Dropping Knowledge

dropping knowledge is an initiative in the wider area of online dialogue and deliberation. From the FAQ and the overview:

dropping knowledge is a web-based platform for the exchange of multiple viewpoints, open to every citizen of the world. dropping knowledge is committed to heightening social awareness, challenging habitual ways of thinking and acting, fostering a global dialogue and inspiring real-world initiatives.

On September 9, 2006, 112 scientists, social entrepreneurs, philosophers, writers, artists and activists from around the world will come together in Berlin, Germany, as guests of dropping knowledge. They will individually answer 100 pre-selected questions from the vast pool submitted to our website by the global public.

On September 10, 2006, dropping knowledge will launch a freely accessible Copyleft knowledge portal and dialogue forum, seeded with audiovisual content from the first Table of Free Voices. Founded on a catalog of 23,000 interconnected problem classes, the platform will empower the global public to ask and answer questions, exchange viewpoints and ideas, and join in dialog around the most comprehensive hierarchy of social topics ever compiled.

Navigating by natural language search and an intuitive visual browser, users will come together to ‘inhabit’ shared themes of concern, setting up camp around the topics that matter most to them. By igniting global discussion covering the most pressing questions of our time, dropping knowledge will foster new thoughts, reflections and sustainable solutions to inspire communities of action within the emerging global society.

A transparent initiative to support global knowledge-sharing, dropping knowledge is a way of asking and answering the questions that matter to you. When you question in order to understand, when you answer in order to share, you are dropping knowledge.

The project is the brainchild of Ralf Schmerberg (founder and CEO of Berlin-based Trigger Happy Productions, a full-service production company for commercials, documentation and feature film), Cindy Gantz and Jackie Wallace. The “Living Library” software is being developed by Professor Hans Uszkoreit of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.

German insurance company Allianz Group is a partner to the project (the partnership was announced on February 15, 2006: Global dialog gets underway, see also the Founding Partner Agreement). They have more information on their dropping knowledge project microsite:

Dropping Knowledge Principles

INCLUSIVENESS dropping knowledge is an open public resource that seeks to include every citizen of the world, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or class.

SUSTAINABILITY dropping knowledge will convene future tables of free voices around the world, expand the reach and access of the living library and stimulate new initiatives and partnerships among individuals, NGOs and corporations.

COPYLEFT dropping knowledge abides by a CopyLeft principle of distribution. All content donated to or generated by dropping knowledge is freely available to all for all time.

PUBLIC OWNERSHIP dropping knowledge is an open-source platform with 100% stakeholder perspective. dropping knowledge cannot be owned by any organization, corporation or individual. It belongs to the people of the world.

TRANSPARENCY dropping knowledge commits to full transparency and disclosure, informing our community of donors, participants and users of the way it spends its donated resources.

At this point, Wikipedia only has a brief article on dropping knowledge (the German version is up for deletion even).

Some mentions on the web (mostly in German):

You can visit The Drop, the dropping knowledge weblog, to follow the project.

It will be interesting to watch how this works out. I only came across the site by accident last night and I am still trying to figure out what to make of it. Many questions come to mind, but I will leave those to another post.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts about dropping knowledge?

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