openDemocracy is an independent global media platform covering world affairs, ideas and culture which seeks to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world. openDemocracy was founded in 2000 by Anthony Barnett, David Hayes, Susan Richards and Paul Hilder. Publishing started in May 2001.
Prominent contributors to the webzine have included Kofi Annan, George Soros, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Shirin Ebadi, Sidney Blumenthal, Peter Hain, Pierre Bourdieu, Manuel Castells, Fred Halliday, and David Blunkett. openDemocracy's mission statement asserts: "openDemocracy is committed to human rights and democracy. We aim to ensure that marginalised views and voices are heard. We believe facilitating argument and understanding across geographical boundaries is vital to preventing injustice".
openDemocracy is owned and published through a non-profit foundation. It has been funded by a number of philanthropic organisations, including the Ford Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, as well as a base of individual donors. High profile individual supporters have included Heidi Bergemann, John Cleese, Carl Djerassi, and Pamela Raspe, and Reinhard Hesse.
Today the principal columnists are Paul Rogers (Global security), Li Datong (China from the inside), Mary Kaldor (Human security) and Daniele Archibugi (Cosmopolitan Democracy).
Founder Anthony Barnett, Charter 88 organiser and political campaigner, was the first editor (2001-2005) and Isabel Hilton was editor from 2005-2007. She was succeeded by Rosemary Bechler who has been editor since 2010. Since 2012 editor-in-chief has been Magnus Nome, with former editor-in-chief Tony Curzon Price as contributing editor.
One section of the site is devoted to Our NHS and another to OurBeeb.