Dirk Messner asks: How Can We Learn to Cooperate in a World of Nine Billion People?

April 10, 2014 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

 

The enabling mechanisms of cooperation - copyright: contributing authors Messner, Guarin, Haun 2013

The enabling mechanisms of cooperation – copyright: contributing authors Messner, Guarin, Haun 2013

Last week, I took part in a webinar with Dirk Messner on “the enabling mechanisms of cooperation”. The lecture was part of the massive open online course “Leadership for Global Responsibility” of GIZ.

My takeaway has the form of a hexagon, more precisely the “cooperation hexagon” (see picture).Messner (with co-researchers Guarin and Haun) managed to find a nice form to sum up old wisdom: People do cooperate, if they feel that reciprocity is in place in the six dimensions of trust, communication, reputation, fairness, enforcement and we-identity – also across borders and cultures. Such a conclusion is really pretty close to the outcomes of research on cooperation of FOSS communities (no wonder, Messner cites Benkler, who comes from FOSS research). Unfortunately, I will not be able to add Messner’s work as a citation in my forthcoming article on “learning by sharing”, where I drew a table of factors that make people share knowledge –  which it turns out, is motivated by pretty much the same hexagon. I will do that for the next edition 🙂

For now, I recommend to you to read the article on “The Behavioural Dimensions of International Cooperation” (the hexagon is on page 15), to watch Dirks talk and, if you like, to join the (ongoing) online course  on “Leadership for Global Responsibility”. As always, feel free to comment, add or substract 🙂

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

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):

Read the rest of this entry →

Tackling global problems by pooling knowledge – highlights of the first international conference on the knowledge commons

September 14, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

Source: A. Diez Herrero | Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 siehe http://www.flickr.com/photos/21572939@N03/2090542246/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Source: A. Diez Herrero | Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 siehe http://www.flickr.com/photos/21572939@N03/2090542246/sizes/m/in/photostream/

What do the problems of climate change, global access to affordable medicine and software, food security, and crop availability for poor farmers have in common?

In all of these fields, more and more people are looking at how a collective building and owning of key knowledge can help solve protracted global problems. A global core of these people just met in a tiny Belgium university town at the at the „First International Thematic Conference on the Knowledge commons“. (for more on the term, see wikipedias Knowlegde commons entry”).

It is quite tough for me to sum up such an endeavor. I will still try and do so by picking some issues related to my own main interests, mainly „global knowledge cooperation“ and „harnessing the knowledge commons for open innovation“. I will complement that with a totally non-exhaustive and personal „list of quick links“ on how to save the climate, solve the food crisis, fight pandemics and increase food security with commons approaches.

Read the rest of this entry →

German Government funds German-African research partnerships to build ICT study courses in Africa – BMBF releases call for proposals with a funding of up to €150,000 per course and year

March 8, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

What the call is about: The German Government via its Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) released a call to fund research partnerships between German Research institutions and partners in Subsaharan Africa. One of the main goals is to build  African ICT study courses and to fund exploratory measures / pilot measures in  “Applied information and communication technologies (ICT)”  via German-African research partnerships.

Read the rest of this entry →

African meeting on digital commons ahead: Idlelo5, The 5th African Conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons | ict@innovation

February 6, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business

Only one month to go before the “5th African Conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons” will start in Abuja, Nigeria. Idlelo is a conference organized by GIZ partner FOSSFA every two years to bring together the Open Source Community in Africa to share experiences and to network.

Link: http://www.ict-innovation.fossfa.net/event/idlelo-5-5th-african-conference-open-source-and-digital-commons

UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2011 mentions ict@innovation

November 24, 2011 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business

UNCTAD just released their Information Economy Report 2011 focusing on the link between ICTs and private sector development. It also mentions our programm ict@innovation with FOSSFA (see section on “developing human resources” page 59).

Check the: Information Economy Report 2011 – ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development

More Info on the site here:

IT Sector Promotion in developing and emerging countries – Manual & Toolbox released

November 22, 2011 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business

Titel_IT_sectorpromotioinJust released: an IT sector promotion manual and toolbox with many examples and tools pertaining to OpenIT@giz – Open Innovation for Development such as capacity building, open innovation methods, training-of-trainer networks in IT, Open Source etc. Check it out! BTW: It is drawing on the ict@innovation programme and other programmes described here). And for archival reasons, please find below the reprint of the news item published on the German ICT4D Blog.

The Sector Project ICT4D on behalf of BMZ and with the support of GIZ’s ict@innovation team has just released it’s IT Sector Promotion Toolbox. The Toolbox, together with its explanatory Manual, introduces a methodology and a set of practical tools to promote the IT industry in developing and emerging countries. Relying on German Development Cooperation’s instruments and project experience, the Manual and the Toolbox provide a strategic “roadmap” for IT sector promotion which can be flexibly adapted to accommodate future changes in resources, global markets and technologies. They have primarily been designed for the staff of ministries and agencies involved in economic development, for managers and staff members of IT clusters, associations, networks, communities of practice and chambers of commerce. They should serve as orientation for staff of donor organisations involved in private sector development, economic development, and employment promotion as well as in information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D)/development informatics.

The Manual and the Toolbox could be found on this blog as topic 7 of the course section. They were also available at the “IT Sector Promotion Tools” page of the German ICT4D Blog..

ict@innovation programme moves to West Africa: Balthas Seibold opens training in Abuja, Nigeria

October 24, 2011 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business

zen_ict_new_logo“Free your IT Business in WEST Africa!” This was the motto of the first Training-of-Trainers of ict@innovation held in the West African region. Balthas Seibold and his colleagues Petra Hagemann & George Nyambuya officially welcomed more than 26 FOSS experts from Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal, who engaged in 10 intense days of peer-discussions and peer-learning. The training was held in Nigeria’s capital town Abuja and featured senior FOSS experts from all over Africa as facilitators. More on the event is online on ict@innovation, including the presentation held by Balthas Seibold, see the ict@innovation blog entries on West African capacity building action.

Just published: “Unleashing Open Innovation Systems”

September 9, 2010 in Freedom to innovate, News on publications, Open Source IT business

copyright of cover: GIZ

copyright of cover: GIZ

The working group on ‘Promoting Innovation Systems’ of Germany’s development cooperation just published a documentation on “Strengthening Innovation Systems in the Context of Development Cooperation”. An article by Balthas Seibold gives an overview of the potential of open innovation for developing countries. Taking the capacity building programme commons@ip as an example, the paper enumerates important impact indicators, which demonstrate, how a move towards open innovation in developing countries might positively influence innovation systems. Read the article “Unleashing Open Innovation Systems” in the documentation (page 87 to 92) available as a pdf-download at the publications section of this website. For more information on the InWEnt programme commons@ip, please check the InWEnt Train for Trade Portal.

Silang – the Philippines: Asia Source 3 Meeting Reinforces Asian Free and Open Source Software Movement

November 13, 2009 in Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business

Copyright of logo: with Asia Source 3 Organizers (IOSN Asean+3)

While most technology conferences happen as swanky, slick, and well-rehearsed events, the recently concluded Asia Source 3 took the opposite track and ran a camp that was spartan yet spontaneous. From November 7 to 12, 2009, Asia Source 3 gathered 150 representatives from Southeast Asia to discuss developments in open source. For those six days, the campers lived in a communal environment that married fun and relaxation with exchange of ideas. “We are honored to be part of this movement through our training and network program it@foss” said Balthas Seibold, Senior Project Manager of InWEnt. Asia Source 3 marked the official highlight of five years of regional FOSS support by InWEnt in Southeast Asia. InWEnt has trained and connected more than 1000 experts from Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines in more than 30 training courses under its it@foss program.

Check more about Asia Source III at http://www.asiasource3.net, meet Balthas at the online community of AS3, check the programme at the Camp Wiki, including an afternoon track session of Balthas Seibold on “From Open Source to Open Innovation / a brainstorming on open-everything”. Or learn more about InWEnt’s work in Asia.

Dortmund: Balthas Seibold speaks at seminar on “Strengthening Innovation Systems in the Context of Development Cooperation”

October 8, 2009 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source IT business

Innovation: What role for ICTs and for Open approaches? This has been a guiding question for a joint talk by gtz’s Thorsten Scherf and InWEnt’s Balthas Seibold at a symposium and seminar organized in Dortmund for gtz staff and other experts on innovation systems promotion. Balthas Seibold pointed out, how we might be moving from the Digital Divide to an Innovation Divide, how ICTs and „Open Innovation“ is linked to the example of Free and Open Source Software and what role the knowledge commons may play for innovation. For an overview of the seminar’s programm, see the Agenda, for details on the input, see the presentation slides.

Johannesburg: Balthas Seibold opens first regional course on Business and Open Source in South Africa

July 14, 2009 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business

zen_ict_new_logoHow can Southern African IT-businesses make money with Free and Open Source Software? – this one of the questions discussed at the regional course on “Advanced African Business Models with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)“. The two-week event started on July 13 at University of Witwatersrand, (Wits) in Johannesburg and is the first in a series of training-of-trainer (ToT) events in Southern and East Africa related to the programme “ict@innovation – – Creating Business and Learning Opportunities with Free and Open Source Software in Africa”. More on the course is online at the ict@innovation website, more on the programme, FOSS and Balthas’ work in Africa is in the section InWEnt: Africa & Open Source.

The global digital divide is an innovation and learning divide!

February 23, 2009 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source IT business

This article examines some of the ethical challenges and solutions related to the digital divide with a focus on how capacity building is crucial to bridge the different divides. The article is part of the volume “Internetökonomie und Ethik” (= The Economy of the Internet and Ethics) published by the renowed German editing house “Duncker & Humblot” in Berlin. In the article, Balthas Seibold postulates that from an ethical perspective, access to internet is not optional in developing countries and that four layers of Internet (physical layer, logical layer, content layer, learning layer) need to be kept open in order to allow for innovation and global digital equality (“Gütergerechtigkeit”). The article is online in German here: Publikationsseite.

Open Everything Berlin! Taking part in a global conversation about the art, science and spirit of ‘open’

December 6, 2008 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source IT business

Open Everything is a global conversation about the art, science and spirit of ‘open’. It gathers people using openness to create and improve software, education, media, philanthropy, architecture, neighbourhoods, workplaces and the society we live in: everything. It’s about thinking, doing and being open. Balthas Seibold took part in this global conversation at the 6th event taking place in Berlin. He spoke about “Open Development Cooperation through Capacity Building in Free and Open Source Software?”. The session discussed, how/if the principles of openness are resonating with some key principles of Development Cooperation in general and capacity-building support to initiatives in “Free and Open Source Software” in Asia in Africa in particular. More information: the presentation of Balthas Seibold / the Open Everything website / the Open Everything Berlin Wiki.

Drive for change! Balthas Seibold opens FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam conferences in Hanoi

November 14, 2008 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business

FOSS Bridge logoMore than 80 IT experts gathered on 14 November 2008 at “Drive for change”, a conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) held at Horison Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam. Carried out as part of the FOSS-Bridge EU-Vietnam initiative, the event was organized by InWEnt of Germany, INRIA of France, and the Institute of Information and Technology of Vietnam.

2009-2010 / Balthas Seibold presents at the first FOSS Bridge "EU-Vietnam" onference in Hanoi, Vietnam / Photo: Mario Behling for FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam / CC-Licence, see source

2009-2010 / Balthas Seibold presents at the first FOSS Bridge “EU-Vietnam” onference in Hanoi, Vietnam / Photo: Mario Behling for FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam / CC-Licence, see source at https://secure.flickr.com/photos/fossbridge/2013873411/

“FOSS is about connecting people and businesses through knowledge. We are therefore most pleased to see that more and more players in Vietnam cross the bridge towards free and open source software”, stated organizers Vu The Binh of IOIT and Balthas Seibold of InWEnt. The conference was the culminating point of the initiative FOSS-Bridge EU-Vietnam, which has been promoting Southeast Asian software industries and cooperation with Europe through innovative collaboration on FOSS and business development since 2006.

Overall, the programme has brought together more than 50 IT-companies from Vietnam and Europe for matchmaking and twinning, and about 100 FOSS companies and organizations are registered in the online network at www.foss-bridge.org. FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam has successfully prepared more than 20 Vietnamese IT-intermediaries and IT-SMEs to spread key knowledge on how to make business based on FOSS. More information: on the conference “Drive for change” / on FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam in general / on previous key events such as the “High-Level Workshop on Open Source Requirements” (April 2008) and the “Second matchmaking, training and twinning workshop for European and Vietnamese FOSS businesses” (June 2008) / article on website of European commission.