Open Source Economy

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An open source economy is defined as an economy in which the development of goods and services happens via open collaboration between enterprises and organizations on the global level. In other words - an Ethical Economy. It is an economy where the rate of innovation across all sectors is significantly higher than the rate of innovation provided by proprietary research and development characteristic of the 20th century. In short, the open source economy is efficient: it avoids Competitive Waste - thereby optimizing not only production, but also - distribution. It is a paradigm that solves the last frontier of the human economy - distribution - being Distributive Rather Than Re-distributive.

Some notable characteristics of an open source economy are:

  1. It features Distributed Market Substitution for all economic goods.
  2. Innovation is unleashed as collaboration is the norm in R&D activities as well as in product development.
  3. Product development occurs as a non-proprietary, collaborative effort, such as that shown already for software with the Linux Foundation. Transparency replaces secrecy, and open innovation replaces protectionism, leveling the playing field of global geopolitics significantly. However, this is largely an internal paradigm shift in humans that allows this.
  4. Human integration towards personal maturation (marked by self-esteem, ethics, and self-determination) is achieved commonly by most of the human population
  5. The Gini Coefficient drops at least to pre-industrial levels
  6. Forest cover percentage has reversed its continuing downward trend, as the derivative landslides, desertification, and floods begin to be less significant causes of societal instability.
  7. Wholesale ecocide is reversed. It may be desirable to reintroduce extinct species via genetic engineering, but only if proper risk assessment has been done.
  8. The number of casualties caused by resource conflicts falls from the current upward trend of absolute numbers since 1400, to its current 10,000/year baseline - to 0. See War Statistics.
  9. Societal institutions displaying poor incentive structures, thereby causing general conflict of interest between the economy and ethics, are corrected.
  10. Human enterprise is marked by self-determination as opposed to commercialism - where most of human activity is more true and not under the influence of sposored special interest or payments of any sort which otherwise create a conflict of interest between true motiviation and artificial motivation. Artificial here is defined as doing something alienating, for compensation. Special interest control is no voluntary or self-determined - it is extrinsically motivated as opposed to internally motivated.

Some more notes:

  1. Patents are no longer secured because open collaboration and patents are incompatible. It becomes commonly understood that the innovation rate is higher when patents are not invoked, and as such, patents become a thing of the past.
  2. Trade secrets no longer exist because open collaboration and trade secrets are incompatible. There is no incentive to secrecy as the value of transparency has emerged as more productive.
  3. Non-disclosure agreements are no longer invoked, as entrepreneurs have recognized that walling up innovation is not consistent with the general good.
  4. Opening of innovation has distributed economic prowess more widely across the globe. As a result of access to best practices across all areas of human endeavor, the difference between first and third world economies have been blurred. Small-minded corruption and lawlessness where the few benefit at the expense of many has largely been eradicated in formerly backward regions of the world. A first rate standards of living is available to all.
  5. Decentralized economies have made economic localization more relevant to commerce. The stock market, derivative financial instruments, and speculation obsolete in the face of crowd-funding, social capital, place-based investment, and regenerative economics. Environmental and social regeneration has become valued more highly than degeneration.
  6. Wholistic, integral, systems thinking has forged a more ecological relationship between economics and natural resources. Natural resources have been accepted as the source of wealth and objects of respect.
  7. Global Military Spending has been largely converted from wartime ends to peaceful ends - such as Regenerative Development.

2019 Presentation from the Open Source Microfactory Startup Camp

Quantitative Analysis

Quantitatively speaking, these are translated to the current statistics, and set points are proposed for the next economy:

  1. Overall - for a quantification of the $940B economy required for a transition - see The Tipping Point
  2. Military - 10x reduction from $2T to $200B, with another 10x reduction in the following decade. This is just a gross guess of a practical level that can be attained within 20 years (one generation) - based on transition from weaponry to livingry (as Buckminster Fuller claimed). That means transitioning from kicking ass (stealing products) to producing them instead. The latter is more compelling to those who have feelings.
  3. See other points at End State



The open source economy is an economy that optimizes both production and distribution, while providing environmental regeneration and social justice. The open source economy is in essence a paradigm where communities utilize open source knowledge and tools to provide material prosperity without relying on global supply chains for essential resources.

See our work from the early days of Open Source Ecology - the Enterprise Plan Video of 2011:


Comment on the open source economy definition here.

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