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[liberationtech] Socially-Responsible Geeks

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Mon Sep 16 10:39:26 PDT 2013


From: Uday Dandavate <uday at sonicrim.com>

I just returned home from conducting a three week long study of the future 
of the internet. My client, Mozilla Fire Fox,  a leading open source 
internet search engine is a non-profit agency. Which means unlike other big 
players in the digital industry they are not driven by a motivation to make 
a profit. 

In fact the company was found with the purpose of disrupting and 
decentralizing the control mechanisms within the internet and creating a 
genuine open source culture of engaging people in building tools and using 
tools for harnessing the potential of the internet.

I was in Thailand and Indonesia for this study. Our next round of study 
will take place in India. I have come back inspired.

 The purpose of learning from these countries is-  that the client believes 
that they will get an untainted view of opportunities for OPEN SORCE 
evolution of the internet by talking to people in societies that function 
under different circumstances and value systems from the more so called 
technologically advanced countries (such as the US).

One of the key ideas that are emerging from this study is to make democracy 
work in its true spirit. People in these countries are eager to participate 
more in the democratic process, beyond the role currently allowed in pseudo 
democracies. What does this mean to the designers. I would like to pose 
some questions and would welcome a dialogue or your ideas.


1. How can we build tools where people can collaborate to envision a future 
that is not tainted by the rhetoric of politicians but by genuine 
aspirations of people?
2. How do we bring internet based tools that allow for greater transparency 
in the institutions that affect people's lives (businesses, governments and 
NGO's).
3. How do we use the internet and mobile technologies to help citizens 
maintain vigil over how public institutions, businesses  and the government 
conduct themselves?
4. How do help bring closer monitoring of the information in public domain 
so that people's right to information can be better exercised?
5. How do we enhance the government and people interface?
6. How do we build communities of people who align with my client's desire 
to use the skills of the geeks in enhancing community life in the real 
world?


Please feel free to comment or to send me a private email. We are 
conducting next phase of research in India after we have analyzed the data 
from Thailand and Indonesia. We would be particularly interested in 
envisioning communities of geeks connected to communities of socially 
responsible people.

Personally I am also interested in conceptualizing Hacker Soaces to empower 
India's democracy, as we approach the next Parliamentary elections early 
next year. 

Cheers

Uday
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