Welcome to WIFO Discourse

Forum for the World Intellectual Freedom Organization, a not yet existing organization based on the following theory of change:

commons ⇄ freedom, equality, security ⇄ good future

Longer version:

  1. Knowledge (inclusive of tools and processes that embody or improve knowledge, e.g., software, innovation) policy and the structure of the knowledge economy are crucial determinants of macro outcomes, and will become much more so as we speed through a transition more profound than the previous hunter/gatherer to agriculture to industry ones.
  2. To achieve a good future (autonomy and abundance for all), the dominant objectives of knowledge policy must be freedom, equality, and security (which in contrast with many other policy areas, can be increased together through good knowledge policy). The implied dominant objectives of current knowledge policy (incenting investment in marketing of spectacle and drugs) are leading to a dystopia of hierarchical control and gross inequality.
  3. Commons-based (often identified as free, libre, or open) knowledge production is the most promising (feasible, effective, sustainable) reform and restructuring of knowledge policy and the knowledge economy in the direction of a good future, as such production 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.
  4. Corresponding to the previous three points: (1) the leverage of knowledge policy for shaping the future is under-appreciated; (2) usual reforms calling for balance are inadequate: they challenge neither the wisdom of trading off freedom, equality, and security for spectacle nor the structure of knowledge production aligned with this trade; and (3) commons-based knowledge movements’ ambitions to survive as private carve-outs from property regimes rather than to be the primary mechanisms for reform, are also inadequate. Therefore there is an urgent need for interventions that explain the criticality of knowledge policy, of making freedom, equality, and security the dominant objectives of knowledge policy, and of activating commons-based knowledge production as the most important mechanism for reforming knowledge policy.

Interested in exploring, realizing, or critiquing any or all of the above propositions (in general and in field-specific application)? You are very warmly welcomed to discuss in this forum. Also see other ways to help and get involved with WIFO.

Our categories may provide further inspiration, but feel free to start an uncategorized topic if you feel none applies.

Some further argumentation in the form of personal blog posts, to be replaced as better material is had:

…and many others pre-2014, e.g., Future of Copyright and World Intellectual Freedom Organization.