MIT Media Lab’s Leadership in Open Source Software

Over the weekend, Joi Ito (the director of the MIT Media Lab among a long list of other awesome things) announced that the MIT Media Lab Changes Software Default to FLOSS*

As someone who disdains software patents and is appalled by universities, especially publicly funded ones, acting as patent trolls, I applaud the MIT Media Lab’s move.

Eric von Hippel, my PhD advisor at MIT (I didn’t finish) and one of my early mentors, co-wrote two of the seminal papers on how free and open source software (FOSS – and now FLOSS) impacts innovation.

Joi’s punch line says it all.

“As an academic institution, we believe that in many cases we can achieve greater impact by sharing our work.”

I couldn’t agree more and applaud Joi’s vision and leadership.

  • jcasimir

    Totally agreed. When I started organizing the Turing School one of our guiding questions was “What would MIT do?” Would they hide their curriculum behind walls? No — they’d share. They’d publish course videos free-of-charge on OpenCourseware. If they can do it, why not us?

    We don’t put in as much polish as we should, be we open source every single resource at Turing. For instance, every lesson plan:

    That way a person who can’t afford to come to our program can learn from them. Prospective students can see exactly what we do here. Even our students’ outcomes and portfolios are open source:

    Secrecy is the enemy of education.

  • Karim R. Lakhani

    Thanks for the shout out to the research Brad. FYI we have new book out – celebrating all things Eric – Revolutionizing Innovation: Users, Communities & Open Innovation – it collects the latest research on the topic from all of Eric’s students and co-authors – hope you like it

    • Just grabbed it on the Kindle. Tell Dietmar hello.