How might Open Knowledge help develop a Sustainable Open Society
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How might Open Knowledge help develop a Sustainable Open Society

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@JackTownsend_ Open Knowledge Foundation OKFestival Sustainability Stream, Helsinki, Finland, September 2012

@JackTownsend_ Open Knowledge Foundation OKFestival Sustainability Stream, Helsinki, Finland, September 2012

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    How might Open Knowledge help develop a Sustainable Open Society How might Open Knowledge help develop a Sustainable Open Society Presentation Transcript

    • How might open knowledge help develop a sustainable open society?@JackTownsend_
    • Introduction• The Question I’d like to ask… – How might open knowledge help develop a sustainable open society?• “Open society” going to call one with political and economic freedoms – (Appreciate this is “lumping” political and economic freedom together)• Whether you think about capitalist economies; whatever you think about democracies – There are lots of them and they’re spreading• For such societies to go from exponential growth in resource use to something more sustainable – Massive changes will be needed• Can a diverse world change to become environmentally sustainable and maintain it’s openness? – Not give up on hard won political & economic freedoms• Sustainability problems are wicked problems – Can only hope for clumsy solutions • Negative side effects • Will be good for some and bad for others • Not wise to sacrifice too much for such imperfect solutions• Can open knowledge help with resolving these tensions?• This is early speculative big picture stuff!! Questions more than answers
    • Accountability Institutional Individual
    • Accountable institutions and individuals• (Theoretical bases of) – Democracy -> citizens – capitalism _> share-holders, consumers, and governments• Openness -> accountability by making negative actions publically visible – Reducing malpractice, corruption, negligence • Sustainability – Institiutional & individual level • ENERGY EXAMPLES FROM EARLIER – Public visibility may have opposite effect • conspicuous consumption – Privacy…
    • Inform Develop trustWell-informed citizens
    • Well-informed citizens with well-founded trust• Why – ….Accountability • governments and companies driven by public’s priorities – key to democracy and responsible capitalism – Will reflect environmental values (or not) – Citizen Buy-in needed for changes • Citizens need to trust the science and environmental policies• Open knowledge could… – Inform – Grow trust • prove trustworthiness of science or policy? • Open up science and government to public participation? • Wilfull misuse (Lies, damned lies & statistics) • False impressions - Lessig
    • More out for less inRethinking what we want outCoordination & optimisation
    • More out for less in• Major aim of Good governance• Definition of environmental sustainability?• Open knowledge could… – Re-imagine what it is we want out? Vs GDP • Valuing not just economic but social and environmental progress • Quantification of everyday life now far beyond financial • EXAMPLE – YOURTOPIA • Can it provide real rigour and win trust? – Coordination & optimisation to deliver efficiency? • EXAMPLE – BUS MATE • rebound effect • Privacy
    • Freedom through innovationDevelop sustainable tech and strategiesFind new ways to be free
    • Innovation and Freedom• Freedom perhaps most challenging area? – Possible to maintain individual liberty yet deter negative environmental behaviours? • A major challenge for sustainability• So what role open knowledge? – Well, opening up knowledge can accelerate innovation • INTUITIVELY OBVIOUS• Perhaps innovation can help? – Develop new sustainable technologies and strategies – Find new ways of living freely within environmental constraints • World is a NON-linear system. – Not a finite range of human experiences and actions from many of which we are constrained by sustainability. • Necessity can perhaps be the mother of invention – Invention creates whole new possibilities for human experience » ANALOGY Evolution – Innovation often degrades the environment • Cf Industrial revolution • Constraints such as carbon pricing and environmental regulation are needed to ensure the innovations that receive most effort are the sustainable ones
    • Can open knowledge helpdevelop a sustainable open society? Some challenges…
    • Challenges• Nothing is a panacea! – “Fairy dust”• Privacy – Human – Environmental Privacy• Unintended consequences• Not just releasing the data – it’s what you do with it – Open knowledge into action – Stories and images matter more than facts – Willful misuse/false impressions – User-focused solutions• Digital divide – Who is empowered? – Western-centric value?
    • How might open knowledge helpdevelop a sustainable open society? @JackTownsend_
    • @JackTownsend_Web & Sustainabilityjack@jacktownsend.netslideshare.net/JackTownsend