During our ongoing research, we have witnessed how the principles of Open Knowledge are being applied in almost all areas of our society. We have seen how software developers are considering Open Source as a serious model for releasing their products, how governments are sharing their data to bring more transparency or even how non-proprietary machinery designs are revolutionising agriculture, just to name a few examples. As the map on the top of our website shows, those initiatives are happening all-over the world, however they do happen mostly independently.
But, what if a set of such initiatives would be put in practice at the same time in a political framework? At a county level, or even better, nationally?
This is what is currently being prepared in Ecuador, where an initiative called FLOK Society has being launched in a cooperation between the Ecuadorian Ministry of Knowledge, Secretary of Higher Education and National Institute of Higher Education: a project aiming to change the productive matrix towards creating a society based on common, free and open knowledge, as part of the government’s National Plan for Good Living (2009-2013).
FLOK Society’s research team, composed by Ecuadorian and international researchers and led by P2P-Foundation’s founder Michel Bauwens, has been elaborating 15 strategic documents in the last months. This documentation, along with theoretical approaches, refers to success cases of the implementation of Open Knowledge happening already around the globe. Those papers are the starting point for the upcoming decision making process.
An event called FLOK Summit is taking place as we write these lines (from May 27th to 30th). During it, the feasibility of the actions proposed in the base documents are discussed by the team together with representatives of the government and members of the civil society (150 invitations could be distributed among citizens interested to join). Optimally, further steps and a detailed implementation plan will be drafted as outcome.
Because the benefits of sharing knowledge have to be explained and debated with the Ecuadorian society as well, the team has organized 24 workshops in the country since the beginning of the year. Ecuadorians will be the first beneficiaries and their support and collaboration are without doubt essential for the success of this ambitious initiative.
Considering that the project was officially launched in January 2014, the work done so far is impressive. We invite you to go through the large amount of documentation available on FLOK’s wiki, videos and social media (twitter, facebook). Surprisingly, there has not being much resonance on the international media yet. However, the concept already seems to raise interest among other communities all over the world, not at national level as Ecuador but rather in local urban areas, and hopefully similar projects can crop up as early as in 2015.