What are the links between the planetary and the digital commons? It was to answer this question that we formed the Open Climate collective, a group of colleagues from the open technology & knowledge movement who felt the pressing need to address the missing opportunities for collaboration in climate action.
In 2020, we came together to start investigating the promises and challenges of articulating open and climate movements intersectionally. In June 2021, we published an article—“Open Climate Now!”—on the experience of organizing a series of debates with activists, researchers, and technologists on the possibilities of bridging the ecological and the technological commons. In our article we articulated a broad vision from the communities we learned from: “The open movement with its values, community and action,” we suggested, “has the potential to greatly contribute to climate research and activism, and climate scientists and organizers should join the fight for the (digital) commons. We need open climate action, and we need it now!”
Our talk series was organized between March and September of 2021 with members of the broader “open climate” community to explore the question of “openness” in climate research and activism. What resulted from our debates was a set of points of convergence and divergence to be further explored for the purposes of advancing collaborative work across technological and ecological domains of collective action. The guest speakers and participants who joined us bridged various academic disciplines and domains of political practice (sciences, humanities, community organizing, alternatives to intellectual property), many had a strong background in the open movement (Free and Open Source software, data, hardware and science), others brought invaluable global experiences that are sorely lacking in the Euro-American ecological debate.
How it started?[edit | edit source]
In September 2020 Evelin Heidel and Alex Stinson facilitated a panel, "Open Questions in a Warming World" at the Creative Commons Summit. There they met Shannon Dosemagen. The three later connected and got excited by the idea of starting to understand who from the open movement is working on the climate crisis, what they're up to, and how the Open movement can be strong allies on Climate-related work. Teaming up with Luis Felipe Murillo, Michelle Thorne and Emilio Velis in early 2021, the small group (from different organizations around the open movement) started moving plans forward on doing a pilot series of "OpenClimate" calls, mapping the space, and collaborating on a session at the March 2021 MozFest.
Organizing team[edit | edit source]
Evelin Heidel is currently the Open Climate Coordinator, supported through funding by the Open Environmental Data Project and the Shuttleworth Foundation. Appropedia is the landing site for Open Climate organizing. The rest of the team is composed of:
- Shannon Dosemagen
- Luis Felipe Murillo
- Alex Stinson
- Michelle Thorne
- Emilio Velis