Asian Regional Meeting: Final Day
Excited by the amount of knowledge that was on during the first day of the conference, I was eager for the final day of the conference to unfold. After being together for almost 12 hours on the last day, the faces were familiar for us making a livelier affair on day two; the gesture of the people during the tea break was evident of it.
The panel discussion on “Open in Global Health/Research Culture in Asia” moderated by Dr. Roshan Karn, a doctor by profession and open by knowledge, kicked off the program. Dr. Rajendra Kumar BC highlighted the need for the research to be innovative and should be done with enthusiasm. Prof. Dr. Pradeep Vaidya expressed the prevalent classical views of many senior researchers have not allowed the research paper to be more open in than it should be in this generation. He also encouraged youths and early stage researchers to do research not for the sake of academic degree but for the global reach and impact.
The next session was from Kathleen Shearer, executive director of COAR, regarding open repositories and the role of next generation repository in supporting openness. Citing the international publishing system is broken in her opening slides, it opened up the reality and the need to create trusted, sustainable global knowledge commons. “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together!” with this motto, she described how everyone should contribute in making this progressive and better.
Then the session became more interactive with three workshops taking place simultaneously in three separate places, and within one workshop the teams were formed. It helped in getting to know about each other and create the web of understanding. The workshops were on open access, open education and open data. I was in the open access workshop hoping to learn more from Nick. Personally, the workshop gave me the chance to be acquainted with open access terms and terminologies related with it. Upon hearing other participants review, the session became fruitful for everyone.
The lunch break became much more noisy and happening part. After almost 18 hours of staying together, people were finally getting to know about each other. Delegates from Bangladesh were chatting with Nepali, Nepali with Americans; Indian with Pakistani, Indonesian with Chinese and so much life was on the lunch table. It became a cosmopolitan and something like melting pot phenomena. Seeing all those sights made me realize the human sight we all have, sharing ideas, affection, showing that need to collaborate and making friends, after all we are social being.
After the lunch session, it didn’t feel like we were having a formal meeting, it felt like a family reunion, the family of OPEN. Shortly after lunch break, a workshop on creative common license was held. It provided with the facet of creative common license and the types of it. For the topics discussed in the workshop, you can refer these websites:
Then the session headed towards group discussion assisted by Reggie, Roshan and Nick. The teams were formed to discuss the things that can be done in the future in moving forward the open movement. Most of the teams advocated for the umbrella governing and supervising body to be formed in Asia to make this movement and the networks built in this meeting intact and take it to another level. The work done by Reggie Raju, representative of Africa, played the key role in building this system.
The initial team of six people was formed comprising active participants of 6 different countries of Asia which were present in the conference; the team would be coordinated by Nikesh Balami from Nepal. This team now works to form SPARC Asia and bring more Asian countries under this umbrella. There is no doubt the team will give its best, but then there is a role be played by all of us, we should help them in all means. We should be ready to help or if not channelize the network of help. It’s now upon us all to take this movement to new heights.
After almost 22 hours spent together, Heather Joseph gave the inspiring ending remarks. The tweets that mentioned her speech sums up the level of inspiration that it has given for continuing the walk of open access pretty much gives the hint into her presentation.
Day turned into evening, and the evening turned into the openness of heart at its most. With the cultural program and of course, who forget the crazy dance party after the cocktail dinner, it turned out to be joyous nightfall. The sight was something to be behold of, all those human emotions were visible and the realization of who we are, we were homo sapiens, a common species living in planet earth divided by boundaries but having similar excitement and emotions. With the vow to make this network and conference meaningful, we with all the hearts realized the openness in data to create the borderless world and making the knowledge accessible to all.
Dikpal Khatri Chhetry