Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Over the years I've seen a lot of influence from foundations in the areas of pedagogy, policy, and open educational resources. Most of it, including especially money for international development, seems to flow toward the expert fundraisers at institutions like Harvard, Stanford and MIT. And instead of promoting access and inclusion, it supports models where free and open public resources, like MOOCs and OERs, become 'sustainable' private commercial goods. As this Guardian article states, "The common assumption that philanthropy automatically results in a redistribution of money is wrong. A lot of elite philanthropy is about elite causes. Rather than making the world a better place, it largely reinforces the world as it is. Philanthropy very often favours the rich – and no one holds philanthropists to account for it." The same money, governed democratically, would do much more good. But that, of course, would cede power - the one thing philanthropy is designed not to do. Via Doug Belshaw.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Sept 27, 2020 1:59 p.m.