Nonprofit Advocacy Blog Strategy
Ego-Centric vs. Network-Centric

Distributed Collaboration : One of the Keys to Network Advocacy

One of the big keys to network advocacy is to move "production" of political power out of the organizational confines to multi-organizational or individual contributions. While many past post have focused on this idea the article in Wired ads to the understanding that political campaigns need to bring new business models to the drawing board. The network-centric planners need to be looking at ways to "open source" campaign work.

Many of the quotes from this article jump right from business and manufacturing into the struggles of the modern advocacy campaign. It is also nice to see that the open source approach doesn't mean the death of the larger organizations but merely adaptations of existing strategies.

Wired 11.11: Open Source Everywhere

Just as the assembly line served the manufacturing economy, open source serves a knowledge-based economy. Facilitating intellectual collaboration is open source's great advantage, but it also makes the method a threat. It's a direct challenge to old-school R&D: a closed system, where innovations are quickly patented and tightly guarded. And it's an explicit reaction to the intellectual property industry, that machine of proprietary creation and idea appropriation that grew up during the past century and out of control in the past 30 years - now often impeding the same efforts it was designed to protect.

Open source offers biotech companies a cheaper way to do research. "The corporations have been locked in a zero-sum game," Jefferson says. "It costs them a fortune to buy and lock up a product or a technology. And if they don't, a competitor will get it and they'll have no access to it. So it's a real change in the status quo we're proposing. We're reducing the obstacles for everybody so big companies won't view this as antithetical to their own progress."

The question then remains focused on the steps that a campaign planner needs to take to open source the manufacturing of political power. (I will post on that tomorrow)