Presentation: Open Sourcing Innovation
A roadmap to socially-responsible, sustainable economic and technological growth
Rubric Transfer
Event data: Nov, 1st / 16:00 / 2 hrs. / Track C
Contributors: George Dafermos
Abstract: In a time where economic and social prosperity are dependent upon society’s capacity to deliver, commercialise and fairly distribute the fruits of innovation, the imbalance between the pace of technical change and institutional innovation poses an obstacle that ought to be overcome if we are not to feel endangered by a world dreadfully out of control, in which technology is increasingly pervading our lives. Furthermore, evidence of widespread financial engineering malpractices and mounting dissatisfaction with the free market capitalist system have spread as a media virus overwhelming global financial markets and asking for a major restructuring in corporate governance. As a result, in the face of a global, networked economy where commercial exploitation of scientific knowledge gives rise to products and services which have a far-reaching social and environmental impact, such as in the case of genetically modified food and ‘zero-emission’ cars; the need to enforce upon companies obligations to communities is undeniable. To ease these tensions, a dramatically different approach towards social and economic organisation has to be enforced. For that approach to flourish, technological progress should not be viewed as an end in itself but as a means to tackle real human needs and societal concerns. The most prominent example of such community – centred organisation of distributed intelligence takes shape in the sphere of Libre Software development, most cited 'success' of which is the Linux OS, the brainchild of Net-savvy software developers sharing the hacker ideology – a digital artifact emanating from the Internet – enabled collaborative endeavour of thousands of volunteers under no central planning. On these premises, Libre Software communities and development models hold lessons that extend well beyond the limited realm of software engineering, and replication of a robust framework might lead to invaluable advance regarding deploying network resources to enhance the efficiency of distributed development practices and trigger radical innovation whilst extending its reach to include human rights, community - accountability and environmental sustainability. 
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