open everything roadshow opens – a 1/2 day conversation about the art, science and spirit of "open"

by P

Today Mark Surman and friends are starting up the first or a series of Open Everything roadshow events in Toronto. He calls it a conversation about the art, science and spirit of “open”. If you are “violently intrigued” and live in Cape Town – then please get in touch. We will be organising the Cape Town leg of this international extravaganza in late August. A bit more background from Mark:

A few months ago, I looked on Google and Wikipedia for places where people were using the concept of ‘open’. In 30 minutes I found about 15 examples. Obviously, some of these examples used ‘open’ was being well before the idea migrated from software: open systems; open societies; open standards; open space meetings. There are also fields that are taking their inspiration much more directly from things like Linux and Wikipedia: open education; open content; open innovation; open policy making; open design; open media; open philanthropy. And, then, there were a few surprises: open ethics; open religion; open fitness.

Some of this is fluff and fashion, of course. However, there are increasing examples of people very seriously and effectively applying open source thinking – intentionally and unintentionally – beyond software and encyclopedias. Here are three examples: The Open Architecture Network, an online community that shares building designs with the aim of creating low cost, innovative housing solutions for the world’s poor. The MIT Open Courseware initiative and the Shuttleworth Foundation’s own Siyavula project, which are using open source techniques to develop and share learning materials. And BarCamp, which is like an open source conference model for techies, making it easy for people to design events on the fly and for the model to be replicated in different cities around the world. You will hear about many more examples as a part of today’s Open Everything event.