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Governance of Science, Education, Information, and Communication

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An Open Letter to the Commoners and Co-operators of the World

John Restakis, Michel Bauwens ¤ 14 December 2013
Related themes: Evolution of the role of the state ¤ Internet Governance ¤ Science and citizenship ¤ Education ¤ Global knowledge ¤ Information and Communication Technology ¤ Citizen participation ¤ Citizen movements ¤ Property ¤ Commons ¤ Intellectual property ¤ Science ¤ Living well ¤ Global civil society ¤ Right to information ¤ Knowledge society ¤ Pachamama

Dear Global Co-operators and Commoners,

In a speech on Sept. 19, 2012, President Correa of Ecuador appealed to the young people of his country to fight for and realize a vision of “good living” based on a commons-based and open knowledge society. The FLOK Society project (Free/Libre Open Knowledge) has been created to propose a transition plan and a policy framework to achieve this unique vision. In accordance with [Ecuador’s National Planhttp://buenvivir.gob.ec/versiones-plan-nacional], there can be no ‘good living’ policy that is not inspired by, and rooted in, free and open knowledge and a thriving commons.

The FLOK Society project is a joint research effort sponsored by the Co-ordinating Ministry of Knowledge and Human Talent, the Senescyt, (Secretaria National de Educacion Superior, Ciencia, Tecnologia e Innovacion) and the IAEN (Instituto de Altos Estudios del Estado). Our aim is to finalize proposals to be presented at a conference in April 2014, which will bring together the President, government officials, civil society participants, and global experts on the commons. The project received its impulse from IAEN Rector Carlos Prieto, Project Leaders Xabier E. Barandiaran & Daniel Vázquez, and Research Director Michel Bauwens.

Here is the link to the FLOK Society project: http://www.floksociety.org/en

The project seeks the involvement and input of local civil society, but also includes an explicit appeal to the global co-operative and commons movements to assist us with advice and policy proposals. It is our belief that the Ecuadorian people will be inspired by the best of what is happening abroad, in all countries of the world.

Hence our appeal to you, global co-operators and commoners.

If you are engaged in transformative social change that is inspired by open knowledge, co-operation, and the building of commons for the well being of all, we ask you to send us information and benchmark proposals on leading local or global initiatives in your area of expertise.

Imagine a society that is connected to open knowledge commons in every domain of human activity, based on free and open knowledge, code, and design that can be used by all citizens along with government and market players without the discrimination and disempowerment that follows from privatized knowledge.

Imagine an ethical and sustainable economy that is based on the creation of a co-operative commonwealth rooted in reciprocity, mutuality, peer-to-peer production, and the mobilization of an informed and engaged civil society.

Imagine the speeding up of social innovation and knowledge-sharing enabled by open knowledge commons in the fields of culture, technology, science, and every other field where local and global solutions can be shared and built upon.

Imagine that such open commons are linked to an ethical market and economy whereby individuals, community organisations, co-operatives, and commercial and social enterprises can freely co-produce such knowledge using enabling governance and property models that do not enclose the commons, but facilitate their growth.

Imagine an enabling and facilitating Partner State which encourages economic and social co-operation built on public/civil partnerships.

What would it take to achieve this?

Neither the Ecuadorian people alone, nor of course the FLOK Society research team, can offer full solutions. But together, in co-operation, we can envision and build proposals for a sustainable, open, and ethical society and economy which the Ecuadorian government could assist in coming into being, with concrete policies and support.

This is the first time that a nation-state and the President of a country has legitimized the desire of commoners and co-operators all over the world to create a more just and sustainable civilization, using commons-inspired principles.

In the spirit of sharing and co-operation, we ask for your solidarity and support!

Our research streams focus on the following key areas:

- Human Capabilities and Open Learning, Paul Bouchard
- Changing the Productive Matrix, George Dafermos
- Social Infrastructure & Institutional Innovation, John Restakis
- Open Technical Infrastructures, Jenny Torres
- Physical Commons, Janice Figueiredo

Help us turn vision into reality.

In Solidarity and Co-operation,

John Restakis, Research Associate, Co-operatives UK; Research Investigator, Legal and Institutional Frameworks Contact John

Michel Bauwens, Research Director; founder of the P2P Foundation and partner of the Commons Strategies group, Contact Michel

FLOK Research Team:

Daniel Araya, Paul Bouchard, George Dafermos, Janice Figueiredo, Jenny Torres
Co-signed by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich, Commons Strategies Group

For General Input, please send to Michel Bauwens; and Daniel Araya (Contact Daniel)

If you want to help us more concretely, check this page: http://en.wiki.floksociety.org/w/How_Can_You_Help_Us


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