About

The Institute for Open Source Technologies, is a research and advocacy organisation which focuses on open source technologies. A special emphasis is placed on the intersection of cutting edge technologies and emerging ethics. We support development programs to ensure the democratisation of technology is ethically achieved in a manner that optimises for self-actualisation instead of profit. We also produce reports on various emerging technologies and trends to ensure ethical issues are addressed.

We have a wide range of programs and projects that support various open source technologies for a wide range of organisations ranging from independent to state level. We endeavour to enable civic minded organisations to migrate to “paperless” platforms and support rapid modernisation in front-line communities which are affected by climate change.

Our research programs regularly develop reports on AI safety and ethical issues to ensure that challenges with the alignment problem are explored, such as in situations when AI optimises for profit instead of sometimes difficult to quantify intrinsic values such as human rights. Our aim is to minimise damage from the disruptions across the economy as a consequence of not only technological change but also climate change.

We also develop solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more productive in optimizing for sustainable growth and circular economies. We utilize open source technologies and methodologies to these ends.

The idea is to take a comprehensive approach which evolves quickly with the needs of our constituents and are not domain specific. What this means is, we try to maintain constant connection with our deployments, at no additional cost to the end user, which allows us to create an information feedback loop for a continuous integration / continuous improvement of any deployed code.

We understand there are many paper-only bureaucratic processes which create barriers of entry for enterprenurial efforts which can then lead to capture and redirection funding into local corruption effots and results in the types of dysfunctional aid programs such as those listed in the book “Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa” by Dambisa Moyo (Author)

Because of the feedback process is maintained we are also able to provide desktop support, as well as provide a bit of remote oversight into project\processes though which we can provide guidance.

These become points of entry for several other initiatives, such as providing online education geared for all age ranges not just k-12. We have found that remotely providing technical expertise and “remote hands” services is often the lowest cost way to enable deployment of advanced technologies even when its expensive to have technical individuals on-site.

We also encourage taking an experimental approach to business development, with the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, however there are one-size-fits many solutions which can each be documented and publicly available to be re-used, this is the essence of the open source philosophy which can then be used to develop transparent business processes which leads to accountability being embedded into the processes and can do a lot to mitigate corrupt practices.

The staff have a unique background in leveraging high performance teams and cutting edge technologies to meet business needs for companies ranging in size from 5 to 5,000 employees. This range of experience has honed our skills at not only gathering requirements from clients, but often times there is a process of explaining the implications of their choices and then giving them time to explore and resubmit their requirements. Then our engineers can begin to architect solutions to fit their requirements, and then go beyond what normal consultancy would and deploy those solutions, with options for in-house deployment, discounted deployment within our own data-center, or deployment in the cloud. These solutions typically include capacity planning and risk management / disaster recovery options to ensure the solutions are robust.

The Institute for Open Source Technologies has extensive experience in enabling change agents in organisations to create upgrade paths when feasible, and process documentation (which is provided by iOST) which enables the organisation wide adoption of new technologies or processes.

History:
The Center for Open Source Technologies was founded in 2011 to provide technical support to grassroots organizing, with some initial success there were also many setbacks and this is the 4th iteration of the website.