Philosophy of Open

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Shuttleworth Foundation Principles

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  • The more we expose the thinking, working and practices of our organisation and our projects, the better. Exposing this information allows other organisations, project implementers, funders, policy makers, change agents, advocates and academics to learn from what we have done, critically assess, give feedback, engage with us on the issues and open the door to collaborations.
  • Openly licensing allows others to replicate, reuse, adapt, improve, adopt, bring to scale, write about, talk about, remix, translate, digitise, redistribute and build upon what we have done.
  • Once others are free to engage with our work in this way, we believe opportunities present themselves from unexpected, and previously unknown places. Our work may find applications we could not imagine and may spark fires where we could not foresee them.
  • We support individuals through fellowships (rather than project funding) because we believe that great people are the true change agents. They are the champions who believe in the change they want to see in the world. They are the ones who have spent time and effort getting to know the landscape and the network within it, who are invested personally and professionally in the ecosystem. They have the vision, the drive, the passion and the motivation to see the plan through, and they will continue to do so after the fellowship ends. It is an investment in the individual and their vision for their contribution to positive change in the world.
  • We actively collaborate with others and encourage the same in our fellowships. We believe collaboration strengthens any initiative by sharing ideas and resources, challenging each other to do better and be better and bringing fresh thinking to the table. We do not want to reinvent the wheel and would not want others to do so either. We do not want to compete for resources or the attention of policy makers or beneficiaries. Working together is faster and smarter than working against each other.
  • We focus on innovation. We believe the implementation of proven ideas is important, but there is a great deal of support for these kinds of initiatives already. We want to give the person with the fresh idea a chance to try it and see if it brings about the positive change they believe it will. Conventional thinking takes a great deal of time and effort to shift and often radical alternatives are needed to bring about change.
  • We make use of conventional as well as social media to drive messages into a public forum and seed discussions, real time. We believe this helps to propagate ideas and invite interaction and engagement from a broad range of interested individuals and institutions.