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The Economics of Open Education [clear filter]
Thursday, November 3

11:35am EDT

Creative Commons Open Business Models
In the summer of 2015 Creative Commons ran a successful Kickstarter campaign raising funds to write a book about open business models made using Creative Commons. With the help of backers, and through an open public call, Creative Commons identified businesses and organizations from around the world and across all sectors who have successful Creative Commons based open business models. From that list twenty four were chosen to interview, profile, and analyse.

This session will report out on the results of this work. The twenty four businesses and organizations will be identified and highlights of their stories and models shared. Analysis showing how these models work and how they generate economic and social value will be summarized. The differences between open business model success and those of traditional models where success is defined solely in monetary terms will be portrayed. Commonalities and unique innovations across models will be described along with the evolving strategies these organizations are pursuing to sustain their work.

This session aims to provide participants with a framework for thinking about about open business models and the sustainability of open education initiatives. By drawing on a wide range of models from within and outside education participants will be given a spectrum of possibilities and strategies that can be adopted to fit their own initiative and/or spark new, innovative ideas. Participants will be provided with tools they can use to design their own model.

This session will conclude with a look at how Creative Commons open business models fit within a larger open context that includes open source software, open hardware, open access, open data, and the sharing economy. The implications and possibilities associated with free, open and abundant goods generated by a network will be contrasted with a system of monopolies, banks and governments trying to keep things private, scarce and commercial. Participants will leave with an understanding of how to survive with a foot in both worlds while working toward a more open and equitable future.

avatar for Paul Stacey

Paul Stacey

Associate Director of Global Learning, Creative Commons
Co-author, with Sarah Pearson, of Kickstarter funded book “Made With Creative Commons". Institute for Open Leadership mentor and facilitator. Creative Commons certificate program lead. Keen interest in role of the commons in the future economy. Bare feet, ocean kayaking, and ping... Read More →

Thursday November 3, 2016 11:35am - 12:00pm EDT

1:40pm EDT

Open Educational Resources as Public Goods
How should governments and educational authorities such as universities ensure the provision of educational material such as textbooks? Using the logic of public goods theory I argue the that best access regime for educational materials is not the default copyright regime but when resources are licensed open for re-use by anyone. Since educational materials are neither scarce nor consumed by use, and using digital technologies they may be almost costless reproduced and shared the most economically efficient use is when educations resources are unrestricted. Public goods theory suggest that governments can either use tax generated revenue to pay for a public good or offer exclusive control over a good, for example through copyright.

Current systems for government procurement of educational resources impose costs, prevent teachers and students from getting resources that they need and it prevent them from using those resources that they get in some ways that would be useful for teaching and learning. They also hinder innovation. Although public monies are expended neither government nor public acquire any lasting asset.

Public procurement policy should treat educational resources as public capital goods rather than private consumable goods. Where textbooks are bulk purchased with funds from the public purse the procurement process can be restructured to require that the textbooks are licensed under an appropriate open licence. This will not require increased levels of funding since the change will free the components of the consolidated value chain increasing competition. The resulting open educational resources will constitute intellectual infrastructure on which competitors are free to innovate.

When educational resources are made open that harnesses the self organizing power of the market. Innovation by competitors and innovation by users both follow because the transaction costs inhibiting innovation are reduced to close to zero. If the move to open educational institutions is not made now, the effects of the technological change will be that control over educational resources is even more concentrated in the hands of technology vendors or publishers, or more likely an amalgamation of technology vendor and publisher.


Andrew Rens

SJD, Duke University Law School

Thursday November 3, 2016 1:40pm - 2:05pm EDT