16 – Making a Childrensbook about Open Source
— an open idea pitch by illustrator Ottilie —
Some of the stories we read as a child stay with us all our life. So probably the stories we tell our kids are the stories that shape our future. Open source is also a cultural story of sharing and collaboration. So why not make a book based on sharing and collaboration?
Why a children’s book?
First of all: because it’s fun to make one. (At least for me that’s true.) Second: I believe in the idea of open source being a very practical aspect of creating a sustainable future. The children’s book would bring the idea of open source to a new audience; thus increasing the chance to be adopted by more people, allowing for more transparency, circularity, open knowledge and well-being in general. *pling*
How make it?
This kind of book should push every button possible to be as open source as possible. The design process, for example would be well-documented, collaborative and more open than usual. Like right here. This window post is an invitation to you to join in and think with me, raise questions and suggest answers. Maybe you got useful insights to share, maybe someone you know has the same idea. Here is what I got so far:
How do we tell the story of open source? How does open source connect to the reader? Do we go by a classic narration OR a 360°-overview with a line-up of (super-well-illustrated) open source aspects?
Can I still use proprietary software for this project? (No. Yet admittingly, I just failed for the picture above…) Do I need to learn how to use Inkscape and Gimp? (Yes, if you’re an illustrator, this would be part of the project.) Which tools should we use for collaboration – owncloud, github, dragon dreaming? How about a 5-day design sprint? What skill set do we need – open source magicians, storytellers, illustrators, designers, software architects, printers and most importantly: a facilitator …? How can we have fun and be healthy working together on this? (yes, generation-Y wants fun while working aka backrubs, tea, yoga, stretching, fresh air…)
What parameters should we follow? – Let’s make it: as eco-friendly as possible, dogmatically open source, circular, beautiful, practical and fun to use?
Is a book the right medium for this information? Should we create a digital version, since it’s digital-natives-time? Who is this book meant for, anyhow – kids or their parents? Should it be interactive? Should we leave blanks and forks laying around? (Most definitely.)
How can this book be made ‚remixable‘? Should the print files be open, so content can be adjusted to different lingual and cultural needs? How does that information fork back in to the original book design?
How would it be (crowd)funded? What about the profit – donate it? To whom? And who is „we“, anyhow?
Production & Distribution
Once we’re clear on who ‚we‘ is: How can we distribute the book in an eco-friendly, circular and decentralized way? Who would want the book in their shelves? Libraries, schools, universities…?
So many questions, indirectly suggesting answers. What do you say, does the world need our children’s book about open source? Feel free to drop us an answer in this pirate pad.
You can find this text documented on github. The offline kick-off will take place in Berlin in January gathering those interested (online & offline) to join the concept creation phase and discuss further steps.