projects

Policy Projects at CC: Open Policy Network and Institute for Open Leadership

Timothy Vollmer, January 9th, 2014

Over the last year we’ve been working on developing two new projects: the Open Policy Network and the Institute for Open Leadership. Both of these initiatives arise out of a direct identified need from the Creative Commons community. Let’s explain a bit more about each of these projects.

OPN logo

Overview

Over the last several years, Creative Commons and related organizations have been contacted by multiple institutions and governments seeking assistance on how to implement open licensing and develop materials and strategies for open policies. By “open policies” we mean policies whereby publicly funded resources are developed and released as openly licensed resources. The $2 billion Department of Labor TAACCCT grant program would be considered an open policy. There is a pressing need to provide support to policymakers so they can successfully create, adopt, and implement open policies. And CC affiliates from around the world have asked for an informational hub where open policies could be shared and discussed.

The open community needs access to existing open policies, legislation, and action plans for how open policies were created, discussed and passed. Advocates need to know what barriers were encountered and how they were overcome, and because politics and opportunities are local, open advocates may need support customizing an open policy solution and strategy. This is why we need the Open Policy Network (OPN).

Mission

The mission of the Open Policy Network is to foster the creation, adoption and implementation of open policies and practices that advance the public good by supporting advocates, organizations, and policy makers with information and expertise, and connecting policy opportunities with those who can provide assistance.

Description of activities

The OPN supports the creation, adoption, and implementation of open policies around the world. We will engage in the following activities:

  • Connect policy makers and other interested parties to expert open policy advocates and organizations who are able to provide assistance and support when open policy opportunities arise.
  • Identify and build new open policy resources and/or services only where capacity and expertise does not currently exist, by providing needed resources, information, and advice.
  • Provide a baseline level of assistance for open policy opportunities as they arise, to ensure no open policy opportunity goes unfulfilled.
  • Link to, catalog and curate existing and new open policies and open policy resources from around the world.
  • Connect open policy advocates and organizations on a listserv and monthly phone conference to maximize knowledge transfer and cooperation.
  • Build new constituencies and advocates in support of open policies.
  • Operate in a manner respectful of member organizations’ existing messaging, communities, and business models.
  • Release all content produced under the project under CC BY and data under CC0, in a fully transparent manner on the project website.

Guiding principles

We believe:

Join this project!

For the time being, the Open Policy Network is being led by Creative Commons, but we envision that the coordination of the Network can be transferred to another group after some time. We are looking for interested individuals and groups to join the network, and we’ll begin monthly organizing conference calls soon. You can sign up to the Google group now.

IOL logo

Background

The Open Policy Network is committed to facilitating adoption of open policies around the world by improving access to resources and expertise for advocates of open policies. Creative Commons will begin to host an Institute for Open Leadership (IOL) to train new leaders in education, science, and public policy fields on the values and implementation of openness in licensing, policies, and practices. The Institute will be a tangible project under the umbrella of the OPN.

The Institute for Open Leadership will select twenty applicants per year–through a competitive application process–to participate in an intensive weeklong training session with leading experts in open fields. Each participant will develop an outcomes-based plan for a capstone open project, and report on progress within one year. Through training and the project period, participants will develop the skills, relationships, and motivation to become leaders for openness in their institutions and fields. The Institute complements and strengthens the OPN’s mission, and generates open policy projects by training a new corps of leaders ready to inculcate open policies and practices in their institutions and across their professional communities. We will initially run two cohorts of the Institute (2 years), though the goal is to make the Institute an annual event.

Problem meant to solve

There is significant and growing demand for leaders to support open initiatives in educational, cultural, and scientific institutions, as well as governmental agencies. At the organizational level, our capacity to meet this demand is limited. Yet we believe that there is strong potential to transfer and scale leadership experience to new champions for openness, and to systematically cultivate a broad network of leaders to meet the increasing demand. There is also significant interest among discretionary institutional funding programs (such as publicly funded national and state/provincial grants) to learn about and adopt CC licenses. A new and broader group of leaders could address this interest by reaching and educating institutions and professional communities about copyright and the benefits of open licensing and open policies.

As open movements approach mainstream status, there is a vastly increased need for more leaders who share the values of open licensing, the understanding of openness best practices (e.g. open technical formats, modular design, and accessibility standards), and the desire to guide some portion of this ecosystem. The IOL will relieve the strain on existing leaders and resources by recruiting and training a new group of experts who can meet the demand for expertise on open licensing, pursue new opportunities for publishing and using open content, and directly influencing policy decisions in institutions and across fields of work.

Activities

Application and selection process
Creative Commons will solicit applications from interested persons around the world to participate in the Institute. We will select a maximum of twenty participants each year for two years. We plan to target persons who are mid-level managers and/or potential leaders who are not currently involved in the open movement, but who are moving toward leadership positions in their institutions or fields of work over the next 5-10 years. The selection criteria will include an evaluation of which candidates the committee estimates will have the highest impact when they return to their home institution/government. All applicants will be required to propose a capstone open project they will complete after attending the IOL. These projects must be properly scoped and must contain a strong open policy component and contribute to increasing openness within their institution and field.

Prerequisites
Once selected, participants will be required, prior to attending, to complete any two online School of Open courses (e.g., copyright and open licensing, open education, open science, etc.).

Immersive training period
The IOL will be held at an appropriate conference facility or university campus. All participants and instructors will stay in the same accommodations and spend the majority of time together, creating the potential for informal discussions and relationship building. Institute instructors will be drawn from the top experts/leaders in the fields of open access, open science, open educational resources, open culture, etc. Each day of the week-long workshop will feature a concentration on open licensing and policy in one of the fields and include time for participants to consult directly with the instructors on their own open project plans.

Capstone project work
By the end of the workshop week, participants will have polished and expanded their proposed capstone projects and have integrated open policy aspects more thoroughly based on their newly acquired expertise and the assistance of the instructors. The point of the capstone project is for the participant to transform the concepts learned at the Institute into a practical, actionable, and sustainable initiative within his/her institution. Capstone open projects can take a variety of forms depending on the interests of the participant and the type of institution where the project will be implemented. Common features of a successful capstone open project will be to:

  • Increase the amount of openly licensed materials in the commons;
  • Increase awareness among colleagues or related stakeholders about the benefits of openness;
  • Propose an open policy within the participants’ institution with an action plan to implement the open policy;
  • Demonstrate measurable results and complete report after 12 months that analyzes project progress, challenges, and sustainability.

An example of a successful capstone open project might be a librarian at a university that is able to foster an open access policy at their institution whereby university faculty agree to contribute publicly funded research into the university repository under open licenses.

Reporting
In addition to the written reports (shared under CC BY 4.0), there will also be a webinar scheduled 12 months after the Institute to share the outcomes of each participant’s project. All webinars will continue fostering the development of a new open leadership cohort.

Timeline

Update June 2014: There’s a new timeline for the Institute for Open Leadership.

  • March-May 2014: Cohort #1 application period
  • July 2014: Cohort #1 week-long institute
  • November 2014-January 2015: Cohort #2 application period
  • March 2015: Cohort #2 week-long institute
  • July 2015: Cohort #1 12-month follow up webinar & open projects completed
  • March 2016: Cohort #2 12-month follow up webinar & open projects completed

We’re excited to get these two exciting initiatives up and running, and we look forward to working with many individuals and organizations to make them a success. Many thanks to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Open Society Foundations for funds to kickstart these projects!

Institution designed by Thibault Geffroy from the Noun Project, licensed CC BY.

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Join Creative Commons for Mozilla Service Week September 14-21

Nathan Yergler, September 2nd, 2009

Mozilla Service Week is happening September 14-21, 2009, and during that week Mozilla is trying to bring people together to help teach one another about the web. Creative Commons is answering Mozilla’s call for participation by hosting an online help desk via our IRC channel. Our IRC channel (#cc on the Freenode network) is typically a place where our developers and people interested in the technology of CC hang out. During Service Week we’re inviting everyone to join us there for a virtual CC help desk.

The CC help desk is a place for experienced CC-ers (staff, Jurisdiction partners, and community members), to come together to share their collective expertise with those that are new to CC and need a little, or a lot, of guidance.

The CC community will be providing help with the following topics:

  • General CC help
  • CC technology (ccREL and software projects)
  • Where and how to publish CC works
  • Where and how to find CC works
  • CC in education and science

If you’d like to help out, add your name to our Mozilla Service Week wiki page and pledge your hours at mozillaservice.org. If you have questions, join the channel during Service Week and ask a volunteer.

More information can be found on the wiki page,

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In Sapporo at Jon Phillips 4.0 Launch

Jon Phillips, July 31st, 2008

Photo a href=http://creativecommons.org/license/by-sa/3.0by-sa/a Freddy B. Used with permission from Photographer.
Photo by-sa Freddy B. Used with permission from Photographer.

I’m in Sapporo for the CC Legal Day, Commons Research Mini-conference which the Metrics Project is but part, and to further promote the CC Case Studies project. As Greg outlined so clearly last week and I presented at the launch of CC Singapore a few days ago, this project is doing quite well with 112 submissions from around the world assisted by a great system for supporting this community project, and even better brilliant people adding case studies daily!

Also, you kind readers might have noticed that we have launched and/or refreshed several projects over the last few weeks to prepare for a coming change. As of August, my role with Creative Commons will change from managing community and business development to being liaison in ongoing similar affairs. This also means that I will be spending most of my time on projects outside of Creative Commons — most still involve using Creative Commons licensing and technology.

I’m not leaving the culture of free and open, nor Creative Commons, both of which I have been involved with for some time. Rather, I will be, as of August 2nd, devoting most of my energy to projects I’ve been delaying or couldn’t do as effectively since I have been living and breathing Creative Commons. My job and peers at Creative Commons are amazing and working for CC, in my capacity at least which I can speak to, is a dream job. If anything, I will be pushing Creative Commons even more by action, projects, and facilitation in another capacity.

Thus, if you want to find out more about what I will be doing, you know where to find me. And, if I’ve been working with you, your business, your community, and/or organization, jon@creativecommons.org still works (and will so). I am continuing work on a couple of projects that have not launched in relationship to Open Library/PDWiki project. I also am on-demand still for speaking at events and conferences globally – particularly in Asia since I will be spending most time in China from August – December 2008. I’m still on the books and will facilitate any discussions to the appropriate people. I’m more excited that ever to keep growing the commons!

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Timothy Vollmer and Rebecca Rojer are My 2008 CC Heroes

Jon Phillips, June 10th, 2008

And, you can be too! 2008 is half over. Seriously, this is a massively overdue in praise, adulation and support for Tim “TVOL” Vollmer and Rebecca “RRR” Rojer who started last summer 2007 at Creative Commons as interns along with the oustanding still-CC-blog-superstar Cameron Parkins tasked with specific projects all have seen through this blog.

Rebecca in Focus by Joi Ito
Rebecca Rojer, Original Photo by Joi Ito

Last summer I brought Tim on-board to work on developing the LiveContent project which he successfully masterminded through two iterations to date. Along the way he was responsible for massively cleaning up old content from the prior Creative Commons website (can you find on Wayback Machine and comment on this post with url?) and doing huge amounts of what we affectionately called “wikifarming.”

TVOL in focus, by Joi Ito
Timothy Vollmer, Original Photo by Joi Ito

And, Rebecca, came on-board CC to work on the Marking project which focused on creating creative assets for marking works with CC licenses. Once I figured out how awesome Rebecca was at creating graphics with my beloved Inkscape and Gimp, Rebecca helped revolutionize how CC works with external projects to create mockups and other ways to make Creative Commons integration clear, and that helped relieve Alex Roberts (CC’s Real Design Guru).

Sharing Creative Works Last Slide is in the Public Domain
Rebecca led the efforts to create the “Sharing Creative Works” comics

And, the Summer of Curry ended, and TVOL and Rebecca had done so much work, I couldn’t imagine working CC full-time without their help. I found a way to hire them as Business Development Assistants part-time while they were both in school. All along the way, they excelled at all tasks given, became great friends of all those working at CC, and helped develop amazing infrastructure like their combined efforts on the Documentation project, countless integration of CC projects (which you may or may not see), and raised the general level of community and business development for Creative Commons globally far beyond what I’m writing about in this blog post.

This first chapter of Tim and Rebecca’s work at CC has just recently come to a close. Tim recently graduated from University of Michigan’s School of Information and has taken a job as a technology policy analyst at American Library Assocation (ALA). Rebecca is heading back to Harvard to finish up after going offline for the summer (See what Jon Phillips can drive people to do!). And, just as I have returned from my Chinese base in Guangzhou for the Summer of Curry 2 (Summer Interns) in Creative Commons San Francisco office, I’m saddened to not have my comrades Tim and Rebecca here in all things CC. Thus, I wanted to express my deepest congratulations and respect to Tim Vollmer and Rebecca Rojer as they enter a new chapter. And, as Glenn Otis Brown, now at Youtube, has shown us: once CC, always CC ;).

Coming shortly in another post, welcome to the summer class of 2008 interns for Creative Commons doing Community and Business Development…
.

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Source for Creative Commons Licensed (Live)Content

Jon Phillips, October 28th, 2007

Russell from Worldlabel.com, a proud sponsor of the LiveContent project which you can help fill up with CC licensed content, sent over a link from mashable.com which lists 25+ sources of Creative Commons licensed content.

While Creative Commons only provides free open content licenses and doesn’t have a database or store content, we have a list on our wiki (which you can add your project to!) of content providers, which we call Content Directories.

If your favorite CC-license-powered project isn’t listed, then add it with this form. The LiveContent project will be automagically (isn’t that last years word?) pull down content from the Content Directories to give a snapshot of the CC-licensed content universe. So, please step up to the plate, add your favorite project to the Content Directories page and participate in LiveContent.

LiveContent 2.0 will go to the printers in mid-to-late November, so now’s the time to participate :)

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