Today marks the start of a new IDB project: a blog for discussing and learning about open knowledge and its impact on development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This topic is somewhat confusing for many people because it’s new and multi-faceted. That’s why we thought this open space would be useful for increasing understanding of the concept of open knowledge, raising awareness about the best initiatives, explaining how to connect to different open knowledge tools, and talking about the innovative ways in which individuals, towns, cities or even entire countries can benefit from ideas that others have made available through open knowledge platforms.
So what is open knowledge? The term is used to describe everything from the many initiatives that make knowledge available to the public through online courses, databases, and document repositories to a cultural movement that views information as a shared resource to which we should all have access and that seeks to make the transfer of knowledge more transparent and efficient.
Open knowledge has probably already had an impact on you, although you may not be aware of it. For example, in Chile, a group of entrepreneurs set up Poderopedia, an online who’s who for tracking politicians and other prominent people in that country. Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, Hackathons have been organized to collectively improve services in those cities. For instance, they have led to development of applications to support a system enabling residents to submit suggestions and requests to Buenos Aires city government, and to support a bicycle-sharingprogram. There are simpler initiatives on the scale of that of Julio Ríos, a Colombian math teacher, whose Youtube channel has almost 300,000 subscribers. One of his classes on the trigonometric functions of a triangle has received more than 750,000 visits. Impressive.
So in this blog we’ll look at where open knowledge comes from and where it is going. We’ll talk about Open Data, Open Access and Open Government, as well as the progress of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and how they can help us find solutions for development in our countries, as occurred with Demand Solutions. We hope that whether or not you’re an open knowledge expert, you’ll contribute to the debate. Please join us in exchanging ideas, experiences and opinions.
We’re open to the public!