Designing Open Projects: Lessons From Internet Pioneers
This report offers practical design advice to public managers and political leaders who are facing complex, dynamic public challenges involving multiple stakeholders on issues or problems where there is no clearly defined solution. In these situations, open project approaches have the potential to spark large-scale activity that could fundamentally change society.
The author, David Witzel, examines the evolution of the Internet over the past four decades, exploring how a wide range of autonomous, overlapping, and interconnected open projects initiated by government staff, techies, entrepreneurs, and students around the world resulted in one of the most profound changes in society across the globe since the dawn of the Industrial Age.How did it happen? How was it guided? Are there lessons that can be drawn to tackle other enormous societal challenges?
Based on his observations about the creation and evolution of the Internet, Witzel identifies a dozen tips for designing open projects. Witzel believes, on reflection, that these 12 practices were critical to the Internet’s successful development and can be applied in other domains, such as the creation of the nationwide health information network.