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Brain Off » Neo-geo-politics :: Mikel Maron :: Building Digital Technology for Our Planet


Back in September, I was invited to Kosovo, to speak at the Software Freedom Conference. It was an honor for me to come to this troubled region where so much good work was happening in open source. And it was the ideal moment to gather long brewing thoughts on the political lens of open source and particularly OpenStreetMap, and on the incredible road trip I had just taken with Erica through the former Yugoslavia.

My talk was “neo-geo-politics, the impact and issues of open source and open data on political crisis, borders, disputes, and marginal places”

The talk runs with the basic premise that the complexity of international political organization in nation-states has inherent problems and faces increasing strain (as seen now in North Africa and the Middle East) and that new conceptualizations of how we relate to each other can be explored through open source community ideas (and its progeny in open knowledge, open data…). This is made particularly clear when talking about the new power structures in geographic data and technology, and provides a better intuitive guide as individuals are increasingly atomized and the narratives of consumption vs citizenship grow more difficult to properly separate.

Enough babbling … my slides and video …

Video of my talk on neo-geo-politics from Software Freedom Kosovo


  1. Jakub Górnicki said,

    February 23, 2011 @ 4:16 pm


    your presentation looks really good, it would be nice to see what you said around it, but the file is 1.3 gb. Can it be found somewhere on YouTube/Vimeo ?

  2. mikel said,

    February 23, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

    Yea I struggled with this. The file type is ogv, and its huge. Anyone have any suggestions?

  3. Jakub Górnicki said,

    March 12, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    If copyrights allow, why dont you download, convert and YouTube? YouTube might work with OGV (Google search is unclear on this), so you could skip the convert part.

  4. mikel said,

    March 12, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    Simply haven’t had the time or bandwidth … and now I’m in Haiti.

    If you or someone else was interested to do this, there are no issues with copyright.

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