The
paradox
of open_

One of our key insights is that in today’s environment, openness serves as both a challenge to concentrations of power and its enabler. Solving this paradox, which we describe in this essay is at the heart of our work. It provides us with a point of departure for reimagining the role of openness in the digital environment.

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An Open
_Future

We believe that here in Europe
we can launch a mission to keep
the internet open.
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At Open Future, we explore challenges that the digital world faces not just right now, but also in the future. We do this in order to design policies that address these challenges today. We put our knowledge, experience and focus to work along EU institutions and civil society to ensure that the principle of openness is reflected in the European Union’s digital policy framework.

We believe that here in Europe we can launch a mission to keep the internet open and make it better. To rebuild it, so that it is a place governed by equal opportunities, democratic access to information and respect for fundamental rights. A public space built on the idea of the commons.

We think that the current European policy environment provides a real opportunity to realise these objectives by enacting meaningful legislative change. At the same time we are also setting our sights on developing initiatives for the next European Commission to take up.
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We believe in
_OPen

We are a new organisation, yet founded
by people active in the open movement
for the last two decades.
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We are a new organisation, yet founded by people active in the open movement for the last two decades. We believe in openness, but also believe that it needs to be imagined anew. Today, openness increasingly functions as not just a challenge to concentrations of power, but also their enabler. Openness, once a rebel vision, is now part of the status quo - one that needs to be questioned.

We believe that open sharing and the commons still hold great promise. Yet we need to evolve the mode of operation and adapt to a changing environment that has become increasingly centralised. We need a new vision of open, resilient against abuse and unintended externalities. This will require finding shared perspectives between advocates of openness and defenders of privacy and other fundamental rights.
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Who are
_we?

The Open Future Foundation (Stichting Open Future) was founded by Paul Keller and Alek Tarkowski at the end of 2020. Paul and Alek are jointly leading the organisation as its co-Directors. Open Future is a member of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain. Together with the Commons Network we are working towards a “Vision for a Shared Digital Europe

Our supervisory board is composed of Prof. Martin Senftleben, Renata Avila and Bregtje van der Haak. Open Future is supported by a grant from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
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Paul Keller

Paul Keller

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Paul is the Policy Director at Open Future. He has almost 20 years of experience as a media activist, open policy advocate and systems architect to improve access to knowledge and culture. A political scientist by training, Paul has a deep understanding of the digital transformation’s political, social and legal implications. Prior to founding Open Future Paul has served for ten years as the co-director of Kennisland, an Amsterdam based think-tank working on issues related to the knowledge economy. Before joining Kennisland in 2007, Paul worked at Waag as head of the Public Research programme.

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Alek Tarkowski
photo: Krzysztof Pacholak (CC BY)

Alek Tarkowski

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Alek is the Strategy Director at Open Future. He has over 15 years of experience with public interest advocacy, movement building and research into the interesection of society, culture and digital technologies. He is a sociologist by training and holds a PhD in sociology from the Polish Academy of Science. In 2010 he established Centrum Cyfrowe, one of leading Polish organisations promoting openness and internet users' rights. He led Centrum Cyfrowe for ten years as the Director and President of the Board. Before founding Centrum Cyfrowe, he was a strategic advisor to the Prime Minister of Poland.

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