Open Collaboration and the Price of Butter

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Open Collaboration and the Price of Butter
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The problems we face as a species are far more complex than potential solutions offered by any single vendor’s products. They are more complex than any nation’s initiatives. To get there, we are going to need to work together closely and across so many national, company, technology domain, and community borders. What role do open communities have to play in solving the tough problems facing society? This talk will examine a bit about how open communities work. It will talk about passion, purpose, governance, enabling technologies, enabling legal constructs, giving, taking, being open, being welcoming, the need for limits, and more. And what does this all have to do with the price of butter?!
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2 while I'm going to
introduce Andrea Ross I am go to also something new and this have suddenly this year but the people there wanted the stages talk a little bit about the place where hot box that software and this is not my own for the job but to complete our story line Andrea also is traveling evangelist for location during already mentioned sure abuse for a set of opens spatial communities has complex entities where political economical social technological commercial and issues come together meet overlap interact and hopefully at the end of this book we know
which side our bread is buttered Andrea OK thank you very much Mark and thank you very much Stephen injury for those great talks and however how are you do and I really appreciate you coming to my talk and elevated going but before I do hope and plug in minus what was presented there was going to get interesting that the but before
I get going I want to thank the sponsors the Local Organising Committee for all the work being done in in all the support to be done to put on this conference I have been going too fast reduces VOC 2007 either the 1 favorite conferences this year and this certainly no exception and this then you in particular is just incredible how an amazing room so and take you to all the speakers for sharing their time and expertise to make this a great conference so that to
introduce myself I have to tell the story and this is about a year ago now I was in Washington DC for a conference and during the conference an interesting thing was happening I went up to the the roof of the hotel I was staying it because it had a rooftop to pull each nite in up being a bit of an astronomy near that I am I was aware that there was a lunar eclipse happening and so adaptable swim in the rooftop pool and watch the eclipse and people also gathered over the and to the pool deck area they were all looking at the eclipse and talking about it and you folks were sort of asking saying what what's causing that what's what's what's what what what is it that does that incisive listen carefully and nobody was really answering so that well you know and that of astronomy started would mind talking inside if told them about about whether that's it In America they hear a this year accent you're not from around here and I said no anonymous from Ottawa Canada and and the set of it's interesting is it you do and so that was when I got a little bit funny and awkward said of I work for the Eclipse Foundation and so the lifeguard immediately his eyes went wide and he said this is you and you know this this times you realize a human and I just wasn't quick enough to do my my colleague was just my colleagues seditious suggests and you're welcome I said no no friends a sort of explain a little bit more so and so that's a little bit about
where I work now the
approximation is as a not-for-profit organization so you've heard Jody and and students would talk about not-for-profit foundations and the kinds of things that they can do to help open source projects and organisations using open source so that's really the percentages mission is to help open-source protease growing up and thrive and help companies were building products and services around open source and the successful in some of you grow the business over time and at the examination I'm personally responsible for 2 interesting groups so so the location kept working group which is the GIS geospatial Geomatics group and also the science Working Group at which is doing some of the tools for scientific research and then it really stands again that we have nuclear simulation we have synchrotrons we've got you know of many many different things between some the common threads are sort of data analysis and visualization modeling in these kinds of things now eclipse uh this quite a large community has got about 300 open-source projects and at 1200 software developers and and then a very large number of member companies are believers of around 250 little north the 250 now to make sense of all this we have working groups were sort of communities within the larger communities so the ones I mentioned dietary group there's an automotive group and many more so if you're just above the spot where both and I'd be glad to tell you so understanding today much of my created a technical talks sort of explaining technologies have used them in these kinds of things are trying to build a sort of a consensus around how things work from an architectural perspective this talk I will see how well this works I'm going to try to tell a series of stories and the difficult so the 1st
story I wanted tell I was at home 1 day and my partner and my older daughter had gone somewhere running an errand my younger daughter was to me and so the usual protocol civil listen and I'm going to go and do some things and this is the time is going to go have a shower and if you don't answer the door if you need something let me know is inside in about a minute or 2 later I heard pounding on the door saying mom conflict conflicts you know that this this fire the smoking conflict so course you know immediately show the showers and wrapped up as best I could 1 there was a fire and smoke billowing the toaster now that you know I put it in annexes looked into what what happened in and then she service muttered something instance can explain a little bit of but chocolate chips and it was that and so it would happened she I was quite interested in making something which operative so she put some stuff in the toaster and turn the toaster on of course it did not go well have in so that is 1 aspect of open communities and open technologies that's quite useful is that you know if you don't have experience with something at 1st whether it's a technical concept in 4 2 atechnology or running open communities warfarin facilitating uh commerce around open technologies I can run into trouble so in this particular case and a little bit guidance of from would have avoided universe this this fire potentially could be far far worse don't tell another story so I'm undecided
on so called football my older daughter plays plays football in fact has for a while and I don't see that when she was young her friends would grab the ball going on the front lawn and start playing and it is virtually the same watching young children will play football because they don't have the concept of the of the the rules and to live and how that plays very organic and get the ball their hands they last and so there's uh 2 theories of very unstructured game now process she got into the sports leagues this 1st for the community centers than was school and then you know more formal things and be the world became more well defined more stretch and certainly the higher levels as referees and in fact this tournaments there's even more to the protocol rules built on top of that governs how decisions are made and so again this relates back to open-source no communities is that you can put code on github correction factor put code of 180 on website and and to be open code but the difference between the open code actually building a thriving open community around it oral things like in governance and infrastructure support that are required to do 1 more story and this is not
1 I can take credit for at the university that I went to and all students were required to take an introductory say psychology course and the professor I had Denmark and her was just phenomenal and 1 the stories told talking I forget what this specifically what concept he was trying to explain but this the story I think it's pretty self-evident so he was talking about and experiment happened many many years ago where they had chimpanzees enclosure and they wanted certain test intelligence instance of social interaction these kinds of things it so what they did is they suspended a banana are high above the enclosure in the head state few things in the culture the have a box in the hemisphere can have a few other things and so sure enough it didn't take long that 1 of the very very smart and clever chimpanzees basically put the box down and then stood on the box stick and whacks manager to knock it down and so you had surprise bananas and hand and and just a moment we know a few seconds later the other chimpanzees beat the crap out of and took the banana and so the other aspect of open communities is that there's no there's no there's no HR department and so the sum of the norms and in fact some of the formal structure and code of conduct in these cases are very important to try to make sure that Archimedes don't to degenerate into um might makes right and so the person with the thicker skin wins and so this is another aspect of open communities so that 1 of the
really cool things about the organization I work for and I've also been involved in the last year for a long time says what 2007 I want a great thing about these organisations is they tried to provide various aspects of supporting the community so and sometimes there there little bit informal sometimes they're very formal but the idea is that it provided structure for the community help pride the successful and in fact in some cases is to not unduly limited size growth potential and so that is just a number of things so intellectual Property medicine legal support to scan code and talk about trademarks and these kinds of things and copyright but you know development process of how people make decisions in the project have people and University of these kinds of things I'm not going to read all these but these are some important once in the 1st and the central point of governance is how do we make decisions you know how do we resolve conflicts have we you know sort of sort out we're going over time and in In the absence of something written down in the absence of any kind of reference governance is kind of made up as we go and that can be be OK for a while but as communities grow and thrive become bigger and more successful in the need for a reasonably well structured and written down governance becomes becomes quite apparent and so what I do mentioned worked with foundation is and I'm
open Tinkerbell so I run around trying to keep everything in balance of both from an open source project perspective but also from an organizational perspective and company perspective and so we have a number of different organizations who who are large and small academic interest commercial interests government interests and trying to make sure that all and balance that know no 1 side has too much power and influence and doesn't run away with it and a minor roles to sort of try to help just as much as is needed and then generally stay away as much as it possibly can acids it's very cool it's a it's a role that I am I am deeply honored to to perform for the community so bad getting a little bit more
into the meat and potatoes of my talk and some of you have heard me speak before I've talked about this and other types of life actually think it's a very interesting concept and this gentleman yield grass Tyson so some of you may know it from the nova series you know him from the nose series or start talk radio or various other things is actually a become much of a meme on the on the internet because of what a lot of really smart things he said and an observation so that 1 of the things he was talking about 1 day and then is a video that I saw on 1 of this is talking about what 3 things to inspire people to do a great for great things so things like building the Pyramids sending someone to the moon or in a crossing the ocean and colonizing although 1 might debate that there's a lot of negative associated with that is things that are really spectacular in epoch and so the 3 things immediately said there's 3 in only 3 and 1 of them was basically a praise of a daily or royalty and in many quickly said well this is actually less relevant because at these days the difference in how governments structured the difference in size how society is structured is not as important as it used to be and that's not a not a huge factor in modern society but 1 is more and so have I don't really talk about that give people really smart people trying to figure out how to blow things up until of people often you can drive innovation that that's true but even that the data shows that were actually becoming more and more peaceful and that's becoming less of a factor over time and so that his point in his talk was busy coming to the promise of economic returns and business being the most powerful and most relevant ones today so this is why I really enjoyed hearing students talk lot of the ideas that you saw the most of all pick up on incident build upon and so I wanna leave that with the you the notion of you know what 3 things motivate people but also on explored a little more work more depth and all hopelessly kind of interesting and try to make this interactive so what I'm gonna do you
we're talk about purpose in different aspects of purpose and you you'll see what I mean in a 2nd so for the following slides in a flash of 1 word and hopefully that word very very clear concept and the purposes exercise is if you feel that that word that concept is important to you and your loved ones clap your hands if feel by the end of the year and you feel it's not important then have been the payment and will get outside of real-time democracy thing going on see these concepts are important OK and so the first one is but such and help which such prosperity fairness
few can display probably OK what you do and like these are these are things that everybody wants them and then and to be honest I kind of expected that would be the case in that
there's a there's a point this a few more so happiness education although she explains a maybe education is the broad and vague things a curiosity even better maybe do really cool stuff
few that
letter for the ruderals and so the
point of all these these all feed into our purpose you know what it
is we're trying to do and in this universe and and the interesting thing about the purpose and incidents servicing those those aspects of purpose is we would do them anyway no matter what tools we use no matter what community we belong in and these are the the the the the the guiding concepts or principles that they the driver now a lot of passion and so passionate the energy in the gusto and which we do things and there passion can really power and make things go really well so this is a very passionate something I've long admired and respected in the fact you number I bring a lot of passion to the things that I do as well now with the concept I want to leave it was is the notion of linking passion with purpose so if you have a very clear purpose let's just say have a stake and plot this environmental stewardship so whether that's climate change with pollution you can pick what you know what what's important about environmental stewardship that's important to you have you have a very clear goal that you're trying to accomplish and you've got a passion to drive you to do things towards that goal as very clear and very focused and you have a very positive effect both in the short term and long term and good things can happen no interesting thing happens you have lots of passion but you take away purposes 7 the purpose becomes unclear and suddenly that passion can become very negative because in cause all kinds of damage that you know people are passionate about things and you think about this like wars are caused by this and conflict is this constant is the people are very passionate maybe lost focus on the specific purpose that maybe they actually do have common interests between them and other other parties in the interests of social opportunities that it's really interesting to try to tie back to to the purpose why are we doing what we do and what's the angle that we're trying to accomplish and was adjusted to keep focused and and have that be a very positive thing both both in the short term and long term now I mentioned butter my title so I'm gonna come back to the and at this point you're probably wondering what the heck is she talking about how others can you bring butter and open source and you're probably thinking and they talk about the Internet of catalysts that there are dairies there that's the trick out the cows with the harness that has basically in embedded system with Wi-Fi and the ability to communicate a series of sensors and the cows got and other places people builds a monitor the cow and and that this additional ones the basically using other sensors in the fields invited sometimes they're aerial to monitor the where the traveling these kinds of things and this is really really really collection of determinant of catalysts and if you haven't heard my colleague here Stephen tot he does a really amazing talk talking with these things in x expert on Internet of Things in the Northeast their sense robs also it turns out there is
some organization think Google search Open Source Perrier at 1 point and there is an organization that does this and it's quite meet how they're basically there's a series of dairies around the world that resource sharing best practices and concepts these companies are this is also really super cool and I'm glad to see how while open collaboration concepts have basically been pervasive elsewhere in society and this is really there also many interesting but it's actually not going to talk about however what I want to talk about is just sort of use a metaphor that but done cooking and I'm sure many of you have as a very common staple ingredient and what things so can take some sources and new baking new these kinds of things so that a lot of things our are frankly me better by and uh it's a in that better but they can is often referred to as a really positive thing as well now the same concept applies to software that uh common people have heard the term software is eating the world
not many surprised for that so I just market and recent is a venture capitalist now that he was the gentleman who was heavily involved in pretty Netscape and a lot of other significant Internet technologies early in the day and he wrote I think it was a Wall Street Journal article 1 made a blogger picked up and syndicated everywhere but he talking about how software is eating the world and at the time it was admitted it was a big thing for a lot of people but it really resonated strongly with me but and then something to try to relate to in ways not the same words the hopefully the concept will come across is that these days there are many organizations that are heavily heavily into software and software the dependent on software that they were to suffer companies so if you think about it a a grocery store a hairstylist or you have a number of these organizations visually depend upon software in fact almost have to be maybe maybe not a full-fledged developers but certainly to IT innovators together systems to work properly have the capacity in-house massively was in the case in the past and so software has become for pervasive in all aspects of society now what's interesting is that open source software is similar to that under the covers and a lot of a prominent organizations splashing few
levels I put up probably usually a few hundred more where these organizations power be basing their products and systems on top of open components now the whole system is not necessarily strictly open from top to bottom but certainly the the open components play very big role there and I find it quite interesting now I want to build upon men and how many of you have red Isaac Asimov foundations series some OK good number this is a pretty he audience that's that's that's that's not going to see if you haven't read it actually it's it's fasting especially when you read it from beginning to end I find it incredible that 1 brain string all that together these concepts and just have such a brilliantly crafted stories with so what reading things from Tolkien and Frank Herbert do these kinds of things and so 1 concept from the
foundations series is the notion that society is very fragile and brittle that I'm not lying people really have the knowledge to maintain all the systems that society depends depends upon so I'd almost put spoilers and in for those who haven't read the foundation yet but it's going to think so but the the key thing is that in today's world and when software systems don't work and we have a really bad day so you you're you can hear the flight the was was delta airlines not long ago had a software glitch completely grounded the airline all around the
world but that's not unusual or I've seen stores were basically they had a software glitch and Anacostia justice system in a completely this this the couldn't do business for that day into with fixed the software problem and so this is not
surprising to many of you I'm sure you you you will really many of you are actually developing systems that feed into the sensor technologies
so there's a data aspects that as well but without the data and the software is largely meaningless and so what's interesting is that our systems are now generating data for other systems and so the whole thing is growing quite dramatically you know I think it's safe to say it's growing exponentially don't have concrete data received from the 2 shows a that in all aspects of data generation societies you didn't really have to mention but intuitively I think I think you will agree with me that that makes sense this is this is a little chart trying to create a lot of attention to convey a concept is that I've been doing a technology interviewing for more than 20 years and what I've noticed is the trend both interactions on this axis going from a batch processing data so basically we can take data and project for a while and figure out what what it's telling us ing impetus report and sort respond to it and it could take days or weeks or months but it's it's not necessarily real time where these days people expect real time you know anything about I 1 of the traffic rehearing of regional traffic 4 hours ago that's relevant to me and you don't right here right now same thing about the same thing with no other aspects of of data to we interact with every day and the same thing the interactions with the data are complex was not just so you can simulate data it's you're actually actively participating in sharing your data back into the system whether the system is monitoring you as you travel through on traffic networks the other things known as the software and data systems are becoming so pervasive and woven into the fabric of our everyday the lives of these things become really really really crucial now what's interesting is that no 1 company no 1 government no 1 organization can solve these things that actually has to be by its very nature every pluralistic and very participated and so this in my opinion there's no other way to solve these these difficult challenging problems then open open collaborations no
and talked about the organization's earlier you know why wider use open technologies and and how do they accomplish things using open collaboration of technologies and this picture sort of at a glance how that happens is that people come to collaborate often the commodity the things that they need to do but not necessarily a source of competitive advantage and then they try to compete on new value added built on top now to get between the 2 is often so the glue where and additional software technology and know how to get to get you there but uh this is a very very common model now you or I talked about some of the things like governance and infrastructure and legal support these things these are very important to have right because and as as still use machine has taught if you don't have them right here going to throw a wrench in the process that suddenly people want to build things under technology can or or something unexpected happens so they never it is very important to avoid hindering inhibiting growth within your community near ecosystems but another
idea 1 share with you is a big chunk of my my early career I worked in a large telecom company and my marveled at how hard it was to collaborate with our hardware manufacturers and some the some of the people who provided software systems so clarity across large organizations was very difficult often you have to go up the organization uh to somebody senior enough to talk to the person some here the other organization back down again and the cycle time for those conversations was extremely slow and a very difficult and in fact the fact and I don't know what you call it but in in in Canada where I'm from in on we call telephone game where 1 person says something to another person who repeats to another person research which will be to to the person and it's often quite humorous that the message after you pass it through people becomes quickly gobbled and doesn't resemble the original message and so that process I found was very problematic and and that's what kind of drove miniature attracted me to do think Open Communities Open Source and Open collaboration and so what's neat about an open collaboration agree on virtual organization where engineers from different organizations come together in what I've noticed that this is really kind of an interesting social phenomena that is often the engineers working on that open project so that if much more strongly with their colleagues on that project than their colleagues back at the company which is really quite interesting to see that a good thing of course note to build on and some ideas that stevens talking about who's writing code as something
that have often been quite interested in and I was very fortunate to be part of the team who organize hostage in North America in Raleigh North Carolina me at was a great conference for many reasons and 1 of the things that we did was a survey of attending of attendees and how well the questions we ask them was basically and what
brought there and was so we we had a simple answer is basically that you know there were brought them their their research and studies but you know these consortia volunteer hobby and the data as you can see over my shoulders and I was overwhelming that and the a it's a it's a fast conference but everybody's therefore refer work reasons which is kind of what you'd intuitively expect but maybe not what and to the methods for FIR open committees talks about that that this sort of this myth that people are doing it just have the good listener hot and involuntary known as Stevens that is a wonderful thing when people do that and should be praised and recognized and you know these kind things but what's interesting is the data shows that but by and large it's a it's it's work that's been driving people to these conferences and there was nothing that I thought was quite interesting was just to see why are people using strictly open technologies strictly close technologies or um a mix of open and closed and the data in that case showed overwhelmingly that people are fairly pragmatic so there were some people who were strictly open technologies and were some people were strictly closed but for the most part the the vast vast majority words using a hybrid mix of open and closed so referring back to a single event that no 1 company can solve these problems and you know it's it's very true no 1 open source project and 1 of the community can solve these problems that we need to work together otherwise things don't work the way we need to do so and it's another interesting 1 was asking people who paid for the ticket and again overwhelmingly the employer did so there are a few future self-funded folks and there were some scholarships there were some free speaker passes in these kinds of things but the vast vast majority were basically people who were were paid to go to a conference and participate in conferences from this some employers have which is which is really interesting so now let double back and talk about a but
generally anything do no friction is something it slows things down makes it difficult and makes it hard open collaboration for a number reasons I talked about not having that single culture having a single understanding of how to do things some of legal documents and governance are that's a virtual organization is an open source product on open community just makes things a lot easier and so by reducing friction and making it it easier for people to work together and build on the ideas of others but that the concept and the genesis for this talk was looking at open collaboration sort of digital bother butter makes things so the smoother and easier and also makes things so that takes the better and have a more positive experience and so just to start wrapping up of a back to the metaphor about a in a fairly hard that so what does this mean what you take away from this and and really echoing what of things that Stevens there is no support that the farmer support to people who are developing those open technologies that you're using and benefiting from and try to you pay for support pay for subscription pay for the services you can mean it's if you're not able to then greatly learn the technologies and learn how to use them in yourself but if you a position to do so supporting financially supported with time contribution is really significant to the community and consider becoming yourself you're a farmer yourself 1 day so consider bring open-source projects out in the open consider bringing them to a foundation consider growing a community around it this is what helps drive innovation and invention and so I think was talking about earlier in the day and recognize that good butter helps us pursue our purposes so we we would all do things were going to do you know whether or not we have amazing slim automated uh digital technologies we would give them on paper if we had to we would get we would get done Bakshi having better tools to do the things we're doing is actually makes things easier and faster and better more information but I do want hopefully leave you with a lasting impression that passion with the purpose or passion not not linked strongly to purpose can be very dangerous thing and I hope you'll agree with me on that and how you to sort of follow that practice in in in your life as well and then the last thing to say is that I love to hear what you're doing 1 of the best things about conferences is learning about the amazing things and amazing work that people are doing basically come by to chat and pretty easy to spot and we also have a location techniques will be hanging out there are a lot of the here which you guys work and so on with that I would like to thank you for
listening to my talk and I'd like to thank the organisers again for the opportunity to speak thank you you know
itself it's all own 1 any questions for Andrea the whatsoever and standing between you and lunch so again can I think all 3 speakers during the Andrea Europe it was of how
to use a lot of joint daring work hard to earn your bread and butter of the whichever way you want but also with the purpose that you very much have great confidence