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 to advance 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.
The organizing team is composed of Shannon Dosemagen, Luis Felipe Murillo, Alex Stinson, Michelle Thorne, Emilio Velis and Evelin Heidel and is supported by awards from the Shuttleworth Foundation and Wikimedia Alliances Fund. Open Climate work is coordinated by JuiletGrace Luwedde.