Open Sustainability Network
Update: the Coalition of the Willing
The role envisaged for the Open Sustainability Network has largely passed to the Coalition of the Willing, and some of the same people are involved. Check out the COTW portal - watch the film and get involved.
The old OSN homepage can be seen below. While the Open Sustainability Network mailing list continues, quietly, activity is rare.
Welcome to the Open Sustainability Network Home Page!
Thousands of organizations and millions of people are currently working to effectively tackle a set of profound global challenges through the creation, adoption and commercialization of sustainable approaches and clean technologies. Our efforts are fragmented. It is time to promote a culture of working together while maintaining our own special niches by leveraging shared and openly licensed solutions.
The Open Sustainability Network is a way of exploring and promoting effective collaboration for change.
The network stays in communication, on an ongoing basis, through the mailing list.
Open Sustainability Network Conference 2008
The Open Sustainability Network Conference 2008 in San Francisco, Oct 18-19, 2008 was a great success!
Open Sustainability Network Members
See the living list of OSN members
Open Sustainability Network Commitments
These commitments are currently under development. See the memorandum of understanding
The goal of the Open Sustainability Network is to build a unified collection of relevant online tools and practices to help students and teachers build effective programs in appropriate technology and social entrepreneurship. Specifically, the OSN is focused on impacting the training of future innovators and managers who will need to effectively tackle a set of profound global challenges through the creation, commercialization and institutionalization of sustainable enterprise and clean technologies.
The need for an OSN became apparent following three meetings in early 2007: the Business, Engineering & Sustainability Workshop, the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, and the NCIIA Annual Meeting. During each of these meetings separate discussions addressed the need for an online portal of appropriate technology and social entrepreneurship; with each discussion approaching a problem with a unique approach and audience. Portals referenced during these meetings include (note these are not members - merely raised in the discussion):
- The University Network for Social Entrepreneurship
- World Bank Development Marketplace
- The Sustainability Knowledge Network
- Beyond Grey Pinstripes
- The Forum on Science and Innovation for Sustainable Development
- The International Journal For Service Learning in Engineering
- BME Source
- BoP Network
- Full Belly Project
After an initial review of online resources, there is a great deal of overlap between initiatives and much to be learned and shared across initiatives. As discussions continue, we seek to better understand each of these individual initiatives and build collaboration to create specific unique resources for appropriate technology and social entrepreneurship. With this in mind, the OSN aims to understand how portals can better inform one another to meet three crucial needs:
Open Education: Implement collaborative education and training modules and coursework for entrepreneurs and engineers to learn technology creation, implementation, and commercialization practices.
Collaborative Taxonomies: Develop a framework for shared information across disciplinary and geographic boundaries including technology, project, course and organizational information.
Online Publication: Determine best practices for online publishing and knowledge sharing to effectively disseminate new knowledge and application.
Paper on OSN
Leveraging Information Technology, Social Entrepreneurship and Global Collaboration for Just Sustainable Development
Currently, those working for a sustainable development in a vast array of contexts all over the world are often duplicating efforts. In an era where a rapid transition towards sustainability is needed, such wasted effort is no longer tolerable. This paper will discuss current work to overcome this challenge by creating an Open Sustainability Network (OSN) that links relevant individuals, programs, courses, projects, and organizations aimed at just sustainable development. The paper will build an understanding of, and collaboration between, relevant online tools. The paper concludes that the OSN can: 1) develop partnerships with sites with online tools to alleviate some of the technological overhead; 2) help inform entrepreneurs and expanding businesses about the challenges and opportunities presented in social entrepreneurship; and 3) benefit service learning implementation by acting as a repository for appropriate technologies, systems, and policies, while also acting as a clearinghouse for international and local collaborations. For the full paper: 
Eventually the Open Sustainability Network can allow data and user sharing between member sites. With no loss of identity organization can work together on data, artifacts and projects, while still effecting the world in their specific way. Members can also take advantage of the specialization of other members, e.g. a site without a social network can use the APIs or Google OpenSocial to embed the social network from a OSN site into their site. Or an API on one site will allow a user to view and edit content from a "content provider" OSN site, without leaving the original site. The technology for making this happen is not too far away. OpenID, OpenSocial and RSS are just three of the tools that can be leveraged.
Open Sustainability Network workshops
An OSN workshop was be held at the 2008 NCIIA National Conference, March 20-22, 2008, and others are planned for later in the year.
- http://www.opensustainabilitynetwork.org (redirects to this page) 
- http://www.opensustainabilitynetwork.com (redirects to this page) 
- Domain owned by OSN. Redirects to this page for now.