[okfn-help] FAO people at Open Everything Open Space meeting on 26th September

Josef Davies-Coates josef at uniteddiversity.com
Thu Oct 23 10:57:04 BST 2008

Hi Jonathan, all

2008/10/22 Jonathan Gray <j.gray at cantab.net>:
> Regarding events in March, just to clarify the OKF is not a campaign group,
> and it is certainly not an activist group. It exists to support and promote
> 'open knowledge' - as defined on opendefinition.org. 'Changing the world' is
> only indirectly part of our remit - specifically via the potential social
> and economic of openness in knowledge (from 'genes to geodata, sonnets to
> statistics'..). While on some superficial level I'm sure everyone would like
> the world to be better - I'm not sure not sure how much consensus there is
> on how this can or should be effected in the community of people broadly
> interested in 'open' stuff. I would be wary of talking about a 'we' in this
> sense.
> I understood that Josef's original correspondence about potential
> collaboration was about another 'open everything' event in London. (He
> wrote: "a nice Open Space event around Open Everything stuff next
> March/April".) This year it will take place on 6th November:
>  http://openeverything.wik.is/London
> The 'open everything' events are supposed to be an international series of
> informal meetups for people interested in diverse aspects of openness -
> whether knowledge, software, organisations, government, or salad.


It clearly states on http://openeverything.net/ :

"Eventually, we hope different kinds of Open Everything will happen
all over the place. The idea is for people to pick it up and morph it.
The events above should be a good start. "

> Though
> there may be hints of a Popperian pedigree, I think there is an implicit
> focus on the transfer of methodologies and practices from the software world
> to other domains. E.g. looking at cases where material can be re-used (from
> data, to hardware specifications to knitting patterns),  where projects are
> participatory, and so on. Openness along one axis is compatible with
> 'closedness' along another - and I'm under the impression that the main
> dimension of openness of interest to the original Open Everything organisers
> is where there is something that can be re-used, modified, built on, etc.

"where there is something that can be re-used, modified, built on, etc."

Exactly, like the great open appropriate technology designs Open
Source Ecology lot are doing in Factor E Farm.

Speaking for myself (but also, I think, Chris, Beth, tav, Sofia, and
like you say probably lots more people on this list too) I am
interested in re-using, modifying and building on successful
strategies and methodologies for radically improving our world.

I understand that lots of "big bad corporates" are taking advantage of
open methodologies too, using crowdsourcing (as opposed to peer
production) etc. to "oppress for less".

But the world is in such a huge crisis that not trying to harness the
power of openness to explicitly try to change the world for the
better, to me, would be grossly irresponsible and akin to putting ones
head in the sand :)

> I think this list, generally for 'nitty gritty' stuff at the Open Knowledge
> Foundation, is appropriate for use by people interested in organising an
> event where this is the focus.

Is that a polite way of saying "if you lot want to be explicitly about
improving the world using openness then this list probably isn't best
place for it"?

Sorry, but I don't see how what has been proposed is not inline with
the "this" you refer to above (especially considering the originals
authors explicit invitation to morph)

Very happy to set-up our own list if need be :)

> If it is an 'Open Everything' event, as Josef suggested,

'Open Everything' is not a fixed thing. I thought that was self-evident.

> and as he's keen to
> have an 'open space' format instead of a structured programme - what about
> just having an open space, and calling it 'Open Everything'? I think having
> an all day loosely structured event that was low on costs (so there could be
> free, or very low cost, attendance) would be really good.

'open space' doesn't mean unstructured, it means using a well
establish participatory structure. It works best when a specific
question is being address. 'Open Everything'? isn't a very clear

It sounds like you are saying (please correct me if I'm wrong, I hope
I am) that OKF wouldn't be able to be seen to support an open space
event that is explicitly about how openness can help us to create the
world we want?

Slightly confused,


Josef Davies-Coates
07974 88 88 95
Together We Have Everything

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