The world is awesome.

Jessy and I spent the past two weeks reaching out to open initiatives from all over the world.

What are open initiatives?
Organizations, community-run projects, government agencies, or startups that do all of their work in the open and invite anyone to contribute.

We learned about Open Source Malaria where dozens of researchers are openly collaborating on finding a cure to malaria. We talked to Precious Plastic, an community-run initiative of engineers, activists, and hobbyist who have been designing and building machines for recycling plastic waste. And just last night we talked to the Government of Canada which is pioneering an Open Government Initiative.

This is just a small selection of the amazing work done by people all over the world. There are so many more, like Open Music Initiative, WikiHouse, and Open Science MOOC.

It’s inspiring. Hundreds of people working in the open to make the world a better place. Not in it for the money or the credit, it’s all about solving the problem at hand. Who cares if it’s you or me who solves it? Fact is that we’ll all be better off if we openly share our findings and put our brains together.

Incredibly inspiring. Yes, open collaboration still niche. But I like to imagine that one day, open and collaborative will the standard. Political participation will no longer be limited to voting, but citizens will be involved in the crafting of laws and policies at every level. Ordinary citizens’ engagement with non-profits will no longer be just donations and signing petitions online, but direct involvement with the issues.

Eventually, even corporations will — at least partially — adopt open collaboration and allow their stakeholders to be active participants in the creation of their products. We’re already seeing this with Google, Apple, and Microsoft in open source software, but we will start seeing it in other domains of business, like food and beverage, personal care products, and manufacturing.

Open is not just a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity if we want to successfully tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Let’s just make sure it happens soon enough. 💪