A funny thing happened in 2020. Not funny as in ha ha but funny as in unexpected. The world woke up to the fact that collaboration is more than a buzz word; it is the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal to help us address our shared challenges: social, business, commercial, political, environmental and so on.
For all the damage and suffering that the ‘year of Covid’ dumped upon the world, it has also been responsible for highlighting: the tangible value of true collaboration, the power of openness, honesty, transparency and, the importance of shared expertise and experience in building relationships and creating diverse networks for common advantage. The open-source community has known and been championing this for decades. But it is now clear to everyone that the power of ‘open’ has enormous commercial, social and political advantages – which extend far beyond the world of tech alone.
Occupying everyone’s mind now should be: “How do we take the learnings of the past year and apply them to create and build better businesses, better government, better society and a better world ?” The starting point must be to take the underlying concepts of ‘opensource’ which have firmly put collaboration, transparency and networks at the heart of problem solving, solution finding and making the world work better, and embedding them to the fabric of our decision making, systems design (government and business) and interactions and engagements.
At the core of opensource is community, and community can only thrive and have relevancy when it is actively contributing socially, economically and politically to its immediate and networked environments. This requires society to have a depth and breadth of skills, abilities and capabilities to participate in a modern, digital world which is borderless, co-operative and like-minded in its intent of knowledge transfer for collective and accumulative benefits. It is through the diversity of multiple input that the quality of output is amplified.
A skilled and capable society is dependent on a skilled, capable and modern government that is living in the present and planning for the future. It requires a government that is ‘open’ in its design, is ‘open’ to collective problem solving and is ‘open’ to collective solution finding – all of which are dependent on the participation of a diverse community.
Government has not evolved radically or fast enough, and is not fit for purpose, to serve a country’s entire community today or tomorrow. We can all agree technology has advanced and evolved, as has our own knowledge, scientific discovery and societal norms. Throughout 2020 we have witnessed that what was fit for purpose once, no longer has relevancy – and that includes government institutions in their current form and format.
A collaborative, open, transparent, diverse and networked governments lends itself to creating collaborative, transparent, diverse and networked communities with the skills, capabilities and abilities to contribute, participate and flourish in a borderless world. And that is the world of today and tomorrow.
When all macro and micro economic, social, political and environmental aspects of the world are afforded the opportunity to evolve and benefit from the philosophies and concepts that underpin the ‘opensource’ world, then there will be more opportunities and solutions that benefit the most number of people.
The source code of opensource and therefore the code of open governments, open society and open business is the individual. Individual skills, capabilities and abilities that are networked and connected to drive progress, advancement and a better working, socially cohesive, safe and clean world.