Knowledge sharing in the informal economy in Africa & the knowledge commons – who „owns“ knowledge? (part I)

December 12, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Africa

Here, I want to talk about one of the many interesting themes of the compendium „Innovation & Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa“, which was just released (see also this blog post): Knowledge sharing in the informal economy in Africa and the knowledge commons. [Both links above link to content within the Alumniportal Germany (register or login first to access the link)]

For the first time, we find here some concrete answers to two key questions, that haunts people interested in the linkage between (open) innovation, commons-approaches and „intellectual property“ (IP): Who „owns“ knowledge in informal economy contexts in Africa?

Let us look at the informal automotive sector in Uganda, as described by Dick Kawooya.

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Knowledge sharing & community-based innovation models in Africa: Which knowledge governance in the future? (part II)

December 12, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Africa

Source: source_knowledge_innovation_in_africa_scenarios_future / license: CC attribution share alike non-commercial

Source: source_knowledge_innovation_in_africa_scenarios_future / license: CC attribution share alike non-commercial

In part II of this blog series, I will link the current reality of knowledge sharing in Africa with appropriate knowledge governance systems for the future. For the future, the Open African Innovation Research and Training network has worked on Three Scenarios for the Future of Knowledge & Innovation in Africa.The current reality is described in the compendium „Innovation & Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa“, which was just released and in my last blog entry on „knowledge sharing in the informal economy in Africa & the knowledge commons“.

This report grapples with the complex and dynamic forces shaping innovation systems over the next two decades. It distills three different but equally plausible future scenarios: one a world of “wireless engagement,” another where “informal is the new normal,” and a third that is “sincerely Africa.” Each scenario raises different issues for control and access to knowledge in Africa.

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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

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:

http://www.openair.org.za/capetown2013

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 (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

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

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.

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

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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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

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: http://www.openair.org.za/join

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. www.openair.org.za/capetown2013

The School of open just opened: Learn open practices, discuss Open Educational Resources, Open Access and more

March 18, 2013 in Freedom to learn

News on an open course on openness by our friends from p2pu. Reproduced below:

Why “open”? Universal access to and participation in research, education, and culture is made possible by openness, but not enough people know what it means or how to take advantage of it. We hear about Open Source Software, Open Educational Resources, and Open Access… But what are these movements, who are their communities, and how do they work? Most importantly—how can they help me? A collaboration with the public. Courses are powered by mentors and learners like you. Whether you are an individual volunteer or organizational representative, we invite you to create or improve a course! The School of Open is coordinated by P2PU and Creative Commons, a globally focused nonprofit dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. Learning about “open”. The School of Open offers courses on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, research, and beyond. We offer two types of courses: •Stand-alone courses that can be worked through at your own pace at any time, with or without others •Facilitated courses that run for a set period of weeks with an organizer that provides feedback and facilitates discussion Get involved. •Sign up for announcements. We just launched our first set of courses. Sign up to be notified of future launches. •Join the discussion. Help us build the School! Conceive, create, and test courses with your peers. •Learn more. Give feedback on core documents, attend an upcoming workshop, participate in our monthly working calls, and more.

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Facilitated courses Sign up for these facilitated courses through Sunday, March 17. These courses will start the week of March 18. To sign up, simply click the “Start Course” button under the course’s menu navigation on the left. 1.Copyright 4 Educators (US) 2.Copyright 4 Educators (AUS) 3.Creative Commons for K-12 Educators 4.Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond

Link to news on p2pu.org

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

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 http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/03/04/should-industry-support-ldcs-request-for-unlimited-time-to-implement-the-trips-agreement-absolutely/

(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

Copyright of this picture: http://www.global-congress.org/?goback=.gna_4517509.gde_4517509_member_196540076

Copyright of this picture: http://www.global-congress.org/?goback=.gna_4517509.gde_4517509_member_196540076

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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Creative Commons is turning 10 – Celebrate!

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

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 10.creativecommons.org.

Africa’s First 3.0 Licenses! – Creative Commons

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

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.”

Link: creativecommons.org

African fellows wanted on the “role of intellectual property in open development” in Africa …

January 31, 2012 in Freedom to innovate

This is an interesting call by the “Open African Innovation Research and Training” inititative, which is part of the GIZ commons@ip programme, which I run:

“The Open A.I.R. initiative on the role of intellectual property (IP) in open development invites applications for a three- or six-month Research Fellowship to work in Cape Town, South Africa, on the project’s research, outreach and training activities. Primary responsibilities will include conducting research on a case study within one or more of the project’s thematic areas, contributing to the development of outreach strategies and training initiatives, and helping to solidify and grow Open A.I.R.’s pan-African network.

Link: http://www.openair.org.za/content/2012-fellowship-opportunity

Freedom to innovate ! Article in D+C Journal

April 15, 2010 in Freedom to innovate, News on publications, Open Source IT business

Germany’s international Development + Cooperation Journal just published an article by Balthas Seibold, which looks at open innovation and the knowledge commons in the framework of business development in developing countries. The piece argues, that innovation is key to private sector development, so stringent protection of intellectual property rights can hamper businesses in poor countries. To close the innovation divide, it makes sense to bank on open innovation and digital knowledge commons. Read the full article online at D+C or find more information and a pdf of the print edition within the publication section of this website.

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.

Just published: main uses of online content by users in developing countries

January 8, 2004 in News on publications

Just published: An article by Balthas Seibold on main uses of online content by users in developing countries. The article is part of a scientific book on the quality of online communication. The German title is “Gute Seiten – schlechte Seiten. Qualität in der Onlinekommunikation”. The title of the article (which is available in German online, is “Verfügbar, verständlich und relevant – was Nutzer in Entwicklungsländern von Onlineinhalten erwarten”. You find there a checklist for quality of online content in developing countries, knowledge as a common good, intellectual property rights discussion, availability of digital content, language and multilingualism, cultural diversity and selflearn didactics. Check the article (in German) in the following download.

 
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