The Includer stays alive, as an idea, thanks to last year’s Knight News Challenge. At the Las Vegas awards ceremony, I told one of the judges, maybe I got lucky? He assured me that I won because my idea was original. A billion people live within walking distance to the Internet, but there is no device for them, no Includer, so that they might read and write emails at home onto a USB flash drive, and then upload and download them once a week at an Internet cafe.


Andrius Kulikauskas / The Includer from Knight News Challenge on Vimeo.

I love to workopenly. The Knight News Challenge has us publicly share our proposals. Hundreds of them are pouring in today, the last day. How many of them are original ideas? Myself, I don’t care. I have no shortage of ideas. Out of context, they are worthless. Instead, I am looking for context. Wealth is relationships. How can we build relationships? How might we include the unincluded, the people who are “out of the loop”? Isn’t that how we create wealth?

I have sifted through a few hundred of the proposals. I hope they aren’t taken down. I’ve noted the ones that I believe create context. I left comments. I wish them luck. I hope they might consider working together, working for free, alongside each other, so that our endeavors might evolve together, and we grow together as well. This is the logic of my Minciu Sodas laboratory for independent thinkers. (Write to me at ms@ms.lt !)

The News Challenge website leaves it unclear, who are the authors of the proposals? which frustrates our chances to work together. I am trying even so because tomorrow they may all be dashed, like sand at a beach.

Underincluded Regions

I am moved by all efforts in faraway places.

I note two projects in Chicago, a city which wouldn’t be accepted into NATO, where forty-nine of fifty aldermen belong to the same party, there is a depopulation of Black American neighborhoods which I say is ethnic cleansing, and citizens accept it all as normal, “the city that works”. WindyCitizen.com is A Crowd-Powered Front Page For Chicago and LISC proposes Chicago Neighborhood News Bureau. How can we all work together, in the Public Domain, and reach out to include thinkers such as David Ellison-Bey, as is Charles Williams?

Underincluded Groups

At our lab, Kennedy Owino, Mark Roest, Janet Feldman, Wendi Losha Bernadette and Benoit Couture have stirred to reach out to the Differently Abled. I am stirred by several proposals which reach out to specific groups:

Open Culture

Several projects cultivate the sharing of content. How might we share people?

Emergency Response

My priority for the Minciu Sodas laboratory is a thriving help room much as we had this year to avert genocide in Kenya. I am very interested in disaster management efforts. Can we work together?

The Challenge

The Knight News Challenge is learning how to support open culture. This year all proposals were expected to be public. The Garage provided public support. Perhaps some day soon the review process will likewise be open and public. I wish the content was all straight and out Public Domain, rather than the worst-of-breed “share alike” Creative Commons license, which is incompatible with the Public Domain.

Open culture is the interplay of open people rather than open ideas. I proposed an idea, but actually, I proposed to bring it to life. I and my team didn’t win funding to build Includers. Instead, I won the chance to blog about them at the PBS Idealab website. But what is the point of blogging about a one-year-old idea? My challenge is to link together those who care and bring to life something new. The challenge I bring to the Knight Foundation is to call for knights – for champions – for includers, rather than for ideas like the Includer.