The true potential of collaborative initiatives around the world is yet to be known. However, a sneak preview will take place on March 20, when hundreds of communities, networks, and institutions from widely diverse backgrounds and hailing from over 20 countries get together and take part in a global Wikisprint.
The goal of this one-day sprint, sponsored by the P2P Foundation, is to gather as many people as possible from different backgrounds and geographic areas, to map open projects and initiatives that are related to the commons and new paradigms of organization happening all over the world.
The idea of a Wikisprint originates in Python computer programmer communities, where "sprints" or short meetups of intense collaborative work are organized to develop projects or documentation. A "Wikisprint" relates to the fast and intense dynamics of collaboration that happen in open source communities in order to gather information into a Wiki interface. (Note: Python is one of the most popular programming languages used in FLOSS communities.)
Although the initial plan was to organize an Iberoamerican Wikisprint (Iberoamerica is a term that refers to the group of countries comprising Latin America, Spain, and Portugal), the openness of the project has allowed other countries such as Italy, Greece and even the United States to take part in the initiative.
This affinity between Southern Europe, the United States, and Latin America has been no coincidence.
Spain has the most co-working spaces per capita in the world and is fourth for number of operational fab labs. Spain also leads the movement for social-oriented currency, and by 2010 Spanish had licensed more works by Creative Commons than the United States.
Italy is home to many open design and hardware experts, and in Greece many social groups have started to set the government aside to operate under a commons-oriented management system.
The United States is an ever-developing base for openness and open source enthusiasts. And, Latin American countries have a millenary tradition of including commons at the heart of their trading and sharing systems, some of which are currently active. Brazil's citizens, for one, advocate that their government utilizes FLOSS solutions and promote digital activism.
During the Wikisprint, projects will be gathered from: blogs and social media groups, open source software/hardware communities, open art collectives, open business, entrepreneurship networks, finished project websites, books, and online repositories. Some examples of projects to be mapped are:
- 3D printing or CNC-oriented open source projects
- commons-based peer production
- open innovation, co-creation, open design and co-design
- open data repositories
- crowdsourcing and crowdfunding
- participatory governance and legislation through social media
- ethical economy projects (social economy, ethical economy, solidarity economy) such as local currencies in villages, seeds' trade events for farmers, and p2p trade of all types
- free licenses and infrastructure
- collaborative workplaces and distributed infrastructures (hackerspaces, fab labs, etc.)