Today I read a (German) t3n.de article on mega trends 2012. While I agree with most of the expert’s hype assumptions I missed a statement about the recent developments in the area of open source as well as digital sustainability in general. (At least Ulrike Langer briefly points out the worldwide open data movement.)
I believe there is a “silent mega trend” towards digital sustainability. Current initiatives around open data, open source, open standards, open content, open access etc. show the growing community beyond the commercialized digital world. Its main focus is not how companies can build the most lucrative business models with new technologies but how our society can benefit the most of ICT.
Here are some random evidences (which I’m involved in) that show the growing interest on topics around digital sustainability:
- European governments are focussing more and more strategically on open source software. Next week there will be a workshop at the Open Source World Conference in Granada organized by the European Commission. Several initiatives and projects will be presented, among them I’ll talk about OpenJustitia, the new open source project by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.
- Initiated through a workshop in October 2011 several public institutions from Germany and Switzerland jointly defined the requirements on how to improve OOXML support in LibreOffice/OpenOffice. There is a publicly available 7p specification that offers open source companies to create a proposal. The announcement was published in many different international open source and technology news platforms, among them The H Open.
- This year there will be a study on the current status of open source adoption in Switzerland, lead by /ch/open and SwissICT and conducted by Ernst & Young. The goal will be to identify the reasons, benefits and obstacles of SMEs, large corporations, and government agencies to use open source software. Until the end of this month there is a Call for Participation for supporting the study. Several firms and public institutions have already confirmed their participation.
- Just before Christmas 60 participants of the annual dinner of the Parliamentarian Group for Digital Sustainability met on the topic of open government data. The highlight of the evening was the initial signing of the Open Government Data Manifest Switzerland by most of the attending politicians.
- Recently a small group of experts met for a thought leadership workshop on how to exactly define the term “digital sustainability” (in German “Digitale Nachhaltigkeit“). Georg Greve wrote a blog post about the event and some of its outcome. Currently we’re working on a small paper on the concept of digital sustainability containing a list of criterias. Soon there will be a first draft version be published for public review.
- The Swiss foundation Lilienberg Unternehmerforum is planning to physically equip a multimedia room on the topic of digital sustainability. Soon there will be a Call for Participation in order to staff the team that defines and creates the content of presentation.