing, and will have to close.

We hope you agree that would be a shame.

openDemocracy has a proud history – since we started in 2001, we resisted the moral panic of the war on terror, challenged market fundamentalism, questioned the war on drugs, analysed issues of gender equality, championed human rights and supported a democracy of deliberation, not populism.

We have published material from esteemed experts and fresh talent from all over the world, and hosted debates that could have existed nowhere else. We’re read by over 2 million people every year, and in every country of the world, including those where we’re blocked, like Iran.

In 2003 we published an article warning of a coming debt crisis in the US and EU. A day after the assault on Fallujah in Iraq in 2004 we ran a first hand account. In 2006 an oD author imagined a black former community organiser with an unfamiliar name as the next US president.

Today we write on subjects such as drone warfare, a deeply flawed economy, how the ‘Arab spring’ affects women, power and opposition in Russia, the dismantling of the welfare state in Britain, xenophobia in Europe and the US, the climate crisis, and violent conflicts across the world.

And we look forward. We stand for human rights, openness and democracy. Our sections are teeming with life and energy, and editorially and in terms of readership we’re at a high point. A new self-funded section Transformation is launching this spring. We publish 53 pieces a week on average, and we do this on a very modest budget – much less than half the salary of a banker!

So not only will your donation be quintupled – it’ll also fuel one of the most efficient publishers of quality news, comment and analysis in existence.

This is possible because our contributors and our young, dedicated team of editors give so much for so little.

We don't want you to wave them goodbye, we’re asking you to salute their generosity by matching it with yours.

Can there be a green populist project on the Left?

Many on the Left want to return to a politics based on class, not populism. They point to Left populist parties not reaching their goals. But Chantal Mouffe argues that as the COVID-19 pandemic has put the need for protection from harm at the top of the agenda, a Left populist strategy is now more relevant than ever.

Is this an opportunity for a realignment around a green democratic transformation?

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 22 October, 5pm UK time/12pm EDT.

Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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