Ecuador’s FLOK Society (Free-Libre, Open Knowledge) project was originally commissioned in 2013 through a tripartite agreement involving the Ecuadorian Coordinating Ministry of Knowledge and Human Talent, Senescyt (The Secretary of Innovation and Technology) and the IAEN (The National Institute of Advanced Studies).
The project marked the first time a nation state commissioned a practical plan to transition to a mature Peer to Peer Economy. It was initiated to “fundamentally re-imagine Ecuador”, based on the principles of open networks, peer production and a commons of knowledge.
An Ecuatorian platform for the creation of transition policies to an open knowledge society
Overview of FLOK’s Research Plan
Stream 1: Human Capabilities
Daniel Araya and Paul Bouchard
This research stream will focus on institutional support for capacity building with a special focus on open learning and community driven collaboration. Within this research stream, learning is viewed as a pillar of development and growth in the context of a broad transition to a social economy that embodies reciprocity and commons-based value creation. This includes a particular stress on active public policies that respond to growing social challenges facing Ecuadorean society. Beyond conventional systems of learning and education that might depend upon closed proprietary structures, this research will utilize commons-based learning networks to harness open science and open educational resources (OER). Perhaps most importantly, this includes a broad interest in advancing the public good through partnering frameworks with civil society. Read more at Stream 1 Human Capabilities
Stream 2: Commons-oriented Productive Capacities
The aim of this research stream is to look at possible ways of enhancing the productive capacities of the Ecuadorian economy and transforming it in the direction of the commons and peer production through the development of:
- (1) open/sustainable agriculture (e.g. seed commons/seedbanks, natural farming and permaculture, push towards peri-urban living, community-supported agriculture)
- (2) networks of open entrepreneurship and user innovation based on open design commons, distributed manufacturing and open machining infrastructures (e.g. Arduino, RepRap 3D printing, Wikispeed)
- (3) distributed networks of clean, renewable energy (e.g. energy-autonomous buildings, microgeneration based on PV-solar systems)
Read more at Stream 2 Commons-oriented Productive Capacities
The research will focus on the institutional supports that are necessary for the transition to, and the ongoing support of, the social and economic systems that embody fundamental principles of reciprocity, co-operation, sharing, and commons-based value creation and utilization. This will include an examination of legislation for co-operatives, NGOs, and social enterprises; public policy with respect to the promotion of co-operative and commons-based production models; public policy with respect to the promotion and extension of the social and solidarity economy; tax policy with respect to co-operative, social, and non-profit enterprises; public policy with respect to the protection, expansion, and management of common-pool resources; and public policy with respect to the establishment of partnering frameworks for co-production of goods and services by the state and civil society. You can read more about it here
Stream 4: Open Technical Infrastructures
The scope of this research is to achieve rules and norms of openness and the commons orientation of digital infrastructures; important aspects of digital usage such as privacy, security; individual and collective rights of expression through digital media.
Key words: open technical infrastructures; privacy; security; data ownership; digital rights
- Insuring privacy protection
- Limiting the dependence on centralized infrastructures under foreign control ; supporting the construction of more autonomous distributed networks
- Limits on the surveillance of citizens through digital rights
- Instituting a right of personal data ownership
Read more here
This research stream will investigate how shared, open and commons infrastructures could promote sustainable ways of living for the collectivity. In this context, the research stream understands that physical infrastructures such as housing, healthcare and food are basic human needs and fundamental human rights, as proclaimed by the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The research will examine how commons-oriented practices could enhance the availability and quality of such physical infrastructures in the public sphere.
The increasing concentration of populations in urban areas brings urban sustainability as a major concern for governments. The research will seek successful open, shared and commons-based practices worldwide and in Ecuador to build and enhance sustainability in urban centers and will examine how they could be implemented, promoted and expanded through local, regional and national public policies.
The following areas will be investigated:
- Health / Social Care
- Food / Urban Agriculture
- Collaborative Consumption
You can find out more about FLOK Society and its current status in the links below.