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.

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Regional Alumni Conference in Southeast Asia discusses Open Source for Healthcare, other topics

July 2, 2010 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Asia, Open Source IT business

balthas_Hanoi_2010_300_220So this is me at InWEnt’s first regional Alumni Conference for Southeast Asia in Hanoi, Vietnam. At the conference, I was acting as a moderator of a Workshop on “open source for healthcare” (Link now to latest version of page on the Internet Archive. Here’s a gist of the workshop as summarized back then: Free and open source software (FOSS) offers tremendous advantages to the health sector of developing countries. The session “FOSS in healthcare” at InWEnt’s 1st Interdisciplinary Alumni Conference Southeast Asia in Hanoi in July 2010 discussed these advantages. The session also offered hands-on opportunities to test drive actual FOSS electronic health records and eHealth applications in Southeast Asia. It drew on experiences by the “International Open Source Network” (IOSN) in ASEAN as a main partner in the InWEnt programme “it@foss – Promoting Free and Open Source Software in Southeast Asia” (2005-2009). Based on this, the session explored opportunities for further network building and capacity building in ASEAN in the area of “FOSS in healthcare” to strenghten open health systems as part of a regional integration framework in Southeast Asia. For the outcomes of the session, see here in section “Outcomes of the Workgroup IX”.