Back from the Free Culture Forum

Back to Stockholm! I’ve spent this whole weekend in Barcelona in the Free Culture Forum, working together with more than a hundred people from all over the world to debate about how to face the new (and old) challenges with copyright, net neutrality and education, among others, and decide the next actions to take.

First of all, I’d like to congratulate and thank everyone who contributed to organize and manage this. Despite the lack of a solid financial and human support, the forum was an undeniable success in terms of organization – I felt like at home and had a real good time.

Our main task was to elaborate a document reflecting our vision, goals and demands. We worked in five groups: Education, Economy, Politics, Digital Infrastructure Rights and Legal. I worked on Education since I was invited to the event in representation of Alqua.

Since the document has been composed with the input of so many people, I’m a bit concerned about its coherence and homogeneity, so I’ll advocate for several different proof-reads before publishing anything, including mine. Also, the idea is that the different individuals and organizations who attended the forum will sign it as a whole, so we have to be very careful with the inclusion of any “too” radical demand in order to reach a reasonably broad acceptance.

One of the atendees suggested that we should speak about the next steps we, as individuals, either representing a project/group or not, will take to achieve the goals stated in our chart. I think this is rather important since otherwise (and even if we do so) we’re in risk of this awesome forum to become no more than a declaration of intentions, an utopy, without any real commitment of work and thus failed. Don’t get me wrong – I’m the first who starts slackering and procrastrinating if I don’t state my own commitments clearly. So here are my agenda of next actions, which I will post to our (hopefully upcoming) mailing list:

– Concact the Spanish universities and ask them to upload their already existing educational material to OAI-enabled repositories. OAI is a metadata standard for easy dissemination of content. Contact Ignasi Labastida (Creative Common Spain), who showed us some of the different tools available, to help me to understand how these repositories work.

– Place the already existing Alqua documents in OAI-enabled repositories, or create a new one, to increase their visibility.

– Contact David Gómez-Ullate, who is currently leading a (publicly funded!) pedagogical innovation project to use free software in some courses and research work in Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

– Investigate the current use of Free Software in the Spanish universities to find out use cases and good practices.

This is all for now, friends. If you’re (even slightly) interested in helping or have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact me! :)

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