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Enabling a Living Library: reconciling free voices and intellectual propriety


Enabling a Living Library
Knowledge ecology
Mapping knowledge
Intellectual propriety
Embodying the dilemma
Learning pathways
Existential engagement "beyond the circle"

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Prepared on the occasion of the Dropping Knowledge Event -- Table of Free Voices (Berlin, 9 September 2006)

Centennial achievement

Living knowledge is created by living people -- for all people, all over the world, all over the web. Forget data streams and information overload. Living knowledge is the "compost heap" through which knowledge is recycled to fertilize world wisdom.

As a culmination of a century of work collecting and organizing insights from thousands of interlinked international organizations, the Union of International Associations (UIA) has now enabled construction of a Living Library. The UIA's knowledge structure provides a natural system through which questions posed by people can be interrelated.

Founded in Brussels in 1907, the UIA is an information clearinghouse for all international associations -- currently more than 50,000. Over decades UIA has built up interwoven profiles of over one hundred thousand global problems and solutions, initially in collaboration with the futures research foundation Mankind 2000, inspired by Robert Jungk.

The Living Library is being launched as a major media event by Dropping Knowledge in Berlin at the Humboldt University on 9 September 2006. The powerful symbol of its circular Table of Free Voices, 112 people of wisdom, is a perfect metaphor of the challenge the world faces with thousands of international associations of people separately endeavouring to respond to the same set of questions across the globe. All are challenged by the need for an enabling synthesis for action -- how to elicit, filter and focus valuable insight.

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