Yoda: Neelie Kroes – Outgoing EU Champion of Open Source

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Open Spirit, we feel.

Neelie Kroes To Give A Final Interview At Disrupt Europe In London

Neelie Kroes will give one of her last ever on-stage interviews at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe in London before leaving her role as Vice-President of the European Commission.

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On the Commission’s ‘Digital Agenda’ she has been at least as forthright. Early on she advocated free and Open Source Software, previously unheard of at high levels of European governance.

Kroes pushed hard for more competition and the levelling of the broadband playing field; went to war with mobile operators over roaming charges and has since gone on to fiercely defend and promote technology entrepreneurship, particularly amongst Europe’s young people, many of whom face economies where traditional industries have fewer and fewer jobs.

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See Also:

Open Source Everything Manifesto Home Page

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Oct 3

Jean Lievens: Gerry Mooney on Open Scotland — Hybrid Grassroots Activism Empowered by Social Media

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Social media and grassroots activism have taken Scotland to the brink of independence

Gerry Mooney

The Conversation, 8 September 2014

EXTRACTS

If you wanted an explanation for the momentum that has carried the Yes campaign to the brink of victory in the Scottish referendum, you have to look at what’s happening on the ground. The extent to which the independence referendum has engaged and mobilised people during the campaign is palpable.

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Yet as tends to be forgotten, the pro-independence movement also includes The Scottish Green Party; The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; The Scottish Socialist Party; the socialist party Solidarity; Women For Independence; the artists and creatives group National Collective and the socialist Radical Independence Campaign. Yes Scotland is a loose amalgam and umbrella of different pro-independence groups and individuals. A significant number of front-line activists campaigning under the Yes Scotland banner represent ordinary people with no party political membership. Some have never been involved in political activism before.

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The demarcation between professional politicians and this grassroots mobilisation of ordinary people appears to be blurred in this contemporary Scottish political landscape. It is evident that a hybrid movement has emerged within the campaign, which according to Tommy Sheridan “dwarfs the anti-poll tax campaign” that he led in the late 1980s.

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The opportunity to build a new Scotland free from nuclear weapons, austerity and welfare cuts has widespread appeal. It is this concern with social justice and welfare that has galvanised support for Yes.

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Sep 11

Michel Bauwens: Transitioning to a Commons-Based Society

Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens

Transitioning to a Commons-Based Society

Background on the FLOK Project

Michel Bauwens:

The National Plan of Ecuador recognizes and stresses that the global transformation towards knowledge-based societies and economies requires a new form for the creation and distribution of value in society. The National Plan’s central concept is the achievement of ‘Buen Vivir’ (Sumak Kawsay) or ‘good living'; but good living is impossible without the availability of ‘good knowledge’, i.e. ‘Buen Conocer’ (‘Sumak Yachay’). The third national plan for 2013-2017 explicitly calls for a open-commons based knowledge society[1].

President Correa himself exhorted young people to achieve and fight for this open knowledge society[2].

The FLOK Society is a joint research effort by the Coordinating Ministry of Knowledge and Human Talent, the SENESCYT (Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación) and the IAEN (Instituto de Altos Estudios del Estado) to develop transition and policy proposals to achieve such an open commons-based knowledge society.

FLOK refers to:

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May 19

Patrick Meier: Latest Findings on Disaster Resilience – From Burma to California via the Rockefeller Foundation

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Latest Findings on Disaster Resilience: From Burma to California via the Rockefeller Foundation

I’ve long been interested in disaster resilience particularly when considered through the lens of self-organization. To be sure, the capacity to self-organize is an important feature of resilient societies. So what facilitates self-organization? There are several factors, of course, but the two I’m most interested in are social capital and communication technologies. My interest in disaster resilience also explains why one of our Social Innovation Tracks at QCRI is specifically focused on resilience. So I’m always on the lookout for new research on resilience. The purpose of this blog post is to summarize the latest insights.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

This new report (PDF) on Burma assesses the influence of social capital on disaster resilience. More specifically, the report focuses on the influence of bonding, bridging and linking social capital on disaster resilience in remote rural communities in the Ayerwaddy Region of Myanmar. Bonding capital refers to ties that are shared between individuals with common characteristics characteristics such as religion or ethnicity. Bridging capital relates to ties that connect individuals with those outside their immediate communities. These ties could be the result of shared geographical space, for example. Linking capital refers to vertical links between a community and individuals or groups outside said community. The relationship between a village and the government or a donor and recipients, for example.

As the report notes, “a balance of bonding, bridging and linking capitals is important of social and economic stability as well as resilience. It will also play a large role in a community’s ability to reduce their risk of disaster and cope with external shocks as they play a role in resource management, sustainable livelihoods and coping strategies.” In fact, “social capital can be a substitute for a lack of government intervention in disaster planning, early warning and recovery.” The study also notes that “rural communities tend to have stronger social capital due to their geographical distance from government and decision-making structures necessitating them being more self-sufficient.”

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May 13