The hi:project update 3 – the Web Science Trust and Linaro

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2015 is the year of the hi:project.

A bold claim, and undoubtedly one that will only prove true with your continued support.

It’s five months since the project went public, and this news update is going to 120 people who are part of our project because you’re attracted to one or more of its facets: realising the citizen-centric internet of things; personal data and privacy; vendor relationship management; digital inclusion; accessibility; quantified self; disintermediation; social business; and the re-decentralization of the interwebs.

The Web Science Trust

This week I was invited to present our project to the Web Science Trust board and to debate privacy with the former Deputy CTO of Internet Policy, The White House, Daniel Weitzner, and Drs. Claudia Pagliari and Kieron O’Hara. AND I got to drive one of the co-inventors of the semantic web, Professor James Hendler, to the pub 🙂

I was keen to underline that the hi:project nudges today’s network towards improved privacy, re-decentralization, inclusivity and accessibility, naturally. It makes good commercial sense (more on which below), and places no additional (read “avoidable”) burden on individuals – a flaw in many a personal data store initiative for example.

You can find the stack on the hi:project blog, and this great PDF listing the facets of the hi:project with some of your lovely champion statements. Thanks as always to Nic at Karoshikula for helping to bring these to life.

I’ll keep you posted on this conversation.


Our primary focus right now has to be the formation of a full-time engineering team. Everyone loves our vision it seems but at some point you’d expect some code on Github right?! So I’m delighted to say that we’re working with an organization that supports this type of collaboration “building the future of Open Source Software on ARM”.

Linaro is a not-for-profit engineering organization specializing in the development of non-differentiating technology for members such as Cisco, Fujitsu, Qualcomm, AMD, Citrix, Comcast and HP. These companies contribute money and engineers, with the money used to hire more engineers.

We’re in dialogue with potential corporate members of the hi:project, and with your help we want to get more in the diary. Should you have any connections with organizations you believe would or should be involved please feel free to start that conversation as a hi:project member yourself. Or simply make introductions.

You might also know the odd ‘high net worth’ individual who would love to help us get this show on the road for good old-fashioned altruistic and perhaps philosophical reasons.

Commercial sense

Why the open and non-profit hi:project is good business …

Internet of things – The hi:project enables the Internet of Things as a marvelous instrumentation of the planet, a fabulous sensory network, by attenuating the risk of it being, or perceived as being, an Orwellian dystopia. By putting power in everyone’s hands with the hi:project, those organizations with a vested interest in all things #IoT can contribute and derive the value more quickly. In other words, it makes good commercial sense.

Re-decentralization – Competitive motivations may play a role. The hi:project will likely challenge the dynamics of some markets where a few dominant players have centralized the action to their advantage. If you compete against such firms, the hi:project makes commercial sense.

Disintermediating relationships – Some organizations are attracted to the potential to disintermediate relationships with customers and citizens, often for the very first time. Another focus may be medical data.

Values – The hi:project empowers people, and how can enlightened corporates fail to take a shining to that? Corporate support of the hi:project may then be aligned perfectly with a company’s mission, vision and values, perhaps from a CSR perspective.

Design – Companies for whom design is the core competence – not so much UI in the narrow but rather design in its broadest sense – may want to be in on the ground floor here.

Thank you

Thanks again. It’s a privilege to be working with you on something that has such broad and deep significance. I’ll leave you with this on accessibility from the Business Disability Forum:

“We believe the hi:project has the potential to dramatically improve interaction in the digital space for the many millions of people who are already disabled and the millions more who will become disabled as they age.  For some people in this group the benefits could literally be life changing.”

Best regards, Philip.

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