Last week I participated in a panel at the Center for Global Development with Scott McNealy, Chairman of Sun Microsystems. Dave Witzel, a visiting senior program associate at CGD and I shared the Q and A session with McNealy, and while the three of us approach the issue of transparency from very different perspectives, there was no disagreement about the answer to the basic question — whether sharing and openness is a good thing, does it really matter?
The obvious answer was "yes." McNealy articulated a whole host of reasons why it matters, not only to his company, but also for the rest of the world. Dave and I amplified his core thoughts. But for the most part the audience, made up of people from international agencies, foundations, non-profits, think tanks, consulting firms, academia, and publishing, appeared a bit dubious, or perhaps, it was just the first time that they had been exposed to the notion of what sharing and openness means in the 21st century. There is alot of education to be done.
Dave has a detailed write up about the event here.