I have been awarded a Shuttleworth Fellowship to change the world; my first reactions

The Shuttleworth Foundation has done me the honour of appointing me as a Fellow, starting today. The remit (http://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/fellowship/ ) is:

The holy grail of every funder is sustainability, an idea and approach living long after the money has run out. That is why we fund people not projects. The only true way to sustainability is not a business plan but a champion, someone who will drive an idea through an ever changing landscape, to make a real difference in the world.
We are looking for social innovators who are helping to change the world for the better and are seeking support through an innovative social investment model.

My new entry is here: http://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/fellows/current/peter-murray-rust/
This is incredible. I’ve had a week or two to adjust but I’m still finding new ideas, visions, people on a daily basis.  So this is a first reaction.
I am going to change the world for the better. Yes. Over the last few years when people have asked me what I want to do I reply “change the world”. It’s what we should all aspire to. And this is the most concentrated  time of innovation in the history of the planet and it’s much easier. In the past heroes such as Diderot had to rely on print to reach people – I can reach millions of people with a few keystrokes.
It’s this ability to create communities that makes us different from our predecessors. As exemplars I look to my own immediate circle of electronic communities: Wikipedia, Mozilla, Open Knowledge Foundation, Creative Commons, Open Rights Group, Blue Obelisk …
All started by people – often just one. And all self-sufficient without their founders. That’s my immediate model for sustainability. I don’t know exactly *how* it will happen , but I am certain it will. (Certainty is an essential ingredient of success). So the goal is to build a community of vision and practice.
This year I have undertaken to liberate 100, 000, 000 FACTs from the scientific/technical/medical literature. FACTs belong to the world, not individuals and not corporations. I use uppercase to stress that they are not protectable as Intellectual property (IP). FACTs save lives (think helicobacter and ulcers). FACTs help to create new materials. FACTs lead to better decision making (e.g. climate change). FACTs generate new information-based industries which generate new wealth (the 4 Billion USD invested in the human genome generated 700 Billion of downstream wealth.  (I’ve blogged a lot about the Content Mine and I’ll be blogging a lot more, of course).
Because it is freely available to everyone on the planet who can connect to the Internet.
Put most of all I must thank the Shuttleworth Foundation. They have a wonderful vision and wonderful people. There’s a lot I am discovering.
But, simply, they put in the effort to make sure people succeed.
They have a wonderful infrastructure that I suspect few other funding bodies can emulate. I have a very real relationship with  Karien Bezuidenhout and Helen Turvey who run the Fellowship program.  We’ve spent a lot of time bouncing ideas around and I shall be meeting Helen in a few days in London. Karien and I will have virtual meetings twice a month! This can make all the difference to being focussed and setting achievable objectives.
And I know several of the Fellows already. Rufus Pollock (OKFN), Daniel Lombraña González (Crowdcrafting)  …
… and Fracois Grey who will be my buddy / mentor. This is a wonderful idea. I’m hoping I can visit New York and run a workshop there with his Citizen Science community.
And then there is the community of the Fellowship – again this is a wonderful resource. Fellows come from all disciplines and experience and the cross-fertilisation will be massive. We meet virtually every week and we have 2 physical meetings a year. I’ll be doing a lot of listening.
It’s a huge responsibility, but that’s absolutely how it should be. I shall give it my best. I cannot know how it will work out in detail. I’ve a loose group of current collaborators and I’ll be talking with Helen about the best way of involving them.We’ve already plotted some activities.
Massive thanks to those who have helped with my application, acted as sounding boards and acted as referees.
Shuttleworth is the difference being *hoping* your ideas will take root  and *knowing* they will.

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4 Responses to I have been awarded a Shuttleworth Fellowship to change the world; my first reactions

  1. Kaveh says:

    Congratulation Peter. You deserve it. Look forward to seeing more details of your plans…

  2. Emanuil Tolev says:

    The whole point of scholarship is the creation and *dissemination* of knowledge. This is well-known, every university will say that’s what they do at the highest level. Not IP. Simple as that. I’m not sure why we even have to prefix it with “open” nowadays. (Well, I know why, but I want to reach a point where that’s not necessary, and maybe we’re all closer than we think.)
    So, good luck in liberating scholarship in a perhaps even more daring fashion than your usual!

  3. Noel O'Boyle says:

    Congratulations. Very much looking forward to how you change the world next.

  4. Congratulations Peter! Much deserved. Looking forward to the revolution! –Eric.

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