Earlier today, the Free Knowledge Institute has made public its Strategy documents that should guide the foundation into the coming years. With their publication comes an invitation to everyone interested in building a new society along the lines of free knowledge, to join in this process and participate in its implementation.
Request for Comments
You will see that the Strategy is published as an RFC, in other words we consider it a draft for discussion. We have designed a way to discuss the strategy publicly, and once we reach a rough consensus, we’ll ask the FKI Board to adopt it.
RFC comes of course from the early days of the Internet and refers to the way Internet protocols have been and still are designed, discussed and adopted by the Internet Engineering Task Force. The IETF is a daughter of the Internet Society, and that’s where the Free Knowledge Institute was spun off from in 2007 (from its Dutch Chapter, to be precise).
It is exciting for us to open up the working of the foundation and share its further development with a wider group of people. Until now we haven’t dedicated too much attention to foster ways to engage with the FKI, despite people interested to do so. Part of the Strategy redesigning focuses on the process of participation and engagement. People willing to help define this process are very welcome. An initial outline is presented here.
Free knowledge is inspired by free software. Our idea has always been to apply its principles to other domains of knowledge. The ideas of copyleft, commons-based peer production can be, and in fact are, applied in virtually any domain, from culture, to science, education, biology, energy, design, etc. If you have any interest in setting up a group or joining an existing one, have a look at the domains we are working on.
Free Technology Academy
It is at the same time a refocusing of the Free Technology Academy. Where we envisioned the community around the FTA as an important component in its early years (see summary here), over the last year the community became the driving force behind the academy. Courses are co-organised with the learners and tutors. New ideas have been suggested in the community, like the start of the Free Technology Guild (see below), other forms of learning, bridging the gap between peer learning and assisted courses, etc The new FKI Strategy proposes to organise most of its work and projects on the FTA Community Platform, as it provides a collaboration space and social network, completely based on the principles we stand for. Where Ning, Facebook and others are proprietary controlled platforms, this one is 100% based on Free Software, Open Standards and Free Knowledge. With the community we’ll make it even better.
At the same time we realise that economic opportunities are important for most of us, now more than any time before. Wouldn’t it be good if we could combine learning and earning, work and lurk, building and fun? That’s what the Free Technology Guild proposes: “The working group aims to develop a guild-like structure where people can realise useful projects for peers or customers and while working together with people with different skill sets and experience they can obtain useful experience and economic benefits. Depending on the needs and skills, one can take the role of mentor or apprentice.” You’re invited to join the working group and help it make a reality.
Ah, don’t forget to join the FKI discussion list, that’s where we’ll be talking about the Strategy.