The future of the open web
The future of the open web description
In 2000, Professor Lawrence Lessig explained in an essay entitled Code is Law that the Web poses a question about the relationship between software and our values. As people create software, they are also making a decision about fundamental issues like freedom and privacy. Nearly two decades later, in a world woven together by the Web, this conversation is as relevant as ever. The Web has tremendous growth thanks to some of the technical and social decisions that were made in the Web’s formation. Many of these decisions reflect public, cooperative principles—an Open Web—rather than a network that is exclusive, walled, private, and proprietary. However, many questions about the governance and state of the Web have shifted or remained unanswered over time.
This day will be a discussion of the future of the Open Web and focus on “openness” in three dimensions as they relate to the Web: open-source software, open science, and open platforms. The discussions will include perspectives from policy makers, academics, activists, and practitioners. Although policy questions will play a prominent role in this debate, the day will appeal to a larger audience, including anyone who has a stake in the Web. Sessions will include an introduction to the pending questions in each focus area, a conversation among invited experts who bring differing perspectives on Web policy, and a final keynote to tie these conversations together into a thesis about the future of the Open Web. Together, these sessions will ask what the future of the Web should say about our values, what our values should say about the future of the Web, and how our hopes for an ideal Web of the future might pan out in practice.
- To be announced
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