About PPIIN

The mission of the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network Inc. is to educate, engage and empower the citizens of the Philadelphia region on topics of public interest. We are working to incorporate as a non-profit.

To achieve its mission, PPIIN will do the follow:

  • Identify key issues of public interest via various techniques, including surveys, polls and direct public interaction.
  • Gather, organize and maintain relevant, timely, in-depth information and analysis related to each issue, including original reporting, data and aggregated content.
  • Support other publishers providing expertise in specific topic areas.
  • Encourage publishers, experts and community groups to produce additional information and analysis on topics.
  • Disseminate the information using a range of digital technologies and applications or through conventional media.
  • Create communities to discuss each issue and try to identify solutions.

PPIIN recently assumed responsibility for managing and extending the OpenDataPhilly.org project.

PPIIN is funded through a $2.4 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to Temple University’s Center for Public Interest Journalism at the School of Media and Communications.

The Team

neil budde headshot mediumNeil Budde was hired as founding CEO for his demonstrated management skills in enterprises involving journalism and technology, and his experience in anticipating and successfully accommodating for innovations and trends. Budde was most recently executive vice president at ePals and president of DailyMe, a start-up focused on delivering personalized news and information. Prieviously, Budde served as vice president and editor in chief of Yahoo! News and founding editor and publisher of The Wall Street Journal Online (WSJ.com). Budde was also involved nationally in the Online News Association, serving on its board for five years, and The News Literacy Project, where he is a board member and treasurer.

Carla Robinson joins as editorial director with more than 20 years of web and newspaper publishing experience, half of it in Philadelphia. She is most known locally for creating “Urban Warrior,” a Philadelphia Daily News column she designed to help solve the particular problems that Philadelphia residents face. As Urban Warrior, she pushed city leaders to take dramatic action on a persistent problem with abandoned cars and tow more than 40,000 off city streets in just 40 days, a fix that got national attention. Robinson has also worked in the city’s non-profit environment, during which time she helped Philadelphia earn recognition for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation with “Boundless Philadelphia,” a web-based resource for both tourists and residents.

Casey Thomas is a news applications developer and GIS analyst with experience at the Philadelphia Water Department, CHPlanning Ltd., and Cingular.  He has a BA in geography and environmental planning from Bloomsburg University. Among his recent projects: Lobbying.ph, Sheltr, and LGBTRights.me.

Leave a Reply