I understand some people aren’t enthusiastic about open-source ideology. It implies a certain type of workflow and approach to intellectual property that doesn’t appeal to the masses. At one time it was easy to dismiss open-source as being a largely technical idea because it was born in the software developer community.It no longer strictly remains there.

Open-source has evolved. Some groups are using it to develop social policy. Others to organize and effect campaigns with a particular goal in mind.

Whether open-source is your cup of tea or not, there are many lessons to learn from how participants in that community work together to achieve a goal — how they organize, how they develop and adapt purpose-built tools, and how trust relationships are more important than hierarchy.

Clay Shirky shared some stories and thoughts at a TED event in Edinburgh, Scotland this past June. It’s definitely worth a watch.

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