Open Technologies, Open Futures

26 February 2013

11:00 - 12:30 (CET, GMT +1)


(de) Zu einer ersten Bewertung der Ergebnisse des Weltgipfels zur Informationsgesellschaft (2003-5) führt die UNESCO eine internationale Konferenz durch. Ein Schwerpunkt der Diskussion ist das enorme kulturelle und politische Potential offener Technologien (freie Software, freie Hardware) und frei zugänglicher Bildungsressourcen (Open Educational Resources, OER). Das xm:lab ist offizieller Unterstützer und Teilnehmer der Diskussion 'Open Solutions', es besteht die Möglichkeit, über das Videokonferenzsystem der UNESCO an der Veranstaltung teilzunehmen.

(en) xm:lab contributes to the first WSIS +10 review meeting (session: Open Solutions) hosted by UNESCO. As an institute of the Academy of Fine Arts Saar, xm:lab promotes the use of free and open source software. In cooperation with partners from across its international network, it supports the development of open educational resources, with a particular focus on visual media, as well as strategies of publication, translation, and dissemination that make such materials accessible to different user groups.

Voices from the Network

"Open solutions are a good way for the underprivileged to be able to build up their capactiy or utilize these tools for some sustainability as it aches to find someone in a desperate situation who would have been better off if they had equal opportunities. Africa in particular is a continent where most people cannot afford the license of manyproducts or books but with open solutions, they now have these opportunities which are more worthwhile than financial assistance."


Fua Tse, activspaces

"Open sources make it easier to collaborate and work together for developing new media projects especially on social issues. They are really supportive when you have to create your own tool for a specific kind of matter. I also think that open sources have a key role in development and collaboration motivation; people feel more dedicated to the task and the work team itself."


Güven Çatak, Bug Game Lab

"I prefer free/open solutions because they allow even people from poorer and developing countries to use systems and software without the need for piracy. I live in Southeast Asia, and it just makes more sense for people here to use free/open solutions because otherwise everyone is just downloading pirated copies of Adobe Photoshop because they could never pay that kind of money for the original software. Solutions such as GIMP are great alternatives."


Seelan Palay, EngageMedia

"After teaching video editing for over 10 years, I'm so happy to be able to use Free Software for video production as well as video distribution. This opens up so many possibilities for me to teach to audiences and equipment and that would have been unreachable before."


Mick Fuzz, FLOSS Manuals

Currently operating as a working group at xm:lab, mokolo.labs focuses on the creation of open educational resources related to the development of open video (courses; handbooks on frameworks and end-user-technologies), the comparative assessment of software tools and platforms, and the co-development of professionalization workshops to bring together artists and coders interested in the future online / mobile video. mokolo.labs supports the development of affordable solutions to address African realities in areas such as bandwidth diversity, networking, training, and translation.

"Free and open technologies lay the basis for greater equality. They strengthen meritocracy, bringing benefits, but also challenges, which we should embrace readily and turn them to everyone's advantage. Policy-makers and technological avant-gardes must work together to foster digital literacy and to make sure that the new possibilities create a just system, one that integrates what's good governance, both top down and bottom up."


Ele Jansen, reboot stories

 The question of technology, of the very materiality of our means of communication (and in fact collaborative constitution, as the poesis of political subjectivity unfolds in the complex interplay of mediated modes of relation), is back on the agenda - of social advocacy media and of intergovernmental institutions such as UNESCO.


As real-time media exhausts the time and space for deliberation, tried and tested forms of advocacy and intervention have themselves been changed, affected and altered by new forms of algorithmic agency that threaten to bypass citizen-subjects (as well as the public sphere models of political communication structured to accommodate them) altogether as the real-time flows of cultural and economic exchange require massively machinic forms of analysis.  


At the same time, independent platforms based on the socio-technological logic and logistics of peer-to-peer exchange provide open educational resources that not only re-connect and re-politicize acts of media production, consumption, and disposal. They also support the sharing of soft- and hardware blueprints for autonomous infrastructures that challenge the corporatization of communication and, perhaps even more importantly, offer spaces from within which to re-think and re-build the way we live, love, and work.

Session: Open Solutions to Global Challenges

The event will include an introduction by Stephen Kovats, initiator of #OSJUBA (Open Source City Juba) on the growing international relevance of Open Systems Solutions as effective vehicles to address these global challenges, and presentations by Governor Nyandeng Malek Dielic Marial of South Sudan's Warrap State together with Mr. Johannes Lehne of the German Foreign Office on the creation of Open Source and Open Systems Strategy pilot in South Sudan, the role of Open Source in creating access to quality education in Africa (and beyond) by FOSSFA (Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa) board member Dr. Dorothy K. Gordon, who is also Director General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, and insight into the open technologies, educational and cultural initiatives by Irene Agrivina, co-founder of Indonesia's innovative Art and Media Technologies Laboratory, the HONF Foundation (Yogyakarta) in creating  innovative and cross-disciplinary methodologies to mitigate the tangible effects of climate change, linking these to self-sustainable energy, resource and food production systems.

UNESCO: First WSIS+10 Review Meeting

UNESCO is requested by Member States to host such event of interdisciplinary and multistakeholder nature on Knowledge Societies, because:

  • Since its inception, the Organization has been in fact at the heart of international thinking about the impact of the changing information and communication landscape;
  • UNESCO also shaped the concept of “Knowledge Societies” in which people have capabilities not just to acquire information but also to transform it into knowledge and understanding, which empowers them to enhance their livelihoods and contribute to the social and economic development of their society and finally;
  • UNESCO is designated as one of the leading agencies along with ITU and UNDP, and contributed to the advancement of WSIS goals, by facilitating the implementation of six action lines of its responsibility, co-organizing WSIS Fora and by offering a WSIS KC online platform.

The first WSIS+10 review event with an analysis of trends and possible recommendations will be an integral part of the overall WSIS review process. Outcomes will feed directly into the subsequent review meetings and into the 2015 UNGA overall review. Results will also be reported to UNESCO’s Executive Board and to the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO (November 2013). The intention is also to integrate findings into the UN MDGs review process and into a possible post-2015 sustainable development framework.