Open Development - my contribution
Wearing my foresight hat, I've contributed to an article on open source biotech in this new book
A couple of years ago I contributed to a paper, "Open Source Biotechnology Platforms for Global Health and Development: Two Case Studies," whose other authors are Hassan Masum, Myra Khan and Abdallah S. Daar. The subject was open source models for drug discovery and alternatives to standard patent processes. The paper has now been published in the book Open Development: Networked Innovations in International Development (available from various sources, for instance here on Amazon).
Open development is closely related to ideas of collective intelligence (and I contributed to a book on that a couple of years ago) and to radical innovations like Bitcoin and the redesigning of democracy that I discuss in my Hieroglyph contribution. But in this case, it's the nitty-gritty details that matter rather than the grand sweep of exciting ideas. What are the open-source alternatives to traditional patents, and how do they operate? How can open-source ideas be practically applied to the problem of discovering new treatments, particularly for "orphaned" diseases that the big pharmaceutical companies find difficult to address? Open Development is a book for those who're interested in the details of how we can make a collaborative civilization work. As such it's important and timely, and I'm proud to have contributed to it if only in a minor way.