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Free Technology Academy

Founding Principles

We have put into action a set of founding principles that reflect our shared thoughts and ideas as a basis for the free knowledge society. These founding principles help guide our work over time and are the means by which we articulate what is and has been intrinsically important to the institute.

1. Sharing Knowledge

We share, create, stimulate and promote free knowledge in all its forms. Knowledge shared freely becomes much more valuable. Free Knowledge is available to everyone free of charge and can be used, adapted, modified, updated and translated without restrictions.

2. Reciprocity

Our work is based on scientific principles and thoughts, and we consider ourselves committed to the scientific tradition. This tradition includes mutual sharing of knowledge to enlighten each other. Contributors share their work with the expectation that others will do the same when they build upon previous contributions. This principle of reciprocity is fundamentally inherent in science and in Free Software, and its requirement is the defining principle of Copyleft. The Free Knowledge Institute reflects this principle in its publications, where software, educational materials and other works will follow these traditions.

3. Freedom

The term "free" in "Free Software" exclusively refers to freedom, and never to price. The Free Knowledge Institute applies the same understanding of "free" to its other materials, and maintains the possibility of commercial use by third parties.

4. Free Software and Open Source

Free Software was first defined on January 1989 in the GNU's bulletins, and in 1992 "Libre Software" was proposed as a synonym based on the same definition. In 1997 Free Software was specified in the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG), and in 1998 the DFSG were used as the definition of the term "Open Source" which was proposed as a marketing term for Free Software, later resulting in the combined terms "FOSS" and "FLOSS".

The Free Knowledge Institute chooses to speak of Free Software for various reasons. Using the term that was first defined is good scientific tradition, to which the FKI is committed. Also, the term Free Software refers to the defining criterion, which is freedom, and is thus better suited in our view to convey understanding. As freedom is a central objective for the FKI, we made a decision for Free Software.

5. Open Standards

Open Standards are the basis of interoperability, and fundamental to unencumbered flow of knowledge and information as well as freedom of competition, as users do not depend any longer on formats and specifications that are controlled by one company.

Free Software tends to use and help define Open Standards, since it consists by definition of publicly available specifications, and the availability of its source code promotes an open, democratic debate around the specifications, making them both more robust and interoperable (see: European Interoperability Framework).

The Free Knowledge Institute is committed to spread knowledge about Open Standards.

6. Education

We believe that educational resources should be accessible freely to everyone and we aim to guaranteed equal participation of teachers, students, parents, public and private institutions in the construction of educational materials.

7. Not-for-profit

We are a not-for-profit organisation whose primary objective is to support our mission for non-commercial purposes. Others however may benefit from our work, including commercially.

8. No political affiliation

We are not attached to any political party. The ideas of Free Knowledge, Free Software and Open Standards are shared by people from all kinds of political influences.

9. Funding

The Free Knowledge Institute welcomes financial contributions to carry on its activities. We do not accept funding that would compromise our abilities to share, create, stimulate and promote knowledge freely, thoroughly and objectively.

10. Organisation

The Free Knowledge Institute is composed by a group of people that share the founding principles of the institute and work together in order to achieve shared objectives. The FKI is guided by its Advisory Board and directed by its Board, and executive work is performed by its Executive team.

11. High Quality

The Free Knowledge Institute strives to make available excellent materials both by stimulating collaboration of the best available specialists in its network as well as by implementing quality procedures and mechanisms.

12. Transparency

We promote transparency and inspire confidence by pursuing a proactive and comprehensive information policy.

13. Consensus

We strive to decide with consensus and to understand each other's points of view.

14. Development, Accessibility, Cultural Diversity and Multilingualism

We strive to make our work accessible to anyone, including physically impaired people and people in developing and transition countries with technological difficulties. We strive to contribute to improve education about Free Knowledge in developing and transition countries and to help these countries reclaim technology and knowledge for themselves. Our endeavours are to provide Free Knowledge in as many languages as possible.