Our Research

We are exploring through our research what open means today

One of our main goals is to provide a space for research and narrative building for the open movement. Through research, we can gain an in-depth understanding of open approaches to creating, sharing and reusing data, content and other resources. We can learn about the outcomes of introducing openness and the attitudes toward openness.

This is the basis of our sense-making work on the role of openness today and for strategy development that leads to the creation of a shared advocacy agenda for the open movement. 

We select each research activity to give us insights into a key aspect, approach or challenge to openness. Some of our research activities aim to evaluate current theories of change and ways of open sharing. Others allow us to explore new concepts and ideas that can be useful for the modern open movement.

We build our research agenda to develop insights defined in the Paradox of Open essay. We want to understand different forms of openness and the ways in which they relate to attempts by information intermediaries to derive value from openness. We are also developing a better understanding of how opening up informational resources interfaces with other concerns – like data protection, privacy, and value creation.

In our research activities, we leverage our relationships with other researchers, academics and research institutions – especially those with an interest in policy making. One of our goals is to help bring insights from academic research into policy debates.

AI and openness
The release of powerful machine learning models under open licenses was a major event in the AI / ML development space in 2022. This was also a breakthrough moment for the world of open, indicating the emergence of a new field in which the principles of open are applied. With our research, we are contributing to the development of this field.
In the last decade, openly licensed photographs of faces were used to train AI facial recognition systems. This is widely presented as an example of corporate extraction of value from the commons. Yet no solution has been provided to this challenge. With AI_Commons, we explored how AI training datasets and openly licensed works included in those datasets can be better governed and shared as a commons.
Generative Interoperability
Our research into Interoperable Public Civic Ecosystems (IPCE for short) explores the role that interoperability can play in supporting digital public spaces. For this research activity, we have partnered with Commons Network. Our research focuses on a particular form of interoperability that we are calling "generative interoperability."