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 …