Madhav Krishna

This conversation is closed.

Making ideas "open source"

I propose the creation of an Open Ideas Initiative -- adapted from the Open Source Initiative for computer software -- which will facilitate the open exchange of ideas, making them free from the constraints of IP laws.

I've tried to implement something on these lines at -- would love to hear from fellow TEDsters!

Closing Statement from Madhav Krishna

Thanks all for your comments!

I agree -- a great idea may be rendered worthless by a poor implementation, and a mediocre idea be rendered great by an effective implementation. However, the sharing of ideas facilitates innovation -- new technology, art and design is borne off the "meeting and mating" of different ideas. That is what I am trying to facilitate.

If you would like to carry this conversation forward, or join forces in creating an 'Open Ideas Initiative', feel free to email me at

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    Mar 1 2011: I agree and have been collecting open projects. There is an older version of my MindMap using FreeMind online at You can pick a graphic Flash based version (click on the nodes to expand or contract the topic) or a JavaScript outline format to explore (click on the plus signs + to expand the topic).

    geORge brett
  • Mar 6 2011: Hello,

    I'm a 30 year old student at the University for Humanistics in Utrecht the Netherlands. Right now I'm finishing my bachelor and want to write a thesis on how the Internet provides for a new global narrative. This will be an onset to my master-thesis which will have the subtitle: a practical humanistic philosophy to an open source society.
    I hope that we, in future, can collaborate.

    In reaction to your question: I love your proposition and belief it to be essential if we want to take the next step towards a more humane and free society. Good luck with your initiative and I hope to hear from you.

    Kind regards
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    Mar 4 2011: I think your website is great!

    My point of view is that there is no shortage of good ideas. Rather the big hurdle is implementation. Money, time, effort, and the million little trivial boring problems that every project has to solve to see the light of day--those are the real barriers. Just my two cents.
  • Mar 6 2011: hmmm, i was thinking about this aswell, i think although the site you created was nice, i think it needs to be a bit more simple (design wise) and have the possibilities of technicalities (so you can have very vague ideas like most of the ones on your site at the moment) or more detailed ones which could then be reproduced by other people.
    You would also need to register each idea under the GPL (or one where companies cannot just make money out of somebody elses hard work, but for individuals to be able to reproduce ideas and suggest amendments) so that people who post their ideas on there know their idea will not be taken up by a big company and they will get no money after doing all the hard work
    i was mainly thinking it because my dad has so many wacky ideas which could possibly work, but he isnt such a great doer, he is better at thinking so if somebody else wanted to make them they could.
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    Mar 2 2011: This is a very good idea. Sharing ideas, not keeping them for ourselves, can help to make them happen.