Open Climate

The Open Climate collective formed as a collaboration between colleagues from the open technology, data & knowledge movements who felt the pressing need to address the missing opportunities for collaboration in climate action through building a space to understand and instigate links between the planetary and the digital commons. Open Environmental Data Project co-convenes this collective as part of our mission to leverage the tools and methods of open data towards a healthy environmental future. We organize this work on the Appropedia Wiki.

In 2020, Open Climate started to investigate the promises and challenges of articulating intersectional open and climate movements. In June 2021, we published an article, “Open Climate Now", on the experience of organizing a series of debates with activists, researchers, and technologists on the possibilities of bridging the ecological and the technological commons. In the article a broad vision was articulated: “The open movement with its values, community and action has the potential to greatly contribute to climate research and activism, and climate scientists and organizers should join the fight for the (digital) commons. We need open climate action, and we need it now!”

Our first season of talks was organized between March and September of 2021 with members of the broader open climate community to explore the question of “openness” in climate research and activism. What resulted from our conversations was a set of points of convergence and divergence to be further explored for the purposes of advancing collaborative work across technological and ecological domains of collective action. The guest speakers and participants who joined us bridged various academic disciplines and domains of political practice (sciences, humanities, community organizing, alternatives to intellectual property). Many had a strong background in the open movement (Free and Open Source software, data, hardware and science) and others brought invaluable global experiences that are sorely lacking in the Euro-American ecological discussion.

In 2022, we are expanding on these initial talks, but also bringing them to concrete action through workshops and public seminars. Here are some of the things to expect for 2022:

  • Season Two of our Open Climate Community Calls.
  • Piloting a model for community workshops. If you have a question that you think members of the open movement could help solve (e.g. how do we open data used in the IPCC reports?) and are interested in convening a workshop, please reach out.
  • Drafting the syllabus for a public seminar on the question of the planetary and digital commons. Our seminar will be open to the public and will have a hybrid format, so it can be taken as a course for those who are interested in diving deep into the literature on the commons.

Additional resources and links: