Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) is an organization that searches for better outcomes, including new solutions, to the management of knowledge resources. There are probably 5 billion people who live in the margins of the global economy, and an entire planet that depends upon knowledge for economic and personal development, education and health, political power and freedom, culture and fun. We are just now learning about the opportunities to manage knowledge resources in ways that are more efficient, more fair, and responsive to human needs.
KEI undertakes and publishes research and new ideas, engages in global public interest advocacy, provides technical advice to governments, NGOs and firms, enhances transparency of policy making, monitors actions of key actors, and provides forums for interested persons to discuss and debate Knowledge Ecology topics.
KEI is an international organization, maintaining offices in Washington, D.C. and Geneva, with an international board and staff.
KEI was created as an independent legal organization in 2006, assimilating the staff and work program of the Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech), while redefining the mission of the organization. The choice of the name was the product of a long debate. “Knowledge ecology” is a term that captured the notion that our work focuses broadly on the social aspects of the creation, management and control of and access to knowledge resources. KEI is known for its work on norm-setting and appropriate implementation of intellectual property rules, but also on other topics, such as the business and social models for remunerating creative and inventive communities, the development and management of standards in technology markets, the improvement of mechanisms to enhance access to knowledge, incentives and systems for the transfer of technology to developing countries, as well as the polar opposites — efforts to protect privacy or discourage nuclear proliferation. KEI is also engaged in issues as diverse as freedom of speech, authors’ rights, access to public sector information, new models for publishing, organizing and sharing information, strategies and policies to curb media concentration, public interest regulation of telecommunication markets, consumer protection, resolution of disputes involving the cross-border movement of knowledge goods and services, and other topics. Everything just described and many other areas of interest to KEI fit comfortably within the term “knowledge ecology.”
VALUES AND PRIORITIES
As a non-profit organization, KEI is particularly drawn to areas where current business models and practices by businesses, governments or other actors fail to address social needs, and where there are opportunities for sustainable improvements, focusing on the systems for the creation, control, management and access to knowledge and knowledge goods and services.
KEI is focused on social justice, particularly for the most vulnerable populations, including low-income persons and marginalized groups. KEI also addresses other areas of public interest advocacy that benefit broader populations, such as finding new methods of supporting artists, or addressing the problems of developing new medicines and vaccines, or discouraging nuclear proliferation.