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 19 2012: Zynga games and their subliminal addictive mind control code. :-)

    On a more serious note, everything related to healthcare from research to documentation that illustrates how (and why) a hospital can get away with bililng $100 for a couple of Q-tips.

    I like what Warren Huber said -- "If medical research and care & prevention provisions were seen as vital a public service as the military or police force are (and I would argue that the health of the populace is MORE important than either), then the government (that is, the government of and by The People) should be in charge of providing it at equal investiture."

    This should also be tabled for open source (well, at the very least, some discussoin toward solutions) and that is the future of the aging baby boom gen. With limited (and dwindling) income, increasing healthcare costs, affordable housing and assisted living needs, etc., coupled along with an increasing number of children being diagnosed with Autisim, we're looking at the perfect storm of holy crap. How and who will be taking care of all these millions of people with special needs?

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