Knowledge Futures Group builds infrastructure for a more effective, equitable, and sustainable knowledge economy.
Knowledge Futures Group is an independent nonprofit organization powered by academic, industry, and advocacy groups. Together we build and support products and protocols to make knowledge open and accessible to all.
Founded in 2018 as a partnership between the MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab, Knowledge Futures Group was created to build sustainable tools and technologies for libraries, presses, museums, activist organizations, researchers, and others whose knowledge work seeks to serve collective understanding and the public. What began as a handful of grad students working on publishing tools grew to an organization focused on addressing the systemic challenges faced by public-oriented groups beholden to infrastructure that is designed with misaligned incentives and unjust power dynamics.
In September 2019 we formally organized as an independent 501c3 nonprofit. Today, we are committed to building a full-stack of technology protocols and products that demonstrate an effective, equitable, and sustainable knowledge economy is possible. We work with partners to design for interoperability and to catalyze a distributed ecosystem of development.
“The Knowledge Futures Group is hiring a software developer to help us build the Underlay, a distributed public knowledge graph. We’re looking for someone with strong full-stack web development skills and an interest in semantic web and decentralized web technologies. You’ll get to work with experimental technologies, make significant contributions to product direction, and help shepherd a research project into the real world. We will pay you competitively with startups, let you work from wherever you want, and take you and your ideas seriously. Join us!…”
“The MIT Knowledge Futures Group is a new joint venture of the MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab. Its ultimate goal is to help build a more sustainable scholarly publishing ecosystem. As we grow — adding resources, new staff and now new advisors — we’re looking to accelerate the path from research breakthrough to application and societal benefit, developing tools that enrich and fortify our knowledge infrastructure. At the same time, we’re trying to galvanize a real movement towards greater institutional and public investment in that infrastructure, by serving as a model for it and partnering actively with aligned initiatives. It’s worth pointing out that MIT has a strong track record in homegrown knowledge infrastructure. It is, after all, the birthplace of Dspace and Open Courseware….”
“The MIT Press announced today the launch of the Knowledge Futures Group (KFG), a first-of-its kind collaboration between a leading publisher and a world-class academic lab to transform how research information is created and shared.
This joint initiative of the MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab seeks to redefine research publishing from a closed, sequential process, into an open, community-driven one. The goal is to develop and deploy technologies that form part of a new open knowledge ecosystem, one that fully exploits the capabilities of the Web to accelerate discovery and the transmission of knowledge.
The effort has thus far received $1.5 million for its initial year of operation, through the generous support of Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and a member of the MIT Media Lab’s Advisory Council; smaller project-specific gifts from Siegel Family Endowment, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Protocol Labs; and several individual donors….”