What is Public Infrastructure? Why is it important? Who is impacted by it or involved in it?
All of these questions are valid and crucial to understanding the limitations of current supply chains and enterprise-based innovation. More specifically, a critical weakness of production, manufacture, or supply of commodities by corporations is the lack of modularization and exclusivity/in-house dependence of creation of all parts or subsystems. If subsystems or system components are outsourced, then the privatization of their design and IP is restricted in accessibility to only the original vendor or creator for the safety of the business, but this comes at the expense of time, finances, and risk of shortage or delay in goods. This risk and issue could be mitigated or even resolved altogether with the utilization of Open Infrastructure.
What is Open Infrastructure exactly?
Open Infrastructure can be defined as public alternatives for various forms of infrastructure, whether a tangible item or a concept/service. This can be seen through traditional examples, such as open-source software made and sustained by Project Foundations or public community centers offering various types of resources. Other creative examples include open-source architecture designs published online as explained by Socialsquare’s Lego Video – Watch Here!
Why is this important?
Public Infrastructure is valuable because it allows anybody to access, adapt, and produce new systems from public sources to expedite the development and improvement of its byproducts. This is because of the “transparent, adaptable, and cost-efficient” nature of open source resources as explained by Jānis Tupulis, the Chairman of the Latvian open-source technology association board in his blog post called, “Reasons to Consider Open-source Infrastructure”- Read Here!
This is also true for intangible or nontechnical concepts as well, not just commodities developed by corporations from open-source communities and resources. A great example of this is a public skate park as explained by Socialsquare’s Lego video – Watch Here!
This creator goes about explaining how open-source infrastructure permits given work(s) to be accessible even up to its source files, to be remixed/redistributed in any format, to end predatory vendor lock-in, and to increase cooperation on the working product. Then the creator shows this through an example of a community skate park. In this example, the Socialsquare rep goes on to explain how a skater named, “Dave,” loves the skateboard community because its publicly accessible to any skater of any level, so participating individuals are more readily able to learn from other experienced skaters; as well, he claims that broken tools could be repaired by fellow skaters from that community rather than going to the original vendor for skateboard repairs. Even so, this community allows all skaters to remix/redistribute the skills learned in this public space, which increases the speed and quality of improvement of skills for each skater.
Who is impacted or involved in it?
Anyone really – with various skill levels and backgrounds contributing to it, public infrastructure affects us all whether we realize it or not.
Are you interested in this topic, want to contribute/meet others interested in this topic, or want to learn more about this?
Then you may want to start with our provided resources below:
- Wardley Mapping Concept
- Project Gutenberg
- Open Source Projects/Resources Built from Open Infrastructure
- Why Open Source Infrastructure?
- Youtube Account: https://www.youtube.com/@OpenInfraFoundation/videos
- Website: https://openinfra.dev/
- Definition of “Why Open Infrastructure”: https://dev/about/open-infrastructure/#:~:text=Open%20Infrastructure%20solves%20the%20low,automated%20compute%2C%20storage%20and%20networking.
The Linux Foundation Projects
- Website: https://www.org/projects
OpenSSF (Open Source Security Foundation)
- Website: https://openssf.org/join/
- Definition of “Why Open Infrastructure”: https://org/blog/2023/03/08/why-open-source-is-infrastructure-and-why-it-matters/
You could also join us for our monthly inventor gatherings to discuss topics like this! Gatherings are held the 3rd Thursday of each month from 8-9:30pm (CDT) virtually via Zoom.
Zoom Link to Join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88028477899
Our September Inventor Gathering will discuss Open Public Infrastructure. This will include a discussion of Wardley mapping, the process of commodification, the process of how goods/services become utilities, and a review of these processes from past to present (e.g., Roman Grain allotments, Project Gutenberg, Little Free Libraries, and more).
Our Oct. Inventor Gathering will be an extended discussion on Public Infrastructure as available through open-source means and via nonprofit efforts like Public Invention works. The first 10mins of this meeting will be a recognition annoucement from our guest speakers with RecognizedGood.
RecognizeGood has recently acknowledged our nonprofit as a “Lighthouse” recipient and awarded us $1000. They will be attending and speaking at our Oct. monthly Inventor Gathering. Join us Thursday evening (10/19/2023) from 8-9:30pm (CDT) to learn more about our efforts to improve public infrastructure. You can learn more about RecognizeGood on their website – Click Here!