On 16th March 2016 at 5pm I will be giving a CREATe Public Lecture at the University of Glasgow (East Quad Lecture Theatre, Main Building) on “Making an Open Information Age”. Full details about the talk are below.
Open Knowledge Scotland Connections and Meetup
As well as the talk itself, this is a great opportunity to organize a meeting of Open Knowledge Scotland folks – and others more broadly interested in openness. In particular, I wanted to suggest an informal supper after the event where we could all catch up.
I would also welcome help promoting this to potentially interested parties. This is a public lecture with good capacity. If you have suggestions of organizations or people please reach out to them or let me know in the comments.
Making an Open Information Age
Power, freedom and inequality in an age of bits
If you have ever been online, watched a movie or taken a medicine you have been a user of information. Today information in the form of software, databases and innovations is becoming more important than ever before. Information is becoming main thing we make, trade and use.
This is a new world being built on “bits”. Its virtual nature makes it different from the physical world of bread and land and cars which can only have one user at a time. By contrast, information can be used by many at the same time — it is nonrival in the terminology of economists.
The implications of nonrivalry are huge. It makes a world of open information both possible and desirable — that is a world in which all public information can be openly and freely used, shared and built on. This is a world where no-one is denied access to life-saving medicines because of cost, where everyone has access to our cultural heritage, where artists, innovators and creators are paid more and more fairly.
But getting there will not be easy. Dystopia is the default: if we do nothing we will get a world of exclusion and control where information is made to play by the same rules as our old physical one using “intellectual property” monopoly rights like copyright and patents.
In this talk we will explore the road ahead and explain why we can and must create a world of open information and its implications for our technology, politics, laws and economics.
The talk will be presented at a level that is suitable for both specialists and the general public. It is for anyone interested in the coming information age and its impact on society.
About the speaker
Dr Rufus Pollock is Founder and President of Open Knowledge, an international non-profit using advocacy, technology and training to unlock information and see it used to create insight that drives change. He was formerly a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and a Mead Fellow in Economics at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge and remains an Associate of the Centre for Information and Intellectual Property Law at Cambridge. He is an adviser on open data to several governments and has worked extensively as a scholar, activist and technologist on the social, legal and technical challenges surrounding the creation and sharing of knowledge.