Progress through Openness

theopenagendaMitchell Baker, Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation, has released a thoughtful and inspiring statement in support of #TheOpenAgenda called Only Openness Can Power The Next Wave Of Human Progress. Although Baker’s statement focuses specifically on ensuring that the Web remains open in order to foster innovation, many of the points she raises relate to openness more widely and are equally applicable to open education.

Openness is important, not only for the Web and technology but also for the human experience. Openness provides the ability to set the rules for ourselves or experiment and work to create a better experience. Openness is critical for the human experience, critical to problem solving—and if you view the problems facing the globe and the human population today we need the ability to solve problems.

Open vs. closed is a dichotomy in many areas of life; many systems move from open to closed or strike a balance between the two …. In the short-term there is sometimes great value, or perceived value, to centralized services. In the long run, though, as systems become more closed it becomes very hard to change something that no longer works optimally.

Some have adopted a closed mind set …. others have adopted an open philosophy—because it’s in their nature, their leaders’ nature or because it makes economic or business sense. They are shifting because they see the possibilities and are moving into opportunities that are more based on openness.

You can read the a fuller version of Baker’s statement here: Human Progress can Only Come Through Openness.