by Balthas

Just out: Practical knowledge on “Open African Innovation” and stunning examples of the knowledge commons in Africa

December 11, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, News on publications, Open Source & Africa by Balthas

Openair-books-345Great start of the long-awaited conference of the Open African Innovation Research and Training Network: We just launched two really interesting compendia on “Open African Innovation” packed with practical examples of the knowledge commons in Africa – and with a tool that allows policy advisors to discuss the future of knowledge governance in Africa in three scenarios for 2035. Check the books out online (they are free knowledge of course, sharable under a cc licence) at:

Again: congrats to the Open AIR network for pulling all of this together and pulling it off.

For live info on on the conference and the concurrent Global Congress on IP and the public interest, you might also follow #gcongress #openair13 on twitter – and this blog 🙂

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Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany ( Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

by Balthas

Program Manager Information Program | Open Society Foundations (OSF)

September 25, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Work by Balthas

Dear all,

this job offer by the Open Society Foundations (OSF) might be of interest to some of you – for further information, see their website:

“The Information Program seeks a full-time program manager to develop and expand the program’s work to support the nascent digital advocacy field, and the strategic use of new technologies and data by the human rights and transparency/accountability sectors.”


by Balthas

Link to new knowledge sharing wiki on agricultural water management – welcome, knowledge commons

August 12, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

agripedia logoWith joy, I reproduce below the invitation of GIZ colleagues to join the official launch of the global knowledge platform for agricultural water management !


Main focus

  • focuses on agricultural water management in the context of climate change and food security.

It aims to secure knowledge gained from experiences in development cooperation. serves as an knowledge exchange and networking platform for practitioners and development experts and all those interested in the topic of increasing challenges in agricultural water management. What’s in it for you?

  • The platform contains a library with at the moment about 260 publications, a lot of them from pre-digital times, only digitally available and from anywhere in the world accessible on
  • will give you access to relevant and up-to-date knowledge, as well as to expedient approaches, practices and experience in agricultural watermanagement.

 You like the idea and you’re already thinking about how to become a part of the knowledge network?

 Like all wikis, depends on user contributions. Please feel free to improve the platform by editing or writing articles, or by uploading publications.

 Visit and sign up for an account today!

 For further information please contact: (SV Nachhaltige Landwirtschaft) Your Agriwaterpedia-Team

by Balthas

Registration Open: Calling for Proposals – IP, Innovation and the Public Interest, December 2013 in Cape Town: user rights, access to medicines, enforcement, openness, traditional knowledge

July 4, 2013 in Freedom to innovate by Balthas

Call for presentations and workshops

The programme is being developed through a collaborative planning process, via an open call for:

  1. presentations/papers related to five thematic tracks: (1) user rights; (2) access to medicines; (3) enforcement; (4) openness; and (5) traditional knowledge.
  2. participant-led workshops.

Proposed contributions should address one of the five thematic tracks, and should also shed light on the overarching theme: “Global questions, local answers“. What is the public interest in IP? Is it similar or different from place to place? What are the local priorities among the communities you work with? How are public interest IP research and advocacy activities connected? Which strategies are most effective for achieving positive change at the global or local level?

The deadline is 31 August 2013 for registered Congress & Conference participants to submit a proposal for a presentation/paper or workshop. The submission form is online via the Cape Town 2013 page.

Media and registration enquiries: Contact Congress & Conference Lead Coordinator Nan Warner on

Please pass this notice on to others who need to know. When tweeting about this Cape Town 2013 gathering, please use the #gcongress hashtag.

by Balthas

Tanzanian IT experts in Germany on Linux-Learning-Tour / Afrikanische Computerexperten lernen Linux in Freiburg » Linux-Magazin

July 1, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business by Balthas

Interesting news coming from former training partner of it@ab, Mr. Hans-Peter Merkel. His organization “FreiOSS” is right now hosting Tanzanian IT experts in Germany on Linux-Learning-Tour. More in the news item (in German)…


by Balthas

Open African Innovation Research at GIZ’s innovation lounge at re:publica in Berlin

May 28, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business by Balthas

republica-2013_copyright_re_publicare:publica is à priori a German blogger conference. Over the years it has however morphed into an international gathering of more than 5000 people from more than 50 countries with a common interest in the following themes: Digital business and innovation, social media, research & education in the Internet, campaigning, culture, media and ultimately, the “res publica”.

So re:publica 2013 was a good place to talk about the ‘Open African Innovation Research & Training Network’ and the upcoming ‘Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest’ and interwoven ‘Open A.I.R conference on open innovation and intellectual property’ in Cape Town from 9 to 13 December.

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by Balthas

Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and Intellectual Property in Africa & 3rd Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

May 16, 2013 in Freedom to innovate by Balthas

Are you interested in open innovation & the future of intellectual property in Africa? Or copyright, creative commons, openness, innovation, and the knowledge commons? Then check this conference announcement & join the open community of “Open African Innovation Research and Training” here:

Also, feel free to spread the word about the Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and Intellectual Property in Africa & 3rd Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, 09. December 2013 to 13. December 2013, Cape Town, South Africa.

by Balthas

Call for Applications: Tactical Tech’s Info Activism Camp 2013, Deadline: Friday, April 19th

April 17, 2013 in Freedom to innovate by Balthas

I really recommend Tactical Tech’s Info Activism Camp for anyone who is in the business of evidence-based advocacy. More info below and on the website:

Evidence is an activist’s most powerful asset. Used well, it can transform even the most difficult advocacy effort into an initiative that influences perceptions and actions around an important issue. Tactical Tech is organising the 2013 Info Activism Camp ( to explore the ways in which digital technologies, data and visuals can be used to collect and present evidence to influence debates. Applications are open until 19th April! We’re seeking curious and creative individuals working with information to investigate, expose, monitor, challenge, and mobilise support around human rights issues. Join us for a week of discussion, debate and skill-share. Participants will have the opportunity to meet and build connections with people working across the world, in different practices, and build their knowledge and skills in evidence-based advocacy. The camp will run from 23-30 June at Centro d’Ompio, a beautiful retreat centre in Northern Italy (read more: Places are limited. We only have 80 spots and plenty of interest! So please do share this with suitable candidates. Full and partial grants are available for travel and stay, upon application. The application deadline for those who needed to apply for visas to come to Italy has closed. But it’s still open for those who do not need to apply for a visa. The new deadline is 19th April (24:00 CET). More application information and forms:


by Balthas

Interesting OpEd by ICT association: ‘Should Industry Support LDCs’ Request For Unlimited Time To Implement The TRIPS Agreement? Absolutely

March 4, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business by Balthas

Just found a good Opinion Editorial on ‘Intellectual Property Watch’ on the question, whether LDCs should have Unlimited Time To Implement The TRIPS Agreement: The ‘Computer and Communication Industry Association (CCIA)’ thinks so and has endorsed a bid by the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) to remove any specific deadline for full compliance with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. Read more in the opEd.

Link to OpEd on

by Balthas

(How) can institutions deal with community-driven innovation? – EFF’ Carolina Rossini at the „Second global congress in Intellectual Property and the Public Interest“

December 17, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

Copyright of this picture:

Copyright of this picture:

The „second global congress in Intellectual Property and the Public Interest“ that I am attending right now, is full of interesting talks and takes on the „public interest“ side of copyright and development (for more see the extensive twitter coverage at #gcongress). But a highlight was certainly yesterday’s „session on IP, Innovation and Development“.

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by Balthas

Alumniportal Deutschland just started ‘Creative dialogue on social networking’

December 11, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Work by Balthas

The Alumniportal Deutschland just started an interesting discussion on the history and culture of social networks.

Link to the discussion on the (register or login first).

by Balthas

Creative Commons is turning 10 – Celebrate!

December 7, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

cc_celebrationCreative Commons is turning 10 this year. The chapters of CC will be hosting parties around the world and sharing party favors online for a ten-day delebration, December 7 to 16. Spread the word at

by Balthas

Africa’s First 3.0 Licenses! – Creative Commons

December 3, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

Cool news from the friends from Creative Commons and from the CC Uganda team, which I am happy to relate here (of course duly under the required Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ):

Aurelia J. Schultz from CC reports on November 30th, 2012: “We are pleased to announce the launch of the Creative Commons 3.0 Uganda licenses. Since joining the Creative Commons family in March of 2011, the Ugandan team has been incredibly busy: hosting the African Regional Meeting, pulling together petitions for the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization, and spreading the news about CC licenses. While doing all these great activities, they’ve also completed one of the last 3.0 ports.

The licenses are available through the license chooser, and like all of our licenses, are intended for use anywhere in the world. The Uganda 3.0 licenses are important as the first 3.0 licenses in Africa and one of the last 3.0 ports before the launch of the new 4.0 licenses.

Creative Commons would like to extend a huge thanks to the whole CC Uganda team; The National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU); the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD); and especially to Primah Kwagala for leading the porting team.”


by Balthas

ict@innovation featured in UNCTAD’s new Information Economy Report – Africa Launch with FOSSFA

November 29, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, News on publications, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business by Balthas

informationeconomyreportcover2012Great news: Yesterday, UNCTAD launched its latest Information Economy Report. Free and Open Source Software is discussed extensively in this years’ edition, which has a focus on “The Software Industry and Developing Countries”. Also great news: the FOSSFA/GIZ capacity building programme ict@innovation is featured prominently, both in the report and at its Africa launch, which was held yesterday at the United Nations Conference Center in Addis, at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The embargo has been lifted on the document and I recommend its reading to all FOSS activists and businesses.

Congrats to everyone, who has been steering those processes in the past year! Cheers, Balthas

Excerpts of the report and its press release, which I liked (among others):

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by Balthas

„Amorphous action communities for commons-based peer production“ – some thoughts on networking in the future

November 1, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

seibold_future of global networking for international cooperationYesterday, I tried to put the future of „global networking for international cooperation“ in one slide –  looking five to ten years ahead. My first problem was to find a name for the future. I ended up with „Amorphous action communities for open innovation and [commons-based] peer production (globally connected, innovating locally)“.

Then, I outlined some of intermediate steps in networking such as „Open networks of trust“ and „Communities of Practice“, which we are already seeing popping up. My final guess was on some of the driving forces, that will lead us from today’s networks all the way to the „amorphous action communities“.

So here’s the picture, with the steps and the driving forces:

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