Freesouls, Creative Commons, Participative Pedagogy
December 30th, 2008

Howard Rheingold
Joi Ito, who first showed me a personal home page on the Web in 1994, has become an astonishing citizen of the Net, with his work on ICANN, Witness, and many other projects. More recently, Larry Lessig passed the leadership torch of Creative Commons to Joi.

A couple years ago, Joi and I had a conversation about creativity, and I encouraged him to tap his own, through any medium that appealed to him. I don’t know if that conversation was the proximate cause, but he started doing some extraordinary photography not long after that. When he noticed that many entries about living people in Wikipedia lacked photographs, he realized that his travels brought him into contact with many of those people, so he created the “freesouls” tag that indicated photographs that could be used for purposes like Wikipedia and other public goods. More recently, he has compiled some of the best of these pix into a book, Freesouls. A limited edition is on sale, benefitting Creative Commons.

It was my honor and privilege to write an essay for this book, “Participative Pedagogy for a Literacy of Literacies.” Other essays are by Lawrence Liang, Cory Doctorow, Yochai Benkler, Isaac Mao and Marko Ahtisaari.


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