Sharism is a philosophy on sharing content and ideas, developed by Isaac Mao. Inspired by user-generated content, sharism states that the act of sharing something within a community produces a proper value for each of its participants: "the more you share, the more you receive".[1] As knowledge is produced through crowdsourcing, this new kind of shared ownership leads to the production of goods and services where value is distributed through the contributions of everyone involved.

Get It Louder Sharism exhibition in Shanghai


Sharism was coined by Isaac Mao in the essay "Sharism: A Mind Revolution" which was originally published in the book Freesouls.[2] Mao draws a comparison between the open distribution model of online information sharing and the neurological networks of the human brain.[3] Following the analogy of an emerging Social Brain, Mao argues that the process of empowering people through sharing leads to collective ways of rethinking social relationships.

Sharism has been particularly focused in China in order to promote the Open Web and combat Internet censorship.[4] Notable proponents of sharism as both a term and practice have included Larry Lessig and Ou Ning. In 2010 during a Creative Commons lecture in Beijing, Lessig mentioned sharism in the context of openness and innovation in creative industries and intellectual property law in China.[5] Also in 2010, Ou in his role as a curator choose sharism as the unifying theme for the Shanghai biennale exhibition "Get It Louder".[6][7][8] In an interview about the exhibition, Ou discussed sharism at length and described it as an "Internet concept" that explores the increasingly convoluted relationship between public and private realms."[9]

Sharism Lab was created in 2012 with the purpose of providing experimental and theoretical background for a real-world implementation of sharism.[10]

Events and by-products

Several types of sharism events have been created for people to meet and share things they like or things they make. Sharism Forum was held in October 2010 at the Get It Louder festival in Shanghai, and gathered international speakers, practitioners and activists to discuss the idea of sharism.

Another event called "Sharism Presents" offers an informal setup for people to share whatever they want with the attending audience. Since 2010, Sharism Presents have been hosted in many cities throughout the world, included: Amsterdam, Shanghai, Beijing, Madrid, Barcelona, Brussels, Berlin, Montreal, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul.

Sharism Workshops provide a framework for collective production through the act of sharing. Workshops have been held in Beijing, Doha and Warsaw and have included musicians, digital artists, and designers.

In order to offer an easy way to share any kind of work online, the Sharing Agreement has been created in order to work around the increasing complexity of licenses.


Many academics point to the downsides of such uncritical belief in the transformative power of technology. User generated content has been reframed as "Loser Generated Content", as the value of this sharing often ends up with companies, and not in the public domain.[11] Within the art world, it has been suggested that there are "dangers of 'sharism", which "lead people to believe that whatever is contemporary must also be avantgarde."[12]

See also


  1. ^ Philips, Jon (2010-10-12). "Sharism: The more you share, the more you receive". Slideshare. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  2. ^ "Sharism: A Mind Revolution".
  3. ^ Ito, Joi; Mao, Isaac & Adams, Christopher (ed.) (December 12, 2008) [1st. Pub. 2008]. "Chapter 8: Sharism: A Mind Revolution". Freesouls Captured and Released by Joi Ito. pp. 115–118. ISBN 978-0982029114.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "We Share. We Do Not Censor". Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  5. ^ Lessig, Larry (November 14, 2010). Openness and Innovation - 开放与创新 (Speech). Renmin University of China Law School, Intellectual Property Institute. Renmin University of China, Beijing. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. See also "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link), "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 9, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
  6. ^ "Get It Louder: Sharism Forum Introduction". Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  7. ^ ""Get It Louder" Exhibition Blasts Beijing and Shanghai with Contemporary Art". Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  8. ^ "Get It Louder: China's Most Influential and Closely-Watched Exhibition of Emerging, Young Talent". Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  9. ^ "Ou Ning on Get it Louder – new voice in China's visual arts scene". Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  10. ^ Sharism Lab Archived May 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Loser Generated Content: from participation to exploitation
  12. ^ Interpreting Theory: Two Models For Importation

External links

Bassel Khartabil

Bassel Khartabil (Arabic: باسل خرطبيل‎), also known as Bassel Safadi (Arabic: باسل صفدي‎), (22 May 1981, Damascus – 3 October 2015) was a Palestinian Syrian open-source software developer. On 15 March 2012, the one-year anniversary of the Syrian uprising, he was detained by the Syrian government at Adra Prison in Damascus. Between then and 3 October 2015, he had been transferred to an unknown location, probably to be judged by a military court. On 7 October 2015, Human Rights Watch and 30 other human rights organizations issued a letter demanding that Khartabil's whereabouts be disclosed. On 11 November 2015, rumors surfaced that Khartabil had been secretly sentenced to death. In August 2017, his wife made public that Khartabil had been executed by the Syrian regime shortly after his disappearance in 2015.Khartabil was born in Damascus and raised in Syria, where he specialized in open source software development. He was chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of collaborative research company Aiki Lab and was CTO of Al-Aous, a publishing and research institution dedicated to archaeological sciences and arts in Syria. He has served as project lead and public affiliate for Creative Commons Syria, and has contributed to Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, Openclipart, Fabricatorz, and Sharism. He "is credited with opening up the Internet in Syria and vastly extending online access and knowledge to the Syrian people."His last work included an open, 3D virtual reconstruction of the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, real time visualization, and development with Fabricatorz for the web programming framework Aiki Framework. This was later created and displayed in his honor.On February 7, 2018, the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship was announced in Bassel's memory. The fellowship awards $50,000, including additional support, to outstanding individuals developing open culture in their communities. The fellowship was created by Creative Commons, Fabricatorz Foundation, Jimmy Wales Foundation, Mozilla, #NEWPALMYRA, and Wikimedia.

Ben NanoNote

The Ben NanoNote (officially the 本 NanoNote) is a pocket computer using the Linux-based OpenWrt operating system. An open-source hardware device developed by Qi Hardware, it has been called possibly "the world's smallest Linux laptop for the traditional definition of the word.". In addition, the Ben NanoNote is noteworthy for being one of the few devices on the market running entirely on copyleft hardware.The computer takes its name from the Chinese character běn (本), translated as "an origin or the beginning place."

Distance education

Distance education or long-distance learning is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Traditionally, this usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via post. Today it involves online education. Courses that are conducted (51 percent or more) are either hybrid, blended or 100% distance learning. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), offering large-scale interactive participation and open access through the World Wide Web or other network technologies, are recent developments in distance education. A number of other terms (distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, virtual classroom etc.) are used roughly synonymously with distance education.

Do-it-yourself biology

Do-it-yourself biology (DIY biology, DIY bio) is a growing biotechnological social movement in which individuals, communities, and small organizations study biology and life science using the same methods as traditional research institutions. DIY biology is primarily undertaken by individuals with extensive research training from academia or corporations, who then mentor and oversee other DIY biologists with little or no formal training. This may be done as a hobby, as a not-for-profit endeavour for community learning and open-science innovation, or for profit, to start a business.


FREESOULS: Captured and Released by Joi Ito is a book by Joi Ito featuring 296 photographic portraits of members of the free culture movement. The project began in 2007 as way for Ito to freely distribute, through a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY), quality photos of the free culture community without the hindrance of copyright or permission. Freesouls also includes eight essays by major figures in the free culture movement, including Howard Rheingold, Lawrence Liang, Cory Doctorow, Isaac Mao, Christopher Adams, Yochai Benkler, Marko Ahtisaari, and a foreword by Lawrence Lessig. Isaac Mao's essay, "Sharism: A Mind Revolution", introduces Sharism for the first time.

The book was published in three editions, as a box set in an edition of 50, a soft-cover book in a print run of 1024, and a regular release. It was edited by Christopher Adams and Sophie Chang.

There is rumour of a Freesouls 2.

Get It Louder

Get It Louder is a Chinese contemporary art festival that began in 2005 and features exhibitions focusing primarily on young Chinese talent within the spheres of art, architecture, design, literature, film and music. Ou Ning helped launch the project with the help of the agency Modern Media and has served as the biennial's main curator for every year to date except 2012. In an interview, Ou said Get It Louder's inception was meant to showcase young Chinese design talent through a series of traveling exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. "Young" in this case is more connected to being "fresh" and "edgy" than a particular age, one of the reasons the older, established artist Ai Weiwei was included in past exhibitions. International, non-Chinese artists and designers have also played a significant part in Get It Louder's exhibitions.

Sharism was the theme for the 2010 exhibition, which Ou described in the same interview as "originat[ing] from issues of collaboration on Internet space, and explores the increasingly convoluted relationship between public and private realms."

Isaac Mao

Isaac Mao (simplified Chinese: 毛向辉; traditional Chinese: 毛向輝; pinyin: Máo Xiànghuī) is a Chinese venture capitalist, software architect, and social media researcher. He is also known for co-founding, doing research in social learning and for developing the philosophy of Sharism. He is the director of the Social Brain Foundation, a vice president of the United Capital Investment Group (2004-2008) and was fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Masha Ma

Masha Ma is a Chinese fashion designer. Her collections have been featured in leading publications such as Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Pop, French Playboy, Cosmopolitan and L'Officiel.

Neville Brody

Neville Brody (born 23 April 1957) is an English graphic designer, typographer and art director.Neville Brody is an alumnus of the London College of Communication and Hornsey College of Art, and is known for his work on The Face magazine (1981–1986), Arena magazine (1987–1990), as well as for designing record covers for artists such as Cabaret Voltaire, The Bongos, and Depeche Mode. He created the company Research Studios in 1994 and is a founding member of Fontworks. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). He is the Dean of the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art, London.

Open-door academic policy

An open-door academic policy, or open-door policy, is a policy if a university accepting to enroll students without asking for evidence of previous education, experience, or references. Usually, payment of the academic fees (or financial support) is all that is required to enroll.

Universities may not employ the open-door policy for all their courses, and those that have a universal open-door policy where all courses have no entry requirements are called open universities. The policy is seen to be a part of the educational revolution. From the dictionary meaning of the open-door policy, which is the idea of granting access to those who want access to the country freely, a similar idea can be drawn in terms of education.According to Deepa Rao, the open-door academic policy is one of the main ways in which adult learners become a part of university/college life. The recognized demand for post-secondary education made many institutions commit strongly to the policy, but many concealed limitations in the policy can prevent some from securing a degree.

Open admissions

Open admissions, or open enrollment, is a type of unselective and noncompetitive college admissions process in the United States in which the only criterion for entrance is a high school diploma or a certificate of attendance or General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

Open collaboration

Open collaboration is "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." It is prominently observed in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists and online communities. Open collaboration is also thought to be the operating principle underlining a gamut of diverse ventures, including bitcoin, TEDx, and Wikipedia.Open collaboration is the principle underlying peer production, mass collaboration, and wikinomics. It was observed initially in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists, Internet communities, and many instances of open content, such as creative commons. It also explains some instances of crowdsourcing, collaborative consumption, and open innovation.Riehle et al. define open collaboration as collaboration based on three principles of egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-organization. Levine and Prietula define open collaboration as "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." This definition captures multiple instances, all joined by similar principles. For example, all of the elements — goods of economic value, open access to contribute and consume, interaction and exchange, purposeful yet loosely coordinated work — are present in an open source software project, in Wikipedia, or in a user forum or community. They can also be present in a commercial website that is based on user-generated content. In all of these instances of open collaboration, anyone can contribute and anyone can freely partake in the fruits of sharing, which are produced by interacting participants who are loosely coordinated.

An annual conference dedicated to the research and practice of open collaboration is the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (OpenSym, formerly WikiSym). As per its website, the group defines open collaboration as "collaboration that is egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist), meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes)."

Open university

An open university is a university with an open-door academic policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. Open universities may employ specific teaching methods, such as open supported learning or distance education. However, not all open universities focus on distance education, nor do distance-education universities necessarily have open admission policies.

P2P Foundation

P2P Foundation: The Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives is an organization with the aim of studying the impact of peer to peer technology and thought on society. It was founded by Michel Bauwens, James Burke and Brice Le Blévennec.The P2P Foundation is a registered institute founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its local registered name is: Stichting Peer to Peer Alternatives, dossier nr: 34264847.

Participatory culture

Participatory culture is an opposing concept to consumer culture — in other words a culture in which private individuals (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (prosumers). The term is most often applied to the production or creation of some type of published media. Recent advances in technologies (mostly personal computers and the Internet) have enabled private persons to create and publish such media, usually through the Internet. Since the technology now enables new forms of expression and engagement in public discourse, participatory culture not only supports individual creation but also informal relationships that pair novices with experts. This new culture as it relates to the Internet has been described as Web 2.0. In participatory culture "young people creatively respond to a plethora of electronic signals and cultural commodities in ways that surprise their makers, finding meanings and identities never meant to be there and defying simple nostrums that bewail the manipulation or passivity of "consumers."The increasing access to the Internet has come to play an integral part in the expansion of participatory culture because it increasingly enables people to work collaboratively; generate and disseminate news, ideas, and creative works; and connect with people who share similar goals and interests (see affinity groups). The potential of participatory culture for civic engagement and creative expression has been investigated by media scholar Henry Jenkins. In 2005, Jenkins and co-authors Ravi Purushotma, Katie Clinton, Margaret Weigel and Alice Robison authored a white paper entitled Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. This paper describes a participatory culture as one:

With relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement

With strong support for creating and sharing one's creations with others

With some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices

Where members believe that their contributions matter

Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).

Qi hardware

Qi hardware is a project which produces copyleft hardware, in an attempt to apply the Free Software Foundation's GNU GPL concept of copylefting software to the hardware layer. The project is both a community of popular open hardware websites and a company, co-founded by Wolfgang Spraul and Yi Zhang, that makes hardware products. Formed from the now defunct Openmoko project, key members went on to form Qi Hardware Inc. and Sharism At Work Ltd. Thus far, the project has released the Ben Nanonote, the Milkymist One, and the Ben WPAN wireless project to create a copyleft wireless platform.

Copyleft hardware is essentially requiring that all plans for hardware design (i.e. schematics, bill of materials and PCB layout data) are released under the Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) and that the software needed to both manufacture the device and at least some software, including device drivers, necessary to use the hardware is released under the GNU General Public License. Technology for copyleft hardware are to be patent-free, and hence, all hardware which is Qi hardware is to be released early, often and publicly on the Internet.

The primary examples of Qi hardware projects are the Ben NanoNote pocket computer, Elphel 353 video camera and Milkymist One video synthesizer.

Social peer-to-peer processes

Social peer-to-peer processes are interactions with a peer-to-peer dynamic. These peers can be humans or computers. Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a term that originated from the popular concept of the P2P distributed computer application architecture which partitions tasks or workloads between peers. This application structure was popularized by file sharing systems like Napster, the first of its kind in the late 1990s.

The concept has inspired new structures and philosophies in many areas of human interaction. P2P human dynamic affords a critical look at current authoritarian and centralized social structures. Peer-to-peer is also a political and social program for those who believe that in many cases, peer-to-peer modes are a preferable option.

Zhao Yao

Zhao Yao (Chinese language: 赵要, born 1981 in Sichuan, China) is an artist in installations as well as performance, video and photography. He grew up in Sichuan and currently lives and works in Beijing.

Zuoxiao Zuzhou

Zuoxiao Zuzhou (Chinese: 左小祖咒) (b. Yancheng, March 4, 1970), real name Wu Hongjin, (吴红巾), is a Chinese musician and artist.

Zuoxiao Zuzhou is also a notable music producer. He has produced and arranged Chinese famous artist Ai Weiwei's first rock album The Divine Comedy. The soundtracks from the album are featured prominently in Ai Weiwei's documentary films.

Growing up, he founded the rock band No and was a member of the Beijing East Village art collective. He has also contributed to the Huayi Chinese Festival of Arts at the Esplanade, Singapore, and provided vocals for the song "A Walk in the Park" on Cowboy Junkies 2010 album Renmin Park. In 2008, he released the two-disc You Know Where the East Is.The meaning of Wu Hongjin's stage name, Zuoxiao ( 左 "left", 小 "little") Zuzhou (祖 "ancestor" , 咒 "curse") reflects that everyone called him "unclear" or "unreliable" (没谱, méipǔ). or, that it is just for sound and has no meaning.

Concepts and
Projects and

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