GreenXchange, a commons for the global commons, turns one |

GreenXchange, a commons for the global commons, turns one

Posted 02 Feb 2011 by 

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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.

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Art is the Research Manager for New Kind where he focuses on research and analysis for new methods of community engagement and participation. He's also a Government Fellow at the Center for Advanced Communications Policy at Georgia Tech and the Center for Innovation in Local Government.

Prior to New Kind, he was a partner with The Estis Group, a public policy consultancy, in Atlanta, Georgia. He's been a member of the government affairs team at Red Hat and has served a number of U.S.

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