Open Everything

In September 2008, Web of Change presented the first Open Everything Conference at Hollyhock Centre on Cortes Island.


Mark Surman, Allen Gunn, Michael Lewkowitz, David Eaves

The Open Everything Retreat group

Why open?

As we work for a better world, many of us have intuitively started to combine the values and tactics of different kinds of 'open'. Open space meetings. Open source software. Open public policy. Open networks. Open philanthropy. Open. Open is at once disruptive and transformational – a new way of working. And while Wikipedia and open source software serve as easy examples, open thinking and doing have spread well beyond the realm of technology. People are exploring ways to embody openness, connectedness and emergence in all aspects of their social change work – and they're getting traction.

What's open?

Wikipedia sparks communities everywhere to give every one on the planet access to knowledge. The World Social Forum attracts 10,000s of activists around programs that organize themselves. The Shuttleworth Foundation applies open source thinking to the practice of philanthropy. Renewal Partners weaves the companies it funds into a regional sustainability ecology. The people behind this work exemplify open thinking, doing and being. The Open Everything retreat is for people like these.

Why now?

It's time to step back, take stock, reflect and dig deeper. It's time to learn from each other and get better at what we do. This is work that matters. The Open Everything retreat is about helping us take that work to the next level, giving us the tools and insights to spread this work further and faster.


Communicopia Internet
Shuttleworth Foundation




The conference wiki is chalk full on notes from the sessions, handy links, a reading list, and connections to other groups working on open:

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"Imagine a civilized north-south exchange, a serene setting providing for all your basic needs, a gathering bringing together hard working, wonky, driven, and passionate beings engaging diverse communities. Web of Change participants are coming up with answers to perennially difficult questions around justice, fairness, the pursuit of happiness and how we can construct and sustain good governance."
Ibrahim Abdul-Matin