Contrary to popular belief, research shows that strong intellectual property restrictions have a negative effect on economic and social development, and hinder innovation. We need a social knowledge economy that allows every citizen, every company, and every public official to use the existing knowledge base of society, to improve on it, and to add it to the common pool of knowledge. The DNA of neoliberal capitalism combines a false belief in the infinite abundance of natural resources, with a conviction that artificial scarcity should be created in the field of the human exchange of knowledge, science and innovation. This creates all kind of problems for the planet, like biospheric destruction, while at the same time blocking the rapid development of solutions. A social knowledge economy and society overturns this contradiction by liberating the exchange of knowledge and solutions, whiile also integrating the limitations of nature in the workings of the economy.
One of the motivation for basing sustainable development on OSHW is to enable and accelerate innovation and complex production. Innovation should not be privatized. Shared licenses for hardware designs insure that any innovation, that is collaboratively produced, can benefit all members of a shared and open ecosystem. The point of adopting free software is not about money, but about freedom. Letting governments reclaim their technological sovereignty, involves letting them became technology producers and not only consumers. The building of a sharing economy would tremendously contribute to the resolution of environmental issues caused by overconsumption, simply because the usefulness of a resource is enhanced when it is shared and its wastage is minimized. A shareable economy enables citizens to share all kinds of assets – cars, skills, utilities, spaces – in an efficient way, and enables the creation of stronger, healthier and more connected communities. Civil society participation is an important tool for social innovation. If citizens know they can have a direct impact on the building of their communities, they are more likely to take responsibility over resources, assets and community services.
It is democratic and civil minded institutions that create and sustain the open knowledge systems that serve knowledge as a commons, not the other way around. Public policy and legislation concerning the civil economy and the broader civil society must reflect and reinforce the values of openness, transparency, mutual benefit, and democratic empowerment that open knowledge is meant to serve.
El diseño e implementación de una economía social del conocimiento común y abierto, debe ser el resultado del esfuerzo conjunto, participativo y colaborativo, de agentes sociales (comunitarios y ciudadanos), institucionales e investigadores (expertas y activistas que nutran al proceso con su experiencia) y debe reflejar los modos y valores de la sociedad del conocimiento que esperan construir.
Contrary to what people think, organic agriculture is not only environmentally sound but also viable as a business model for small farmers on a much larger scale than is currently practiced in most parts of the world. In fact, organic farming has a particularly beneficial and empowering effect on small farmers, as it eliminates their dependency on the 'all-in-one dealer' and capitalist firms. The development of open source projects like the Wikispeed car and the RepRap 3D printer is paradigmatic of a model of distributed manufacturing that is well-suited to a post-fossil fuel economy: a model which is small-scale ('on-demand'), decentralised, energy-efficient and locally controlled.