CODE: Building the New Agora

University of Toronto’s Knowledge Media Design Institute’s Project Open Source|Open Access project is hosting a lecture and panel-in-the-round conversation Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon at the Bahen Centre.

CODE: Building the New Agora explores current perspectives on the contemporary perception of hardware/software and investigates how open source/open access alters our approaches to professional and social networks.

Less than five years ago the cultural theorist Lev Manovich claimed that while the 1990s were all about the virtual, the next decade might be about physical space and interactions, albeit augmented by electronic information. To explore these rapidly changing paradigms you are invited to join CODE.

CODE introduces Prof Wendy Hui Kyong Chun of Brown University and brings together an array of local speakers for a critical analysis of innovative initiatives in networked public life. The panels in the round will start with informal 5-7 minutes long presentations aiming towards an open dialogue with the participating public.

CODE’s goal is to foster discussion on these issues examining the impact of community building in Toronto and beyond.

I will be participating in one of the Wednesday afternoon panels with David Crow of Toronto BarCamp, David Humphrey of Seneca College, who has students who are making contributions to the Mozilla project and Tobias c. van Veen of the Upgrade Montreal community.

I will be bringing a political economic and policy perspective to the conversation. I am interested in how open source software development communities provide a rich source of data for social scientists to understand commons-based peer production and its application to other forms of creative knowledge work. I am interested in the places of intersection between online communities or networks and physical place and space, something I’m calling open creative communities.

I look forward to the panel-in-the-round format, which will allow for a lot of audience participation and contributions. If you are driven by similar questions, I encourage you to come out and participate in the conversation.

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