Openness: How Increasing Accessibility and Responsiveness Can Transform Processes and Systems
Elliot E. Maxwell, Fellow of the Communications Program at Johns Hopkins University and a Distinguished Research Fellow at the eBusiness Research Center of Pennsylvania State University
The term "open" has been used in many contexts: open source, open standards, open access, open architecture, open spectrum, open innovation, and open educational resources. Information, processes, and systems have become more accessible and therefore more open (Web 1,0), but the evolving Web allows users to contribute and collaborate in new ways, increasing openness by making information, processes, and systems not only more accessible but more responsive. What are the various characteristics of “openness”? How do open models differ from more traditional models? What is their appeal?
The Committee for Economic Development has published a series of reports on openness, examining the relationship between openness, digitization, and the Internet. Building upon economic, legal, and technical analyses, the reports address:
the relationship between openness and efforts to control the unauthorized use of intellectual property;
expanding the opportunity space for sequential and cumulative innovation;
the potential for transforming the U.S. healthcare system through increased openness; and
the implications of openness for institutions of higher education.
The presentation addresses how greater openness has been enabled by IT and the Internet, the rise of a new theory of value based on use and sharing, the problems and pitfalls associated with greater openness, and how openness can serve as a lens to examine and a tool to reengineer different institutional and policy domains.
Elliot E. Maxwell is an author and lecturer, as well as an advisor to public and private sector clients on strategic issues involving the intersection of business, technology, and public policy in the Internet, E-commerce and telecommunications domains.
Presently, he is a Fellow of the Communications Program at Johns Hopkins University and a Distinguished Research Fellow at the eBusiness Research Center of Pennsylvania State University.