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Submissions/Open Systems Mangement: Lessons from the Internet

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.
Title of the submission

Designing Open Systems: Lessons from Internet Pioneers

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)

presentation & discussion

Author of the submission

Dave Witzel

E-mail address




Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Green Innovators in Business Network http://www.GIBN.org

Personal homepage or blog

http://www.policycommons.org http://www.linkedin.com/in/dwitzel

Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

This talk is based on a paper I'm finishing for the IBM Business of Government series. The thesis is that, while using the Internet is very cool and powerful, lessons learned from how it and related tools, like Linux, Wikipedia, Apache, were built may be even more powerful. What lessons can we derive from the open systems style development of these products that can be applied in other (non-software) spheres including government?

The talk will describe characteristics of "open" and "closed" organizational approaches, trade-offs between the two, and ways to think about designing open systems derived from experience building the Internet.

Lessons to talk about include:

  • Let Everyone Play
  • Play Nice
  • Narrate Your Work
  • Use Layers of Communications
  • Give it Away
  • Reach the Edges
  • Make it Work, Then Standardize
  • Include All Types of Organizations
  • Design for Participation
  • Look for Network Effects
  • Build Platforms

Discussion will focus on extending and improving the list of lessons, examples where open approaches are currently being used in government and the social sector, and brainstorming around other opportunities.


Wikis and the Public Sector

Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes

8 minute presentation, 17 minute discussion

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations


Interested attendees

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  1. SarahStierch (talk)
  2. --Marclaporte (talk) 15:18, 14 July 2012 (UTC) An example of this is the Tiki model: Software made the wiki way[reply]
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