[This is a good article, which opens up a view to open source and peer to peer design and production, which I think could be the key to simpler more democratic local production as a base for a sustainable world. Not simplistic, but simple. Bob]
Open source is a methodology which enables people to work effectively and invite collaboration with unknown others – whomever and wherever they are in the world. It provides a system wherein organisations and individuals can all autonomously contribute to and benefit from a shared ecosystem, tackling different parts of a larger problem without wasting time on redundant replication of work.
30 years ago when today’s CEOs were learning how the business world works, there was no way to collaborate effectively with unknown others around the world, and there didn’t seem to be a reason to.
But now we live amongst a growing global culture in which collaborating and working online is fast becoming the norm. We have professional tools for distributed co-creation, for documentation, for version control, we have trustworthy legally-tested open source licenses, and an ever-growing pool of individuals and companies with a range of motivations, skills and resources, keen to collaborate wherever their goals may be aligned with others.
There’s also a huge range of effective open source business models based around new markets, open collaboration, reduced R&D costs, and services or customisation. These business models work not despite their open nature, but because of it.
The world has changed. The old rules are no longer relevant everywhere.