The Linux Model—which on its face seems impossibly badly organized and managed—is, in fact, a highly tuned collaborative system that continuously innovates and spreads knowledge.
Commoners in medieval Europe variously employed boundary beating as physical mapping of space, territorial defense, and performative acts of community, collective memory, and shared responsibility.
Medialab Prado is helping citizens and society evolve together in more thoughtful ways. “A big question we should always be asking ourselves,” said García, “is how we want to be living together.
One such organisation is OpenSourceSeeds (OSS). By equipping plant breeders and propagators with a free, open-source licence for the seeds they breed, they provide the necessary legal protection to prevent the patenting of the seed by other parties.
Writing recently in Medium, Salvatore Iaconesi — a designer, engineer and founder of Art is Open Source and Human Ecosystems — offers an extremely important critique of the blockchain and other data-driven network technologies. While recognizing that these systems have enormous potential for “radical innovation and transformation,” he astutely warns against their dangerous psychological and cultural effects.
By reimagining scientific publishing as a type of commons, PLOS has been at the vanguard of the massive shift in scholarly publishing. Access to research is increasingly more open, and not restricted or delayed – and scientific inquiry itself has become more rigorous. Equally important, PLOS has been able to provide vital advocacy and pacesetting innovation to the field, which now includes thousands of open access journals and over half a million freely licensed research articles.
The Open Source Seed license, recently released by a group called OpenSourceSeeds, is trying to “make seeds a common good again.” The license amounts to a form of “copyleft” for new plant varieties, enabling anyone to use the licensed seeds for free.
How does resource sharing affect biodiversity? How does knowledge exchange drive community resilience? How is information access—delivered via technologies—an equalizer among the underrepresented, marginalized, and oppressed? How does our ability to feed a growing planet depend on a culture of openness?
In moments of crisis, when the structures of conventional governance are suddenly exposed as weak or ineffectual, it is clear that there is no substitute for ordinary people acting together.
Threading elements of the great educational experiments of Bauhaus and Roycroft Community models together with Pierre Levy’s modern definition of “collective intelligence,” La Scuola Open Source (The Open Source School) embodies the principles of the sharing movement.
The only way to achieve systemic change at the planetary level is to build counter-power, i.e. alternative global governance.
A growing movement that combines open source design with sustainability is creating an exciting alternative to profit-driven, proprietary sustainability products.