GreenXchange, a commons for the global commons, turns one | Opensource.com
GreenXchange, a commons for the global commons, turns one
You might already know about GreenXchange. It’s a specialized sort of commons specifically for innovations (or yet to be applied innovations) for environmental sustainability. For now, that means an on-line space to post patents and supporting materials under one of three pledges.
Where many are familiar with Creative Commons providing the legal structures and tools to help people transparently promise to others restrictions or non-restrictions on using content like text or visuals, GreenXchange facilitates the sharing of patents by businesses and other holders in a similar, tailored way. And, in fact, Creative Commons is a partner.
It started as an idea a few years ago at the World Economic Forum and gradually became a reality through high-profile companies including Nike, Best Buy, and Yahoo! There was coverage back then, but now, with the first site reaching age one, and an improved site soon to be made more public, it’s a good time to check in. I spoke with Charlie Brown, director, of the GreenXchange.
GreenXchange seeks to build on two distinct tracks of thinking: the benefits of “network based business models” and the increasing realization that many companies are (vulnerably) reliant on natural resources. These resources are, or potentially could become, scarce to the point where the impact on business is profound.
In many ways this effort could be seen as hedging for the future, Charlie said, when those scarce resources may spur government action that probably won’t be in line with an individual company’s interests.
We discussed how the notion is not without precedent, with the U.