The nine-month effort in Ecuador to develop a new vision and policy architecture for commons-based peer production is coming into much sharper focus. To refresh your memory on this project, the Government of Ecuador last year commissioned the FLOK Society (FLOK = “Free, libre, open knowledge”) to come up with a thoughtful plan for enabling every sector of Ecuador to be organized into open knowledge commons, to the maximum degree possible. The project has now released a transition plan accompanied by more than a dozen policy frameworks for specific social and economic domains.
What makes the FLOK Society report so significant is its informed analysis of global trends in the production of knowledge and culture -- and its bold attempt to reformulate state policies to assure maximum social benefits flow from them. The “advanced” industrial economies continue to cling to archaic intellectual property regimes that ignore network dynamics and prey upon the value created by nonmarket communities. But Ecuador’s path-breaking project seeks to go beyond neoliberal economics and policy. Many of us are excited because the FLOK Society report is a comprehensive, sophisticated and integrated synthesis for moving to the next stage of commoning and peer production on open networks.
A guiding idea in this effort is Buen Vivir (Sumak Kawsay) or “good living,” an indigenous peoples’ concept that refers to a life that balances material, social and spiritual needs and satisfactions (i.e., getting beyond compulsive material growth and consumerism). FLOK Society researchers realize that Buen Vivir is impossible without Buen Conocer (Sumak Yachay), which is the idea of “good knowledge.” Ecuadorian President Correa himself has urged young people to achieve and fight for this open knowledge societ