Mapping Open

Mapping Open

One of big Everything goals is to map what people are doing with ‘open’ around the world. This page is starting point for that process. We will use it capture the mapping process at each of the events and to eventually engage people much more broadly online.

By structuring  the ideas generated in the mapping exercises
and adding others we can start to create a series of resources.

The essence of open (what makes something ‘open’?)

In the world of software, we have concrete definitions of what makes something free or open. However, as we use these concepts more widely, it gets fuzzier. One of the things we want to map through Open Everything is the ways that people are using ‘open’. List your ideas on the essence of open below by filling in the blanks on the following sentences:

Something qualifies as ‘open’ when it is …

  1. Transparent. Meaning that you can see inside it, study it or understand it. E.g. open source software or an open government (not that we have great examples on this second one :)).
  2. Participatory. People can become involved in a substantive way. They can contribute to and shape the open thing in question. Eg. wikipedia or Jane’s Walk. 
  3. Flexible, malleable, editable. The people involved can change, evolve or improve whatever it is they are gathered around. E.g. an open space meeting agenda.
  4. What else …. ?

Some other things I notice about ‘open’ projects and orgs is that they …

  1. Tend to combine extreme levels of idealism and practicality, which are things that don’t usually go hand in hand. E.g. Firefox is a very useful tool, but its makers say they make this tool ‘to keep the web open’.
  2. Taken from some work in the social innovation/enterprise area, this seem to have some relevance:
    1. Provide spaces for people as they are and as they want to become
    2. Embrace the richness and wisdom in differences
    3. Act with a light spirit, sense of fun, creativity and a perspective of opportunity
    4. Practical and productive application of techniques and approaches from non-traditional domains
    5. Distribute increasing control, earnings, and assets into the communities they serve
  3. What else …?

We will refine this list at our events, and then share it with the world to evolve further.

Side note: for some ruminations on this topic, term papers. links

Mapping_Open/Del.icio.us_linksTerm Papers that have been tagged ‘openeverything’. Simply use this tag in to add to the list. 

Mapping questions?

  • How do we map our opening world ? invent tools ? use existing ? How
    do we represent it ? geo ? by domain ? conceptual chart ? database ? If
    starting with database, (and for widest re-use it must be) then we will
    need to discuss the database schema, methods of input, hosting and
    maintainance. From there, any sort of output can be extracted and the
    world is our oyster.
  • Who is Closed ? Where will "openers" meet the most resistance from
    potentially disrupted establishments ? How can this conflict be
    navigated or mitigated ? (use generic industry terms, not specific
    companies) mapping analogy; "There be dragons".
  • Where
    are the borders ? how do "free", "freedom" and "open" intersect ? Is
    this a global issue ? Are there national aspects ? What actions need to
    be taken locally ? Are there degrees of open ? If so, what degree is
    acceptable ? If it’s open, does it have to be free ? If free, but not
    open, does it have to be rejected ?

  •  How does this information help us ?

    Term Papers

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