Contact recently presented Open Your World, an online forum exploring how the open source ideals of participation, collaboration, community, transparency and meritocracy are applied beyond the technology industry. The forum featured ten presentations focused on open source applications across a variety of areas from music, government and business to healthcare, law and education. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting a series of blogs highlighting and recapping presentations from Open Your World.

Dr. David Upton, chair in Operations Management at Oxford University, kicked off the forum with a presentation entitled, “Radically Simple IT…Or, a Strategic Argument for Open Source in Business.” Dr. Upton highlighted how open source principles can help business leaders transform how they approach and engage the more traditional strategic planning process. Read more about Dr. Upton’s presentation here. To hear Dr. Upton’s specific advice for designing for improvement, including his definition of improvable systems and the necessity of open source thinking to bring them to life, listen to his archived talk.

Dr. John Halamka, CIO of Harvard Medical School, delivered a presentation entitled “The Stimulus and Standards.” He talked about the future of healthcare, the economic stimulus and standards. Dr. Halamka maintains a datacenter that holds a couple of petabytes of healthcare data for three million patients. The entire infrastructure runs on Red Hat technologies and Dr. Halamka hasn’t experienced downtime in a couple of years. Listen to his archived talk here. Watch the below video of Dr. Halamka talking about Open Your World.

Michael Tiemann, Red Hat’s vice president, Open Source Affairs, pulled double duty as host of Open Your World and also as presenter of the session “Transformation, the Open Source Way.” In his presentation, Tiemann applies the lessons of Darwin to Deming toward transforming the model of IT using the open source way. Adaptability leads to reuse, which leads to sustainability. Read more about Tiemann’s presentation here. Listen to the archived presentation here.

Going to Red Hat Summit and JBoss World in Boston next week? Be sure to catch the session on Friday, June 25 from 9:45-10:45 a.m. ET. Come talk about the ways you’re using open source principles–sharing, collaboration, transparency–outside of your IT department. offers a space to discuss applying those open source principles beyond technology.

In this session, some of the moderators and contributors–Michael Tiemann, Richard Fontana, Paul Frields, Ruth Suehle, and Jason Hibbets–will discuss the community and how to get involved. They will also share some of the open source stories they’ve heard since the site launched. During Q&A, they hope you’ll take the chance to share your own story.

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