People of Open Source // Open Society 2015

People of Open Source // Open Society 2015

Developers, artists, policy makers, entrepreneurs and open source enthusiasts gathered in Wellington last week for the inaugural Open Source // Open Society conference.

Co-hosted by GitHub, the host of the world’s largest repository of open source code, and Enspiral, a leading network of social entrepreneurs, the two-day event aimed to explore the landscape of "open", and discuss what the future may look like.

Open models are gaining traction in many spheres. Open data movements are making information freely available to anyone who wants it. Open government is seeking to make the workings of the public sector more transparent. Open democracy movements are encouraging citizens to participate and be heard on the issues that affect them. Open education is enabling peer-to-peer learning at a personal level, while Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are making education as accessible as having an internet connection. At the core, all these models are rooted in the recognition that the Internet has enabled distributed models of participation and new ways of reaching people that previously were impossible.

As with any philosophy, the strength of the movement is in the people. Videos of the presentations will soon be up on the Kiwi Connect YouTube channel. In the meantime, check out for yourself the thoughts of speakers and participants of Open Source // Open Society below.

 

On the ethos of open…

Open Source has nothing to do with software - it’s a philosophy.
— Ben Balter, Head of Open Government, Github.
Ben Balter, Head of Open Government, GitHub

Ben Balter, Head of Open Government, GitHub

We teach our kids to ‘Share and share alike’… then we teach them to stifle that desire.
— David Lane, President, New Zealand Open Source Society
I think it’s critical that we move beyond the ideologies of open, and learn from the practical experience of the open source community, as we bring these concepts and practices into other areas of society.
— Joshua Vial, Founder, Enspiral
Open is about a mindset shift into a collective culture of collaboration versus the closed tactics of the status quo.
— DK, Digital Strategies Advisor/Speaker, Producer, TEDxWellington licensee
To me, the core of participation is presence.
— Garth Waymouth, Designer
Garth Waymouth, Designer

Garth Waymouth, Designer


On open community...

Humans have achieved a lot, not because we are intelligent, but because we are social creatures that work together.
— Jessica Lord, GitHub
We don’t have the lawyers, or the resources that the corporate world have, but we have community, and the court of public opinion.
— David Lane, President, New Zealand Open Source Society
We have science communicators, now we need policy communicators and data communicators.
— Laura O’Connell Rapira, ActionStation
Laura O'Connell Rapira, ActionStation

Laura O'Connell Rapira, ActionStation


On open data...

Data organised by source, as it essentially is now, is like a dictionary in which the words are ordered by country of origin… Whether it’s a 7 year old writing a story, or a 42 year old truck driver in the Hawkes Bay looking at how accidents change over time and affect her business, what if everyone could use data?
— Lillian Grace, Founder, WikiNZ
Lillian Grace, Founder, WikiNZ


On open government...

New Zealand is rated 3rd out of 86 countries in opening up government datasets… Let’s encourage people to use this data, and let government know how they are using the data.
— Keitha Booth, Manager, New Zealand Open Government Data Programme
Open government for me is like archives right now - you often have to request information at the counter. I’d like to see open government as more of a library - everything on the shelves.
— Bene Anderson, Senior Product Manager, Government Information Services, Department of Internal Affairs

On open business…. 

The number one question that people ask non-profits is, Where does the money go? This puts us under enormous pressure around transparency. Non-profits who operate with only 20% overheads are effectively operating like a business that has an 80% profit margin…. Imagine if corporations and governments were forced to be as open and accountable as charities?
— Laura O’Connell Rapira, ActionStation

On diversity in open…  

The number of women in Open Source is drastically lower than the already low number in tech…. We have to do better. We need to change what open source looks like!
— Jessica Lord, GitHub
Jessica Lord, GitHub

Jessica Lord, GitHub

Maybe it’s time that open was less of a bazaar - where the loudest barterers win - and more of a cathedral .
— Chris Kelly, Director of Outreach, GitHub

On the future….

In an ideal future of participation, systems of control and influence would be set up to incentivise participation where it is the most valuable and relevant.
— Derek Razo, Founder, Cobudget

And lastly, some good advice was provided by Gina Rembe...

Good things come to those who… work their asses off and never give up.
— Gina Rembe, Enspiral and Lifehack


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