Shuttleworth fellowship application open draft

proposal
Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fb14a4c0330>

#1

The application period for a 2014-2015 Shuttleworth fellowship closes April 1. I plan to apply. Largely inspired by Daniel Mietchen’s advocacy for and practice of open funding proposals, following is a public draft.

The application questions seem well crafted for the purpose of eliciting coherent yet brief (the web form allows 1500 characters for each free text question) case from the applicant, if there is one to be had.

How have I done? I’ve submitted the application, but suggestions and critiques are still most welcome, especially ones disabusing me of the notion that I have a coherent case.

Trivia: I typically use ‘commons’ as a catchall. Here I use ‘open’ to save a few characters and because Shuttleworth uses ‘open’. My preference for specific words is very weak, and unlike many, I enjoy terminological variety rather than experiencing it as an identity threat.


1. Describe the world as you see it.

(A description of the status quo and context in which you will be working)

“Software is eating the world.” “Data is the new oil.” True statements, as yet barely appreciated. Knowledge policy and the structure of the knowledge economy are powerfully shaping the world now and will determine whether the future holds abundance and autonomy for all, or dystopia.

Equality, freedom, and security are very difficult to obtain and maintain, singly and especially together. We now trade these to incent production, particularly of movies and drugs, with an unclear at best impact on net wealth. Medical breakthroughs can be encouraged without intellectual property (IP), and a surfeit of culture that we love will be created no matter what. Trading our dearest values for spectacle is foolish.

Many reformers decry maximalism, oppose further enclosure, and make proposals with the objective of balancing IP with other values. These responses are not commensurate with what is at stake. They fail to alter the structure of the knowledge economy to create a powerful and sustainable constituency for making freedom, equality, and security the top objectives of knowledge policy.

There is one hopeful trend: the rise of open production. While open communities celebrate their absolute progress and status as private carve-outs, their relative progress is uncertain at best. The IP constituency innovates rapidly, in both product and policy.

The trajectories of reform and open production advance a slightly less dystopian future. But a good future is possible.

2. What change do you want to make?

(A description of what you want to change about the status quo, in the world, your personal vision for this area)

My global theory of change:

openness ⇄ freedom, equality, security ⇄ good future

My vision is to lift openness from being a matter of best practice, a private carve-out from or patch to protectionist knowledge policy, and something to be defended when threatened by maximalism – to being recognized as necessary for a future that includes core human needs and values, and as the most effective mechanism for reform of knowledge policy and the knowledge economy.

I want to:

  • Make knowledge policy recognized as a crucial, highly leveraged determinant of economic/political/social outcomes in the broadest sense. Through knowledge policy we are choosing either autonomy and abundance for all, or a dystopia of control and inequality.

  • Make freedom, equality, and security the dominant objectives of knowledge policy. These are generative of autonomy and abundance for all.

  • Make openness the leading mechanism of knowledge policy reform. Openness is generative of freedom, equality, and security, and simultaneously destroys rents dependent on freedom infringing policy, diminishing the constituency for such policy, and grows the constituency and policy imagination for freedom respecting policy.

For openness to become the lever that creates a good future, two things must be radically increased: the ambitions of open movements, and the salience of openness in public discourse about macro outcomes such as freedom, equality, and security. My interventions aim to do just that.

3. What do you want to explore?

(Describe the innovations or questions you would like to explore during the fellowship year)

What interventions hold the most promise for activating the change I want? Is a new think+do tank (World Intellectual Freedom Organization) a sustainable venue for ongoing exploration and intervention based on my global theory of change?

To answer these top-level questions, I would like to explore:

  • How do usual proposed reforms (e.g., exceptions, anti-troll) impact openness? What tweaks are necessary for each to favor open production?

  • What do open practices suggest that is missing from the usual reform agenda? Can they be translated (e.g., copyleft as transparency regulation)?

  • What are the most promising strategies toward open production of drugs & movies, the signal cases for IP and assumed out of reach for open?

  • Can more concentrated open production interests be encouraged? Is ‘venture commoning’ imaginable?

  • What gets measured…so what are the most promising non-patent innovation metrics? How can the relative progress of openness be characterized?

  • How can we forecast the impact of knowledge policy on macro outcomes such as wealth inequality? Quantify the potential impact of openness on same?

  • How much and how fast is it possible to shift the “Overton window” of polite discourse toward openness and away from property as the foundation of knowledge policy?

  • What are the prospects for attracting tens of thousands of supporters, deep pockets?

All concern one innovation: making openness central rather than peripheral to policy and the economy.

4. What are you going to do to get there?

(A description of what you actually plan to do during the year)

DO

Lean, scalable experiments to realign the knowledge economy with openness: 1 on open movie marketing, 1 on advertising+funding.

THINK

Form agenda and community around each question above, typically including:

  • Outreach to relevant activists, communities, organizations, researchers, funders

  • Symposia+hack events focused on moving question forward

  • Commentary on pertinent news and evidence

  • Publication of forward-looking agenda

COMMUNICATE

Provocations intended to shift and test Overton window and engage communities:

  • World Intellectual Freedom Day, on the same day as World IP Day, suggesting replacement of property with freedom (the WIFO name is itself a provocation, and the whole project a campaign…for a good future)

  • Openness as rehab for pirates, who otherwise provide price discrimination/customer retention and gratis marketing for freedom infringing industries

  • Intellectual freedom is not a digital issue; trading freedom and equality for some other kind of progress was always tragic

  • Exploit centrality of licenses to open discourse; envision and critique them as public policy instruments

  • Starkly illustrate choice of gross inequality/dystopia vs. abundance/autonomy being made

  • Intellectual Freedom Declaration for people to affiliate with or criticize

Recruitment of directors and funders, translators and moderators, collaborators for the above initiatives, general supporters and activists worldwide.

5. Does your idea/project have a name?

Yes: World Intellectual Freedom Organization

6. How does your idea relate to openness?

Best expressed in terms of expected outcomes after 1 year:

  • The ambition of open movements will be shifted upward and outward.
  • Openness will begin to be accepted as a primary reform mechanism, and considered necessary for a good future in the broadest sense.
  • There will be an engaged, world wide community around WIFO that sees itself as the avant garde and future of openness, scaling and sustaining the two previous results.
  • One of the “do” interventions will be wildly successful, reshaping possibility space for open, or at least inform the next interventions with that aim.

All materials produced in execution of the idea will be open, per the Open Definition/Open Source Definition.

Execution will strive to be open along other dimensions as well, e.g., governance, inclusiveness, and transparency. Also along these lines, though I am U.S.-based, I aim to make WIFO true to its name from the beginning, encouraging and empowering global participation in governance and all other activities; not least by requiring geographic and gender diversity among its directors, and by prioritizing translation of its projects into numerous languages.

7. Have you started implementation of the idea?

Yes

(If so, please provide details on organisational structure, life cycle and progress.)

Very early, no organization yet.

I’ve been thinking about the idea for a very long time – I registered the wifo.org domain name in 1998! I’ve taken the common advice to try working with other organizations in your field before starting a new one very seriously. :slight_smile:

The last year or so I’ve been honing the concept; Welcome to WIFO Discourse has links to my most pertinent personal blog posts.

I’ve only recently set up an initial site. The first public use of the site has been for discussion of this proposal.

I do not intend to prioritize formalization until necessitated, e.g., by funding.

This application accurately represents what I will do with WIFO. A Shuttleworth fellowship would help me do it with more focus, faster, and probably better – I’d expect the last from advice, criticism, and other interaction with fellows who have traveled similar organizational startup paths.

8. How have you funded your initiative in the past?

Self funded

9. Who are your current or potential key partners?

Key partners will include organizations across commons/free/open/wiki movements; I have good working relationships with many of them. These will take time – if such organizations were ready to embrace my theory of change, I would not be starting a new organization. Many individuals in these movements are ahead of the organizations, and there are indicators of open production organizations and movements beginning to act as self-interested and not exclusively defensive players in public policy – opportunity is plenty and timing good for my intervention to speed this process.

Other potential key partners include activists, futurists, social scientists, and think tanks currently uninvolved in and in many cases unaware of openness My approach with engaging such entities will be to emphasize the criticality of knowledge policy to the outcomes of concern to them; openness as the best strategy for achieving those outcomes follows. I have weaker connections across these much larger fields. Building them up would be a core activity of my fellowship year, weaved through planned actions, and deeply influencing post-fellowship roadmap.

Funders will also be key partners. A Shuttleworth fellowship would be an ideal beginning in this regard: not only for the year of funding, but for the opportunity to engage in a community of fellows each dedicated to using openness to make the world better, and for the credibility with other entities that a visionary first funder brings.

10. Do you intend to implement the idea as a for profit or not for profit initiative in the future?

Not for profit

11. Where will you be based during the fellowship?

Base Country: USA
Base City: Oakland

12. Where will you implement your idea?

Online

13. Do you have an online presence?

Yes

(Please Provide Links to your Web Presence/s)

http://gondwanaland.com/mlog/


https://identi.ca/mlinksva
https://twitter.com/mlinksva

14. Does the idea/project have an online presence?

Yes

(Please Provide Links to your Project/Idea’s Web Presence/s)

15. How did you hear about the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship Program?

Friend
Current/Past Fellow
On the web

16. Have you applied for a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship in a previous round?

No

17. Upload Resume

Approximation at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mlinksva

18. Video URL

Approximate video transcript

Hi, I’m Mike Linksvayer. My project is the World Intellectual Freedom Organization, or WIFO.

I believe that a good future requires freedom, equality, and security be the top objectives of knowledge policy. Instead, the current default, intellectual property, is driving us to a future of gross inequality, conflict, and control.

IP reforms aiming for balance, or to curb the worst abuses, while laudable, are not commensurate with what is at stake: they do not alter the structure of knowledge production, nor do they fundamentally challenge the IP paradigm.

Open production and open policy together are the reform that does exactly these things: open alters the structure of production so as to diminish the constituency for IP and increase both the constituency and policy imagination for freedom.

I’ve been working in open movements for the last 15 years, including as co-founder one of the earliest open data services, as CTO and VP at Creative Commons, as a director of OpenHatch and Software Freedom Conservancy, and as an advisor and participant in many other projects.

I’m a huge fan of free and open source software, open access, open data, open education, open hardware, wikis, etc. These movements have achieved great things within their fields, increasingly including policy wins.

I’m starting WIFO to move the goalposts: to position open as a direct challenge to IP and as the primary mechanism for reform period, not only within specific fields, and to figure out how open can take on new fields, including the ones that really matter – movies and drugs – the signal cases for IP.

Here’s what I plan to do in the first year, in the categories of do, think, and communicate:

1 DO

WIFO will start two lean, scalable web-based interventions that have potential for realigning parts of the knowledge economy with openness:

  • The first is a new take on advertising structured around incentivizing openness.
  • The second aims to consolidate an audience for open movies, a first step in addressing the yawning gap in distribution and marketing for open, even where open production is feasible.

2 THINK

In the open, through outreach to and engagement with relevant activists, communities, and organizations, WIFO will develop strategies towards making openness central rather than peripheral to policy and the economy, addressing questions such as:

  • What tweaks to the usual reform proposals are necessary for each to favor open production? What do open practices suggest that is missing from the usual reform agenda?
  • What forms could ‘venture commoning’ take?
  • How can we forecast the impact of knowledge policy on macro outcomes such as wealth inequality? How can the relative progress of openness be tracked?

3 COMMUNICATE

Provocations intended to shift discourse and engage communities, for example:

  • World Intellectual Freedom Day, on the same day as World IP Day, complementing the WIFO name in suggesting replacement of property with freedom, and accompanied by an Intellectual Freedom Declaration
  • A campaign for openness as rehab for pirates, who otherwise provide price discrimination/customer retention and gratis marketing for freedom infringing industries.
  • A campaign starkly illustrating the choice of gross inequality/dystopia vs. abundance/autonomy being made.

Expected results after 1 year:

  • The ambition of open movements will be shifted upward and outward.
  • Openness will begin to be accepted as a primary reform mechanism, and considered necessary for a good future in the broadest sense.
  • There will be an engaged, world wide community around WIFO that sees itself as the avant garde and future of openness, scaling and sustaining the two previous results.
  • One of the “do” interventions will be wildly successful, reshaping possibility space for open, or at least inform the next interventions with that aim.

If you’re a Shuttleworth Foundation reviewer, I hope this proposal resonates with your organization’s vision for a better future centered around open principles. I’d be honored and thrilled to collaborate in fellowship with others in realizing this vision.

That goes for anyone viewing this as well: if you want to get involved in any of the actions I’ve discussed, or explain why I’m wrong, please visit wifo.org and get in touch.

This recording is dedicated to the public domain. Do what thou wilt!


Last pre-WIFO postcast & WIFO podcast concept
Open pre-proposal: Advis
Open pre-proposal: PALflix
Comments on related movements and groups
World Intellectual Freedom Day 2015
About the Movies category
Knight Prototype Fund Proposals
#2

Made some small edits incorporating offline suggestions.

I mentioned forming a ‘research+action agenda’ for each question I want to explore. I removed ‘research+action’ and reworded some of the bullet points, just in case they could be interpreted as me wanting to do academic research. I do not. I am not an academic. Engaging researchers in these questions is important (elsewhere I’ve stated a long-term goal of ‘IP scholars’ re-imagining themselves as ‘innovation policy’ or best as ‘commons policy’ scholars; and of bringing social scientists back into the debate they largely abandoned after losing over 100 years ago) but getting researchers out of a very local optimum (weak acknowledgement that IP is empirically unjustified and on one level taking a public policy rather than property rights based approach, but at another, wholesale buying into the regime, thus focusing on tinkering and ‘balance’) requires an intervention that more academic research won’t provide – that’s the intervention I want to make.

Another suggestion was that I make clear that WIFO is happening no matter what, the fellowship being an opportunity to give it a boost, rather than the WIFO concept being crafted for the fellowship application. I don’t have a textual clarification (suggestions welcome) but this feedback helped me to decide to answer ‘Yes’ to both the ‘have you started implementation’ and ‘does the idea/project have an online presence’ questions.

Finally, someone said the following is their favorite sentence in the proposal:

The sentence is from the question 6 (how does your idea relate to openness). I intended to get this across in question 2 (what change do you want to make) but may not have as crisply. I’ll emphasize this in the video even if I don’t get to rewording the earlier questions.


#3

ok…I think this is really interesting. It is also really dense so I need to think about it for a little bit but some quickies:

  • I think if you are going to execute this it has to be worldwide. It might be seen as an ineffective strategy to say that it will be executed from Oakland (question 12). it needs to be a global initiative if it is to enable global change
  • on the dogfooding…wifo uses markdown -non-standardised text encryption - and it also uses IP protected login mechanisms. I’d change that immediately else the medium is not in sync with the message
  • i would not place the first item as being ‘is my theory valid’. I doubt Shuttleworth will give $ to explore a theory. it needs to be more concrete and attached to practice. I think they are after big picture thinkers (as you are), with world changing ideas (as you have), with practical implementation plans
  • the ‘what are you going to do to get there’ to me feels very (too) high level. I would give contrete practical steps for a specific implementation idea.
  • in key partners I would name names.

In general terms the high level aims are there but it misses the low level implementation ideas…I think you need very concrete steps. Even if it is to start a foundation, onboard key (named) partners, facilitate discussion X at event Y around outcomes Z (all very specific) etc…


#4

Thanks Adam. You’re right about density (charitably put). On other points:

  • Right about location. Looked again at the actual application form and that question is select one (of same location, other location, or online), so online is the only logical choice.
  • I know you dislike markdown and I enjoy your critique, would love to have ubiquitous WYSIWYG HTML5 editors … but ‘text encryption’ is a wild exaggeration. Markdown seems to work in a worse is better sort of way, and this implementation is free. I knew some people would dislike Discourse, so wrote about why I chose it and doubts I have about it…admittedly markdown didn’t make either list. On login mechanisms, I knew I’d get that feedback, so wrote an explanation. Medium/message longer topic, but that’s one thing I’m pretty sure Shuttleworth has no religion on.
  • Your other points – certainly correct. My excuse is the 1500 char/answer limit, but it’s not a good one. I’ll try to recycle some of those characters into more concrete practical implementation plan with named details as you recommend.

#5

Ni!

We now trade these for production, particularly of movies and drugs

When I first read this I thought you were talking of illegal drugs. :wink:

surfeit

I just learned a new word!

These responses are not commensurate with the impact info policy

What?! Something is missing from that sentence.


Reading made me feel you abusing a language construct (more specifically, the parenthesis).


My personal vision: …

I really don’t like this paragraph, it breaks continuity of the text. I’d at least place it after the following one, or at the beginning of the section.


venture commoning

This is a new term, so perhaps use double quotes to alert the reader.


Now for the meat…

Your proposal reads too much like a policy study, is that really what you’re aiming for?

I don’t think you will “get there” just by doing a policy study, and yet that’s what you were asked in section 4.

So either you reposition sections 2 and 3, or you need a bolder section 4.

I’d call out the following of the pointers from the Shuttleworth Foundation:

Building awareness or making connections is not specific enough. We
want to support the exploration of a specific solution to a specific
problem. Enabling others to connect in order to ask those questions and
possibly find answers is great. We’re looking for more. While we think
it is important and useful for people to come together and we in no way
prevent this from being part of a strategy, that is not enough. We are
looking for a specific result in change in behaviour.

My hunch right now is this: your application is about bootstrapping WIFO, working the community, early institutional ties, and intellectual basis for it, or die trying and yet leave a rich legacy in your spoils. So make it about that - and count me in.

At least don’t make it read like a research proposal. ;D


#6

Thanks! You’re right from language abuse on down through the protein. Working on fixing, hope to count you in. :smile:


#7

Encryption is too strong (pardon the pun). I rushed the sentence a little and grasped for the right word and missed. I usually say ‘codified text’. Non-standardised codified text. Just for the sake of clarity :slight_smile:

Looking forward to seeing how the proposal progresses. You absolutely deserve to be backed so I hope they do it!


#8

Reworked parts of the first 4 questions, admittedly just a start in the direction it needs to go. At least the () abuse is gone. :slight_smile: I’ll come back to it and the partners question after making a video. Thanks @solstag and @Adam_Hyde!


#9

I’ve submitted the application. The video and other updates are reflected in the top post above. Thanks to folks who made suggestions, including several not on this forum. I only captured a small portion of the deeper suggestions, but can honestly say that there are improvements made due only to something each suggester suggested.

I neglected to promote this proposal during drafting, opting to focus on getting the thing done – the two in conflict because promotion seemed to require providing a lot of context. So really the drafting was at best quasi-open, invite-only through obscurity. Even then there are many people I ought to have invited that I did not get around to. My next open proposal, whatever that may be, I’ll force myself to be open, inclusive of promoting the effort, from the beginning, even when context is lacking and the earliest draft does not exist or is an embarrassment.

Next I’ll do some promotion of the submitted application (i.e., this thread) and get to work on using this forum to coordinate some of the activities mentioned in the application…


#10

Jonas Oberg (recent Shuttleworth Fellow, current FSFE executive director):

Open at the Core
Random ramblings after reading the Shuttleworth Fellowship application by Mike Linksvayer. It’s only loosely connected, and I don’t give proper justice to Mike’s theory, but I’m very supportive of his initiative and call for an urgent intervention to explain the criticality of knowledge policy, of making freedom, equality, and security the dominant objectives of knowledge policy.

Video at http://media.coyote.org/u/jonas/m/openness-as-the-foundation/

My comments:

Jonas mentions that his thinking has shifted over the past few years on whether it is useful to think about anything beyond ‘balance’ oriented tinkering with IP (from no to yes), and suggests that copyleft would be OK without copyright, but we still need to do whatever minor tweaks can be accomplished now, while thinking and especially experimenting toward a post-IP future.

The main thing I’d add is the need to link current practice, experimentation, and reform, eg as I mention in the post above:

How do usual proposed reforms (e.g., exceptions, anti-troll) impact openness? What tweaks are necessary for each to favor open production?
What do open practices suggest that is missing from the usual reform agenda? Can they be translated (e.g., copyleft as transparency regulation)?

Lean, scalable experiments to realign the knowledge economy with openness

Only if IP reformers and open practitioners are working together will production, constituencies, and imagination be realigned such that “a better future centered around open principles” becomes feasible.

Thanks Jonas!


#11

Hello Mike!

I very much like the idea of a “World Intellectual Freedom Organization”. Plus, I think you are the perfect profile to full filled (with your deep knowledge and rigurosity on the issues, creativity, capacity, contacts, reputation, etc.).

The proposal put at the front key elements (open knowledge, appropriate policy, ley values: openness, freedom, security, equality). Particularly, equality (or solidarity) lacking frequently from discourses and practices.

I like the strategy: a global org, with a global day. Plus, combining doing with thinking, and communicating.

It is important (and the application) request to go to several dimensions of the project (from more abstract to more concrete). That is ok, but at the same time, in my view, the specific idea of a “World Intellectual Freedom Organization” arrives a bit too late or does not have enough prominence and space.

Regarding this last question communicating: I think it would be good to co-involve/arrive to not only experts but public opinion at large. In this regard, I would perhaps rethink the terminology. The application is also at some parts difficult to read for non English speakers or deep experts. Such as these sentence: “Medical breakthroughs can be encouraged without intellectual property (IP), and a surfeit of culture that we love will be created no matter what. Trading our dearest values for spectacle is foolish.”. Plus, who is the “we”, referring who is the constituency of these “we”?. I would use more accessible language.

Talking about constituencies, I think a next step is a more elaborated presentation of the composition of the organization or of the community is representing. In this regard, I would adopt an ecosystem approach – with several levels and modalities of involvement. Plus, I would be inclusive with any “intellectually free” practices. In similar line, which is going to be the organizational model? Might evocate open production or a “classic” organization (I see good reasons in both sides)?. Then, another question linked to composition and organizational form: would States be part? Or which role will be those of the States?.

Which legal form should addopt? This is a question for that the WIFP could help to answer (for its own case but also for other org based on freedom) - as many expresions based on freedom do not adapt to the legal modalities and there is the need of new legal forms. In Spain, for example, there is a new type of cooperativism, that combine to be a cooperative of workers and cooperative of services (association of consumers making use of a service) that it might be a good combination.

Perhaps, part of the action could be connected with the WIPO, as it is questioning its framework and suggesting another. Perhaps a contra-summit?.

Some specific comments:

What are the most promising strategies toward open production of drugs & movies, the signal cases >for IP and assumed out of reach for open?

Drugs and movies seems coming out of the blue.

What gets measured…so what are the most promising non-patent innovation metrics? How can the >relative progress of openness be characterized?

I find these questions super important, and very stimulant. I would be happy to engage and collaborate with this.

In sum, really really suggestive proposal and very necessary, you are the perfect profile for it! Count with me if I could contribute.

Mayo Fuster


How to help/get involved with WIFO?
#12

Thanks Mayo for your feedback. A few comments in response:

That’s how the application questions are structured, I guess stemming from Shuttleworth Foundation’s desire to invest in individual champions rather than organizations. I do mention WIFO at the very start of the video though. The application so far has been good enough for an interview; we’ll see how much further I get…

“We” and “our” above is everyone, all humans. You’re correct that my writing can be inaccessible and that’s a bad thing. I’ll aim to get feedback specifically on understandability for any text that I intend to be widely circulated. Anyone should remind me when I fail.

My default is to go with a “classic” organization, a non-profit governed by a board, possibly elected by a membership or similar constituency once there is one. I’m very interested in alternative organizational forms in theory, but don’t want to get bogged down in organizational design. I’m very open to suggestions though, as briefly mentioned in the organization heading of How to help/get involved with WIFO? Regarding States (I assume you mean nation states), I’d welcome their involvement but that strikes me as infeasible to start with. I have no idea how to bootstrap an IGO but if someone who does wants to get involved, please surprise me! I suspect the underlying ideas need a lot of uptake before any State would join.

In that vein elsewhere @solstag wrote “WIFO is to WIPO what WSF is to WEF #Perhaps”. The WIPO 50th anniversary is coming up in only 5 years. I imagine it will be a time in which those who have been working to reform and/or counter WIPO for a long time come together in some form. If WIFO is successful, I imagine with a larger emphasis on countering WIPO through commons-based production.

Ok, I guess making it clear why they are specifically included will have to be part of making communications accessible.

Excellent! I will count you in. :smile:


#13

Snippet from rejection message:

We have found that initiatives that offer a more specific solution to a specific problem have a higher probability of succeeding within the time frame the fellowship affords.

No doubt that’s true. :slight_smile:

The Shuttleworth Foundation staff who interviewed me gave me a favorable impression. I strongly encourage others to apply, perhaps taking above feedback into account.


#14

Also thanks to everyone who read and gave feedback above, or offline. “Above” does refer to both feedback here and contained in the rejection message.

Further thoughts on the Shuttleworth Foundation, open proposals, and tangents forthcoming.

Still moving ahead with WIFO and related projects, check this site, and how you can help (in need of an update, but more or less accurate) for more.


#15

Just noticed https://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/2015/08/03/thinking-welcome-adam-astra-waldo/ announcing 3 new fellows from this round.

They are Adam Hyde, founder of FLOSS Manuals and Booksprints, and in my opinion just about the best possible fit for what I understand the fellowship to be. Freeing book production (and recently academic journal production; he worked on this for a time at PLOS) in several dimensions – collaborative production, open source platform, open product – is hugely important even for dispelling the mythos of “intellectual property” given the history of copyright usually understood to start with book publishers, and given continued cultural deference to books, even though they are not one of the the current signal cases for intellectual property (those are movies and drugs). I literally (hah) can’t wait to see what Adam does, and hope it includes a bit of the one thing he hasn’t yet shown can be collaboratively produced for books, which is distribution/marketing/popularity/cultural relevance, and which is necessary for giving the proprietary competition anything to worry about. Watch Adam’s great short presentation, Books are Evil!

Astra Taylor is director of Examined Life a hugely enjoyable walking head documentary (but it must be noted here, non-free). I happened to meet Astra virtually in a booksprint (facilitated by Adam of course) which producing the 2nd edition of Collaborative Futures. Her fellowship is for the Debt Collective. Several months ago I watched Astra’s presentation on “Taking Back Power in the Age of Networks” given at the Berkman Center which touches on this effort and a bunch of other things.

Waldo Jaquith’s focus is described as being “on unlocking [government] data from the supply side” which is entirely good but also seems to be the generic aim many thousands of “open government data” people, so I’m looking forward to seeing how his “keen insight into how open data can then benefit users on the demand side” plays out and hope that like Adam he demands open source platforms, not just open end products – a dangerous defect in the open data movement in my estimation.

Congratulations to all 3!