TED Conversations

Sonaar Luthra

CEO / Co-Founder Water Canary Inc., Water Canary


This conversation is closed.

If you could open-source one piece of technology, what would you choose and why?

*This Live Conversation will take place on January 18, 2012 at 3PM EST / 12PM PST

Perhaps you'd choose a feature on your favorite video game system, perhaps you'd choose a life-saving medicine, a means of transportation, a fabrication method or a communications protocol... This is an invitation to think big about what would happen if you could take things that already exist and open them up to the world.


Closing Statement from Sonaar Luthra

Thank you everyone for sharing your ideas - this was an excellent conversation.

What I find most striking as I look through the comments is how many scenarios we came up with where open sourcing existing ideas, technologies and systems could promote both efficiency and a better quality of life/social welfare, instead of requiring any compromise between them.

The benefits of open source scientific research can both eliminate waste in bringing more resources to bear on solving problems and developing cures to diseases, while simultaneously making the benefits of those solutions more accessible for everyone. Open agriculture won't just lead to better, sustainable ways to grow food, but systems that allow more people to get out of poverty. And opening up educational resources - like the "dyslexie" font that Kristine O'Connor-delgado mentioned - can both improve the way we teach and learn as well as dramatically increase how many people receive an education.

I'm particularly excited to see where the projects we discussed go from here - please keep us all posted. Thank you for participating!

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  • Jan 18 2012: Today, millions of students around the world are finishing primary school without learning to read and write. In search of vastly improved ways to increase access to literacy learning materials and resourcses in local languages and to improve education data quality, USAID launched All Children Reading, a Grand Challnege for Development. The open source solutions called for in this conversation could be fleshed out and scaled to improve early childhood literacy throughout the world. The best ideas could win $300,000. Visit www.AllChildrenReading.org to find out how to apply- Hurry, the application period closes January 31st.

    We need all sectors to collaborate to drive innovation to get All Children Reading.
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      Jan 18 2012: http://www.khanacademy.org/

      Open education in progress. They could use some more funding too, however they /did/ just get a large grant ($3Mil, I think) that has made them much more stable going forward.

      I love their system too, and so do many classroom teachers who have begun adding time in Khan courses to they grade-school curriculum (like assigning it as homework, having stations in their classrooms and including the students' progress in KA into their grading rubrics....)

      (I'm a big supporter of Khan Academy, can you tell?)

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