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Goal: Effective and open education What? Participatory, student-centric pedagogy for today's world. Flexible educational materials and methods adaptable by anyone. Why? Equip students for a world where the ability learn is more imporant than what you know. Increase access to educational materials. Speed up educational innovation. We've arrived when: Most South Africans have the skills and outlook they need to thrive in a knowledge society.
Goal: Access to knowledge for all What? Open access to publicly funded research and resources. Commitment to open standards. Intelectual property laws that support open knowledge sharing. Why? Simultaneously encourages equity and innovation. New ideas leverage and build on existing knowledge. No more information haves / have nots. We've arrived when: Open content, software and standards are commonplace in all sectors of South African society.
Goal: Affordable voice + date everywhere What? Competitive internet and telecom marketplace. Disruptive new business models that push down prices and increase user freedom. Why? Networks and communication services are the raw material of innovation in a knowledge society. Affordable serivces make it possible for almost anyone to come up with a new idea or business. We've arrived when: South Africans have affordable, reliable access to internet and telecom services.
Ethos: Open licensing What? Mandate that everything we do and fund is released under an open license. Post it online. Why? Innovation happens faster and ideas travel further. People can remix and re-invent. Others likely to build on and benefit from our work. Magnified impact. Eg. Freedom Toaster. Siyavula open textbooks. Everything on our web site.
Ethos: Leverage the work of others What? Concretely build on the work of others, taking it further. Why? Faster innovation and increased impact only happens if you *actively* focus on sharing, leverage and iteration. It doesn't happen on its own. Eg. Siyavula leverages existing Connexions open education platform. Village Telco builds on and extends the work of Dabba. Public sharing of internal organizational learning.
Ethos: Collaborate to innovate What? Work directly with others to solve common problems. Contribute to existing efforts that already have momentum. Why? Increases speed and momentum on key issues. Brings diverse ideas to the table. Moves issues forward rather than starting things from scratch. Eg. Opening Scholarship efforts with UCT. Support for gov.za OOXML interventions. Collaboration with Soros Foundation on Cape Town Declaration.
Ethos: Obsessive transparency What? Start with the assumption that all information is public. Post it online. Make things private only when there is a clear legal or strategic reason. Why? Makes it easier to people to track what we are doing – and why we are doing it – in real time. This can spark unexpected insights, advice and collaboration. Eg. Blog internal team and trustee reports. Post draft documents on public blogs for feedback. Use public blogging as default communications medium.
Methods: Spark catalytic conversations What? Organize simple, lightweight, low cost events that gather smart people who care about the same issues we do. Why? Articulate new ideas. Remove conceptual barriers. Surface collaborators. Connect people. Build networks. Eg. Cape Town Declaration meeting. Games and Learning Indaba. Open Everything. Village Telco Sprint.
Methods: Accelerate promising ideas What? Take risks on projects and ventures with the potential to dramatically advance the issues we care about. Don't be afraid to fail. Why? Disruptive and radical ideas have the potential to spark large scale changes. They can go viral. We're often in a position to take risks on ideas like these when others aren't. Eg. Siyavula. Village Telco. Kusasa. Freedom Toaster. TuxLabs.
Methods: Make bets on excellent people What? Support emerging leaders and innovators working on issues that matter to us. Why? In the long run, it's people who will drive the changes and innovations we looking for. We want to give these people space to develop new ideas, skills and networks. Eg. Fellowships in open education, telecom access, access to knowledge and open philanthropy.