Launch of the Open Policy Network

The Saylor Academy is a member organization of the Open Policy Network. In concert with other members, we are pleased to share the following message.

We are excited to announce the launch of the Open Policy Network. The Open Policy Network, or OPN for short, is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to support the creation, adoption, and implementation of policies that require that publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources. The website of the Open Policy Network is http://openpolicynetwork.org

Increasingly, governments around the world are sharing huge amounts of publicly funded research, data, and educational materials. The key question is, do the policies governing the procurement and distribution of publicly funded materials ensure the maximum benefits to the citizens those policies are meant to serve? When open licenses are required for publicly funded resources, there is the potential to massively increase access to and re-use of a wide range of materials, from educational content like digital textbooks to the results of scholarly research to troves of valuable public sector data. The $2 billion U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT grant program is an example of a policy whereby publicly funded education and training materials are being made available broadly under an open intellectual property license.

There is a pressing need for education, advocacy, and action to see a positive shift in supporting open licensing for publicly-funded materials. The Open Policy Network will share information among its members, recruit new advocates, and engage with policymakers worldwide. The OPN members are diverse in content area expertise and geographic location.

The Saylor Academy is a part of the Open Policy Network because, as an organization, we have benefited enormously from openly-licensed works created by individuals and by other organizations. We believe that, in addition to the positive effects to the public described above, encouraging open policies also has a “trickle-down” effect — as people learn about and enjoy open content, they will be more likely to create and re-create their own open content. Our work and our community will be among the many beneficiaries of this virtuous cycle.

With today’s launch, the Open Policy Network members are announcing our first project, the Institute for Open Leadership. Through a week-long summit with experts, accepted fellows will get hands-on guidance to develop a capstone project for implementation in their organization or institution. The Institute for Open Leadership will help train new leaders in education, science, and public policy fields on the values and implementation of openness in licensing, policies, and practices.

The Open Policy Network is free to join and anyone is welcomed as long as s/he agrees to contribute and abide by the mission and guiding principles. More information on the Open Policy Network is available at the website, Google Group, Twitter, and Facebook.

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