Evolution and future of the knowledge commons: emerging opportunities and challenges for less developed societies

  • Sebastião Ferreira
Keywords: knowledge commons, international development, global common goods, knowledge sharing


This article addresses the emerging field of the knowledge commons in relation to the challenges of international development. It reviews the history of academic knowledge and innovation since the Enlightenment, its evolution and current trends, with the purpose of exploring the future of the knowledge commons. Assuming that knowledge is the most important resource in the twenty-first century, the intention of this article is to map the conditions necessary to take advantage of this resource. What are the barriers to accessing and using the global common pool of knowledge that is currently being generated? The supply and the demand sides of the knowledge sharing equation are reviewed to understand their particularities and trends. Particular attention is given to the demand side of this equation in order to identify the obstacles that prevent people from less developed countries from taking full advantage of this fast-growing resource.


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