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Sonaar Luthra

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

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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.

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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: Great question: I would open source government or at least parts of it. Legislation could definitely stand to be open-sourced. I don't know exactly how it could be done, the process would have have ground rules, like Wikipedia's NPOV policy and self-corrective processes. Each bill can be iterate through hundreds of revisions, each law could leverage previous laws by reference (reusable code). Elected representatives would still vote on the bill, but the open sourcing the process of writing the bill should help us avoid making laws that are unconstitutional, short-sighted, or ill-conceived in the first place.

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