There is a quiet, familiar beauty found in still life, a type of art that depicts primarily inanimate objects, like animals, food, or flowers. These comforting images offer a sense of certainty and simplicity in uncertain and complex times. This could explain why over six million Instagram users have fallen in love with still life … Read More “Still Life: Art That Brings Comfort in Uncertain Times”
Catherine Stihler OBE is the CEO of Creative Commons. She has been an international champion for openness as a legislator and practitioner for over 20 years.
Born in Scotland in 1973, Catherine was educated at the world-renowned St Andrews University, where she was awarded a Master of Arts (MA) with Honours in Geography and International Relations, and later a Master of Letters (MLitt) in International Security Studies. She also has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Open University.
After graduating she worked in the British House of Commons as a researcher before successfully standing for election as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Scotland in 1999, representing the UK Labour Party. At the European Parliament in Brussels she became one of Scotland’s longest-serving and most respected legislators.
She was elected Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, working on digital policy where she prioritised the Digital Single Market, digital skills, better accessibility of digital products for the disabled, and citizen online data protection and privacy. She founded both the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform and the parliament’s All-Party Library Group, promoting and advocating for the importance of libraries in the new digital age.
Catherine took on a lead role in the debate on copyright in the European Union’s (EU) Digital Single Market, serving as Rapporteur for the Internal Market Committee and standing up for over 500million European citizens.
Catherine was instrumental in securing graphic health warnings on cigarette packets in 28 countries and delivered braille on pharmaceutical packaging across the EU. She played a pivotal role in ensuring the World Health Organization (WHO) recognised sudden infant death syndrome and led the first campaign in the European institutions on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - one of the world's biggest killers. A passionate European, she was one of the six politicians whose court case to revoke Article 50 on the UK’s departure from the European Union resulted in a ground-breaking judgement by the European Court of Justice.
While serving as an MEP, Catherine was also elected to serve as the 52nd Rector of the University of St Andrews between 2014 and 2017, and will serve as Senior Lay member on the university court from August 2020. In 2018 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews.
In 2019, Catherine was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of her services to politics.
In 2019, she stood down from the European Parliament to become Chief Executive Officer of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Catherine transformed the Open Knowledge Foundation in just 18 months, redefining its vision and mission to produce a new strategic direction, reengaging its global chapters and increasing the worldwide profile of the organisation.
Catherine joined Creative Commons in 2020.
Until recently, I had never heard of the sea shanty “The Wellerman”. My sea shanty repertoire consisted of “What can you do with a drunken sailor” to sea-songs on the soundtrack of Master and Commander. However, Nathan Evans, a fellow Scot who hails, like me, from North Lanarkshire, has changed all of this. His rendition … Read More “The Postal Worker, a Sea Shanty and the Public Domain”
I am delighted to announce the launch of Creative Commons’ new strategy for 2021-2025. This strategy is the result of over three months of stakeholder engagement, dozens of consultations, and hundreds of conversations held among Creative Commons’ multiple collaborators, including staff, funders, the CC Board of directors, as well as a wide range of individuals … Read More “Announcing Our New Strategy: What’s Next for CC”
I’d like to offer a heartfelt thanks to Creative Commons’ longtime General Counsel, Diane Peters, who will be leaving CC at the end of the month to take on new opportunities in 2021. She has served in her staff role at CC since 2008 and as a member of the CC board of directors for … Read More “Thanking Diane Peters for Her Service to Creative Commons”
Dear Mr. President-elect, First, I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to you and to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. This has been such a difficult year for so many around the world, and in this time of extreme polarization it is encouraging to hear you both talk about bringing people together to meet our common … Read More “An Open Letter to President-elect Biden”
I am very pleased to share Creative Commons’ 2019 Annual Report. This report offers an overview of the important work CC did last year across the many domains and subject areas we work in. (Look for CC’s 2020 annual report to be released in early 2021, where we will have lots to share about this … Read More “Creative Commons 2019 Annual Report”
The coronavirus outbreak not only sparked a health pandemic; it triggered an “infodemic” of misleading and fabricated news. As the virus spread, trolls and conspiracy theorists began pushing misinformation, and their deplorable tactics continue to this day. Nonsense has been shared about links to 5G phone masts or that a secret cure already exists, and … Read More “Why Universal Access to Information Matters”
One of our roles at Creative Commons involves influencing policy making at the international level. This is a role we can fulfill notably thanks to our permanent observer status with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the UN agency that shapes international intellectual property (IP) law. However, a few days ago, the Wikimedia Foundation’s application … Read More “In Support of the Wikimedia Foundation WIPO Application”
Did you know that nearly 800 million adults and young people lack basic literacy skills? Supporting the worldwide teaching of these vital skills will help build a more equal society, but the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted education in nearly every country. We, therefore, face even greater inequalities and a more urgent need to deliver quality … Read More “Creative Commons Celebrates International Literacy Day”
It is an honor to be joining the Creative Commons team on the eve of its 20th anniversary year. For nearly two decades, this organization has worked to make the world a more open and equitable place. When CC first launched in 2001, I was a recently-elected Member of the European Parliament at a time … Read More “From CC’s New CEO: Working Towards Our Shared Future”