Many years after we started to use the term open collaboration and after some discussion between the WikiSym steering committee members, here is our definition of “open collaboration”. It provides the umbrella motivation for WikiSym + OpenSym.
Open collaboration is collaboration that is
- egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist),
- meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and
- self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes).
Prime places to find open collaboration are on wikis, on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia Foundation projects, in open source, in open data and open government initiatives, open innovation, citizen engineering, peer production, and so on.