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Imagining and Enabling the Collaborative Commons


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Presentation delivered at the Internet Research 16 (#IR16) Conference, Phoenix Arizona, Oct. 21-24 2015 ( I discuss open practices in education and design, including collaboration, cooperation, crowdsourcing and dissemination. An audio recording of this presentation can be found on Soundcloud ( A post that integrates the slides and audio can be found on my blog (

Published in: Design
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Imagining and Enabling the Collaborative Commons

  1. 1. Imagining And Enabling The Collaborative Commons IR16 Phoenix, Oct. 21-24 2015 Dr Mark McGuire Design, Dept. of Applied Sciences, University of Otago email: Twitter: @mark_mcguire Blog: Instagram: Spray painted Hashtag, Dunedin, NZ
  2. 2. Collaboration (Shared goals) Open Practices in Education and Design Cooperation (Shared Interest) Crowdsourcing (Gathering) Dissemination (Spreading) Process-based Artefact-based
  3. 3. Weller, M. 2014. Battle for Open: How openness won and why it doesn't feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: http:// http:// site/books/detail/11/battle- for-open/ Weller, M. 2011. The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice. Bloomsbury Academic. http:// www.bloomsburyacademic.c om/view/ DigitalScholar_9781849666 275/book- ba-9781849666275.xml Benkler, Y. 2007. The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. Yale University Press. http:// wealth_of_networks/ Main_Page Bates, A. W. 2015. Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. (Open Textbook) teachinginadigitalage/
  4. 4. “Open Content” (David Wiley) A copyrightable work that is licensed in a way that “provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities” > Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content > Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways > Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself > Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new > Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others David Wiley. “Open Content” in An Open Education Reader, 2014
  5. 5. Free Cultural Works > an application of the principles of free software to content. > the freedom to modify without any discrimination against uses or users. Attribution CC BY This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Understanding Free Cultural Works About The Licenses
  6. 6. “Message in a bottle” near to Covehithe, Suffolk, Great Britain “I found the bottle at Benacre, it wished me well and has an email address, this had faded.” Photo by Ashley Dace CC-BY-SA.jpg Tossing disconnected messages and resources into the commons without considering the needs and context of indented recipients (listeners/viewers/ users) is unlikely to be a very successful approach.
  7. 7. Technical, social and economic developments in the Internet age have enabled an “aesthetic movement of collaborism” and a democratisation of design. — Gerritzen and Lovink Everyone is a Designer in the Age of Social Media (2010), p. 24
  8. 8. Open design is developing out of a culture of sharing and reciprocity in which designers and end users connect directly, without the need for intermediate organizations, retailers, publishers or marketers. Powerful digital tools, expert advice and high quality work are now freely available online. Anyone to participate in online conversations, activities and spaces, regardless of professional title or status. — Open Design Now: Why design cannot remain exclusive (2011). edited by Bas van Abel et al.
  9. 9. Massive Open Online Course > A participatory, distributed, open event > Working on a topic of shared interest > Engaging with other people’s work in a structured way > Making connections to other individuals and to their ideas > Construct a personal learning network for life-long learning > The building of a distributed knowledge base on the Net Uploaded Dec. 2010, Accesses 17 Sept. 2015
  10. 10. “Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories. Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements – not entirely under the control of the individual. Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing.” George Siemens. “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age” 2005 George Siemens by Stephen Downes 2009 (CC-BY)
  11. 11. “At its heart, connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks.” Stephen Downes. “What Connectivism Is” Feb. 3 2007 Stephen Downes by Stephen Downes 2011 (CC-BY)
  12. 12. “The cMOOC, is based on connection rather than content, looks more like an online community than a course, and doesn’t have a defined curriculum or formal assignments.” Stephen Downes. “From MOOC to Personal Learning” 5 Oct. 2015 Stephen Downes by Stephen Downes 2011 (CC-BY)
  13. 13. Accessed 13 Oct. 2015 (Photography and Narrative) annual, since 2009 > Jonathan Worth, Chantal Riekel , Jonathan Shaw, Matt 
 Johnston (Coventry University, UK) > Investigates notions of ‘trans-media’ and how this can be 
 applied to modern photographic practices > Weekly tasks, guest lectures, seminars & workshops on 
 location at Coventry (versions shared via the #Phonar site) > “We propose that by drawing on the cumulative 
 knowledge of our entire class-community we can come 
 to a better understanding together”
  14. 14. Twitter Search for #phonar Nov. 7 2014 Jonathan Worth: “I curate a journey through a structure of learning, providing contextual links between specialist contributors,” says Worth. “Each year the journey is different (and relevant), and each year it accrues a long tail of content.” WIRED. Aug. 11 2011 shakes-up-photo-education/
  15. 15. #phonar Twittersphere Nov. 7 2014
  16. 16. Jim Groom, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia Accessed 17 Sept. 2015
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
  19. 19. Social Learning Innovation for Emergent Problems Requires Social Knowledge (SocialLearn, Open University, UK) Ferguson, Rebecca, and Simon Buckingham Shum. 2012. “Towards a social learning space for open educational resources.” In Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources, 309-327. Hershey, PA: IGA Global. “Colearning” - collaborative networks for creating, sharing and reusing OER through social media.” > Low cost > Ease of accessibility over the web without specialist skills 
 > Global reach > Instantaneous responses Okada, Alexandra, Alexander Mikroyannidis, Izabel Meister, and Suzanne Little. 2012. ““Colearning” - collaborative networks for creating, sharing and reusing OER through social media.” Cambridge 2012: Innovation and Impact - Openly Collaborating to Enhance Education, Cambridge, UK, April 16-18 2012.
  20. 20. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  21. 21. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  22. 22. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  23. 23. “Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about” — Cory Doctorow Accessed 14 Oct. 2015 Cory Doctorow “Download My Books” Accessed 14 Oct. 2015
  24. 24. “[L]ike literacy after the printing press, design is becoming too important to leave to a cloistered few. For design to become more relevant in a world like this, we must find ways of expanding design practice to amateurs and to communal practice.” — Clay Shirky Gerritzen and Lovink, Everyone is a Designer in the Age of Social Media (2010), p. 24
  25. 25. Wicked Problems Social or cultural problems that are difficult or impossible to solve for 4 reasons: 1. Incomplete or contradictory knowledge, 2. Large number of people and opinions involved, 3. Large economic burden, 4. Interconnected nature of these problems with other problems + This demands interdisciplinary collaboration, and most importantly, perseverance. Jon Kolko. Wicked Problems. 2012 p. 11
  26. 26. Accessed 12 Oct. 2015
  27. 27. Accessed 12 Oct. 2015
  28. 28. Creative Exhaust “All of the byproducts of your creative process is your creative exhaust. Your thought processes, blog posts, napkin sketches, Dribbble shots, Youtube tutorials, first drafts, Github repositories, bug fixes, snapshots of works in progress all have tremendous value for yourself and for others. In fact, our creative exhaust can end up becoming much more impactful than our own individual work. It’s not about the work you do, but rather what that work enables others to do.” — Brad Frost Accessed 14 Oct. 2015 Creative exhaust, the power of being open by default: Brad Frost at TEDxGrandviewAve
  29. 29. Accessed 12 Oct. 2015
  30. 30. Accessed 21 Oct. 2015
  31. 31. Accessed 12 Oct. 2015
  32. 32. Accessed 12 Oct. 2015
  33. 33. “The new prosumers, on the other hand, are increasingly banding together in lateral networks, producing and sharing information goods, renewable energy, 3D printed products, and an array of services on a global Collaborative Commons at near zero marginal costs, disrupting the workings of capitalist markets. [. . .] If there is an underlying theme to the emerging cultural conflict, it is the “monopolization vs. democratization of everything.”” — Jeremy Rifkin, (2014), The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism
  34. 34. Values: Transparency, Openness, MPRL (Meet People in Real Life), Permanent Beta, Inclusion, Play, Feedbak, Independence Accessed 12 Oct. 2015
  35. 35. “Connecting actors in the Open Web” Accessed 12 Oct. 2015
  36. 36. Accessed 12 Oct. 2015
  37. 37. “There are almost no specialists anymore. Homo universalis 2.0 is in fact not just one person but several at once, linked by the network.” — Mariëtte Dölle Gerritzen and Lovink, Everyone is a Designer in the Age of Social Media (2010), p. 19
  38. 38. The five alternatives Here are the five flag designs that NZ voters will rank in the first binding referendum in 2015.
  39. 39.
  40. 40.
  41. 41.
  42. 42. Conclusions > Open education and Open Design can inform one another. > It’s not about the wood (resource, artefact); it’s about singing around the camp fire (social, participatory, experiential). > Develop strategies that integrate collaboration (in groups), cooperation (over networks) + crowdsourcing & dissemination.