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Transitioning to a Commons-Based Society - The FLOK Society

The National Plan of Ecuador recognizes and stresses that the global transformation towards knowledge-based societies and economies requires a new form for the creation and distribution of value in society. The National Plan's central concept is the achievement of 'Buen Vivir' (Sumak Kawsay) or 'good living'; but good living is impossible without the availability of 'good knowledge', i.e. 'Buen Conocer' ('Sumak Yachay'). The third national plan for 2013-2017 explicitly calls for a open-commons based knowledge society[1].

President Correa himself exhorted young people to achieve and fight for this open knowledge society[2].

The FLOK Society is a joint research effort by the Coordinating Ministry of Knowledge and Human Talent, the SENESCYT (Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación) and the IAEN (Instituto de Altos Estudios del Estado) to develop transition and policy proposals to achieve such an open commons-based knowledge society.

FLOK refers to:

  • Free, meaning freedom to use, distribute and modify knowledge in universally available common pools;

  • Libre stresses that it concerns free as in freedom, not as in 'gratis';

  • Open refers to the ability of all citizens to access, contribute to and use this common resource.

A free, libre and open knowledge society therefore essentially means organizing every sector of society, to the maximum degree possible, into open knowledge commons, i.e. the availability of common pools of knowledge, code and design that are acceptable to all citizens and market entities, to create dynamic and innovative societies and economies, where knowledge is available without discrimination to all who need it to develop their civic and economic activities.

The FLOK project is commissioned by the Secretary of Knowledge Rene Ramirez and SENESCYT, and carried out by the IAEN under the leadership of its rector and Dean of Research, as well as the FLOK Society team leaders Daniel Vazquez and Xabier Barandiaran. Michel Bauwens, the author of the research plan in collaboration with the FLOK Team, is the research director, assisted by five research stream coordinators.

The aim of the research plan is to combine the best advice from the global commons, and Ecuadorian civil society, in order to propose an integrated transition plan and the associated policy framework and proposals.

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