Open Policy Institute
In 2011, CC was contacted by multiple institutions and governments seeking assistance to develop materials and strategies for open policies. The need for open policy support was amplified at the CC 2011 Global Summit in Warsaw, Poland. CC Affiliates from 35 countries called for a central hub where open policies could be shared and discussed. Without clearly defined support, open policies are significantly less likely to be introduced and adopted.
As open advocates recognize the potential for open policies to significantly increase the amount and quality of education, research and scientific resources and data, there is a pressing need to provide them support so they can successfully craft and implement open policies. A new Open Policy Institute could provide support to open advocates and governments exploring open policies.
Open policy requires unrestricted access and open licensing of resources financed through public and philanthropic funding in order to maximize the impact of the investment.
Open Policy (for governments) = publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources.
If we are going to unleash the power of hundreds of billions of dollars of publicly funded education, research and scientific resources, we need broad adoption of open policies. For the purposes of open policies that contribute to the public good, we define policy broadly as legislation, institutional policies, and/or funder mandates.
We have observed that current open policy efforts are decentralized, uncoordinated and insular; there is poor and/or sporadic information sharing. There are at least two major barriers that have prevented broad open policy adoption. (1) There is no organized support for open policy advocates and governments who want to learn about, craft, and implement open policies. (2) Existing policy makers typically don’t understand how open policies can increase the impact of public investments. The open community needs access to existing open policies, legislation, and action plans for how open policies were created, discussed and passed. Advocates need to know what barriers were encountered and how they were overcome, and because politics and opportunities are local, open advocates need support customizing an open policy solution and strategy.
If we get this simple idea right, open sustainability could cease to be an issue because: (a) there will be plenty of public funding to build and maintain all of the education, science, data, and other resources the world needs, and, (b) “open” becomes the default and “closed” becomes the exception for publicly funded resources.
Open Policy Institute Website
The OPI site will house and/or link to the world’s open policies and best practices for securing the adoption of new open policies. The site will also list contact information of those involved in developing and promoting open policy, so that open policy advocates can connect with those who have already passed an open policy.
Webinars and Conference Presentations
OPI will run webinars and present at conferences to raise awareness of the importance of open policies, advertise the website, research, collect and curate open policy submissions, and connect open policy advocates to one another.
OPI will run an annual meeting to connect open policy advocates to one another. The one-day event could be co-located (and rotated) with existing open conferences (Open Ed, OCWC, CC Summit, etc.).
OPI will provide direct (phone/Skype) consulting to anyone wanting to implement an open policy.
OPI might engage a fellows program to help lead work in specific open policy areas.
CC is engaged in a subcontract agreement with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to support, plan, and host convenings to build the field of digital media and learning (DML) through a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Our MacArthur Foundation program officer supports the allocation of grant funds to be used for a kick-off meeting of the Open Policy Institute in Fall 2012.