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Open Impact: 10 Organizations that are Changing the World With Open Principles

October 22, 2020

On Thursday, October 22, 2020, we hosted a session on Open Impact at the Creative Commons Summit. We invited nine open impact champions — organizations and people who are making the world a better place in an open and collaborative way. Each of them gave a 5-minute lightning talk, in which they shared their mission and work.

Our objective for the session was to promote new connections between people in the open impact movement and to spread the word about open impact among the Creative Commons community. We had an audience of about 50 participants, many of whom actively participated in the webinar chat.

The Open Impact Champions

Iryna about the Center for Interdisciplinary Research

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Iryna Nikolayeva, Product Manager at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research

The Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CRI) is co-constructing and sharing new ways of learning, teaching, conducting research and mobilizing collective intelligence in the fields of life, learning and digital sciences, in order to face the world's sustainable development goals (SDGs).

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Helen about the Shuttleworth Foundation

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Helen Turvey, CEO of the Shuttleworth Foundation

The Shuttleworth Foundation is a small social investor that provides funding to dynamic leaders who are at the forefront of social change. We look for social innovators who are helping to change the world for the better and could benefit from a social investment model with a difference. We identify amazing people, give them a fellowship grant, and multiply the money they put into their own projects by a factor of ten or more. The Foundation is at its core an experiment in open philanthropy and uses alternative funding methodologies and collaborative ways of working to ensure that every fellow receives the necessary support to succeed.

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Pram about Gooru

Prasad (Pram) Ram

Prasad (Pram) Ram, Founder & CEO of Gooru

Gooru innovates to accelerate learning for everyone. We developed Navigator, a GPS for learning, that builds a personalized path to guide learners to their destination. The free and open Navigator tool empowers instructors to implement Navigated Learning and give learners agency to meet their learning goals. Navigator brings together research and practice with an extensive curated catalog of standards aligned open education resources and facilitates systemic change by providing real-time actionable insights to learners, instructors, leadership, and all other stakeholders.

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Bodo about Dev4X

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Bodo Hoenen, Founder of Dev4X, Open Innovator

Dev4X was a side-project that turned into a fulltime mission. Started several years ago to work on developing an open crowd-generated Learning Map to help underserved kids learn. To then include developing a Doing Map, an open learner-generated map that ties everything you can learn to tangible problems you can solve in the real world. Now working together with Gooru on their GPS for learning, and the CRI + UNESCO on their project-based learning initiatives, this work is rapidly developing as a collective global project.

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Lluvy about UpLink

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Lluvy Liu, former Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum

Lluvy has recently helped to launch the Trillion Trees Challenge on UpLink, a digital platform to crowdsource innovations to accelerate the delivery of the UN SDGs. She will share her experience with how UpLink is able to surface and galvanize youth, change-makers, entrepreneurs and innovators for a better world, and link them up to the network and ecosystem of world leaders at the Forum.

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Bill about Shelter 2.0

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Bill Young, Co-Founder of Shelter 2.0

Shelter 2.0 is changing the way homelessness is being addressed. Shelter 2.0 is about sharing designs and ideas. The designs and cut files are offered to anyone who needs them, or has the desire to help those in need. The shelters are digitally fabricated with local manufacturing in mind. They are designed to help democratize the construction of transitional housing, being built using untrained labor and as few tools as possible.

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David about Open Streets Project

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David Simor, Senior Project Manager at 8 80 Cities

Open Streets are programs that temporarily open streets to people by closing them to cars. We’ve worked in dozens of cities and on dozens of open streets programs around the world. We believe in making available as widely as possible information on open streets programs. The Open Streets Project is part advocacy project, part toolkit, part information database. It’s a one-stop shop for all things open streets related. We believe that every municipality, no matter the size, can benefit from open streets.

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Dana about Open Source Malaria

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Dana Klug, Postdoctoral Research Assistant at University College London School of Pharmacy

The Open Source Malaria project is trying a different approach to curing malaria. Guided by open source principles, everything is open and anyone can contribute. In open source research all data and ideas are freely shared, anyone may participate as an equal partner and there will be no patents - think "Linux for Malaria Research". Open Source Malaria has collaborators all over the world and has even been featured on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

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Katharina about Precious Plastic

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Katharina Elleke, Community Manager at Precious Plastic

Precious Plastic exists to reduce plastic waste. Sometimes we do it through boosting recycling. Sometimes through new biodegradable materials. Some other time by adopting zero waste lifestyles. Whatever works. Our solutions see people as the key element to fix the plastic mess. Precious Plastic approaches count on people to bring about the necessary change. Small steps, multiplied by millions. That's where we can win our battle. Precious Plastic is a combination of people, machines, platforms and knowledge to create an alternative global recycling system.

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What's Next?

We are thinking about organizing a webinar series next year, so that we can continue the conversation that we started on Thursday. Each webinar in the series would feature one open impact champion. If you are interested, you can sign up here.

Our goal is to build an open impact community and to spread the word and principles to social entrepreneurs around the world. We would love to see foundations embrace open impact and require knowledge-sharing of their grant-recipients. And we would also love to see student conferences on impact (such as the Clinton Global Initiative) promote the idea of openness and collaboration, so that it can reach a much wider audience.

We are not sure how to make this happen and how to best grow the open impact movement — suggestions welcome! 😊

About my Co-Organizers

The session was planned and organized with the very active involvement and help of my two co-organizers, Jessy Huang and Bodo Hoenen.

Picture of Jessy Huang

Jessy Huang: Started a startup to bring open-source to document collaboration and knowledge management but failed. Still excited about augmenting our collective intelligence through open collaboration and am looking at solutions to tackle this problem.

Picture of Bodo Hoenen

Bodo Hoenen: Developing audacious projects in Education and Open Innovation.

About the Creative Commons Summit

The Creative Commons Summit is an annual gathering of members, lawyers, practitioners, and supporters of Creative Commons. It's a multi-day conference featuring dozens of sessions on relevant topics, including copyright, open education, open access, cultural heritage, the arts, and many more. This year's summit took place completely online.

The Creative Commons Summit attracted over 1300 participants and 140 sessions