A significant number of the innovations we've highlighted on Worldchanging have been designed and developed through collaboration. Whether in hands-on settings or through web-based tools, engaging a wider community almost inevitably yields a product which is more appropriate for its intended context and better suited to the end-user. This model also enables iterative improvement even once a product or service has been released into the world.
One way to facilitate that continuing evolution and improvement is to use Creative Commons licensing. Whereas copyright declares a product complete and "all rights reserved," thereby putting a lock on the possibility for anyone to replicate or build upon the original concept, Creative Commons declares "some rights reserved," creating the possibility of placing rights on only certain aspects of a work, or on the work in only certain locations (as with the Developing Nations Creative Commons License). Creative Commons has made a profound difference in the process of innovation in general, permitting more rapid, cooperative development and allowing effective models to be distributed everywhere.
Lawrence Lessig and the Creative Commons Developing Nations License -- Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig talks to Worldchanging about his work, and in particular the Creative Commons Developing Nations License, which "is meant to open the floodgates of access to new solutions in the Global South by creating a system which encourages designers and creators in the Global North to freely share their innovations."
Redistributing the Future -- As William Gibson said, "The future is here, it's not well-distributed yet." What would it mean to stop thinking about the redistribution of wealth, and start looking at redistributing the tools for advancement and opening that advancement process to collaboration? Among other things, it means ensuring that beneficial innovations for moving forward would be equally and globally available.
The Open Architecture Network and the Future of Design -- Architecture for Humanity recently launched a groundbreaking tool to allow architects, designers and engineers to freely share information and innovation, assess and modify designs, and develop new solutions in order to better serve the billions of people in need of shelter around the world. "Think of it as the Wikipedia of humanitarian design, the first big step towards open source design."
Cory Doctorow: The Worldchanging Interview -- BoingBoing editor, science fiction writer and intellectual property reform activist, Cory Doctorow, talks about copyfight, the Broadcasters' Treaty, and the power of citizen networks to fight (and win) battles for open information and public domain.