Last week, I mentioned that I attended the Open Forum Europe 2012 conference. Preceeding it was the first meeting of the Open Forum Academy (OFA), of which I am a member. Here's how it describes itself:
Openforum Academy is a think tank with a broad aim to examine the paradigm shift towards openness in computing that is currently underway, and to explore how this trend is changing the role of computing in society.
About half the fellowship met last Monday to discuss openness in various forms. I gave a short rambling introduction, which happily has now been lost in the background noise of the universe, but a good number of the other fellows not only spoke, but also prepared academic papers exploring various aspects of openness. The OFA has already published these; even better, it has done so under a cc-by-sa 3.0 licence, for which it deserves kudos.
Here's a quick rundown of the papers:
Openness and Legitimacy in Standards Development – Andrew Updegrove
Estimating the Economic Contribution of Open Source Software to the European Economy – Carlo Daffara
IT usage in Swedish primary schools: Observations on Innovation and Educational Lock-In – BjÃ¶rn Lundell
Unsettling Users: Openness and the Rise of Inverse Infrastructures – Tineke M. Egyedi and Wim Vree
Copyright, Interfaces, and a Possible Atlantic Divide – Simonetta Vezzoso
Framing the Conundrum of Total Cost of Ownership of Open Source Software – Maha Shaikh and Tony Cornford
Consumer Trust, Education and Empowerment: The Open Story – Altsitsiadis Efthymios
The Evolution Of Openness: Collaboration On Shared Platforms – Shane Coughlan
Open Content Mining – Peter Murray-Rust, Jenny Molloy and Diane Cabell
Complexities in the Relationship among Standarization, Invention and Innovation in
Information and Communication Technologies: An introductory perspective – Jochen Friedrich
As you will notice, many of the topics discussed there touch on issues that have cropped up in this blog over the last few years. What's good is that they are covered with rather more rigour than I manage, complete with handy references to other academic papers for those who want to explore the issues in greater depth.
I think this is one of the great virtues of the OFA: it brings a more serious approach to discussions of many of the hottest topics that are of key importance in the world of openness. That's a valuable new option, and I look forward to future meetings and publications.