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Open Innovation and Open Source: A Guide for Content Developers

Robert Ketner, The Tech Museum, USA


There are clear advantages to working in collaboration with outside partners when developing exhibits and museum content. The actual structure of these collaborations can take many forms. This report outlines approaches to engaging with outside talent on three levels of commitment (Casual Contribution, Mentored Development, and Expert Networks) as may be required for different projects. Categories of methods for open innovation can be applied to create a manageable structure for the contributions (Orchestra, Creative Bazaar, Jam Session, and Mod Station models). A range of stages of completion, from ideas to completed content, can be expected from such collaboration efforts. Last, some findings from The Tech Virtual project are described.

Keywords: co-creation, collaboration, design, participation,prototyping, open source

1. Introduction

There are many options for approaching collaboration with external groups of contributors on creative projects. In many cases, people can collaborate without physical meetings, by using Internet-based exchanges such as forums, online video chats, and even immersive virtual worlds. Collaborative projects that use in-person working sessions can also be augmented with online documentation, making local work accessible to a much wider group.

The Tech Virtual project launched in late 2007 with the goal of applying the latest in open, online collaboration methods and tools to the creation of museum content. It is composed of an online platform (a website with user-generated content) and three-dimensional modeling resources that are located in an online virtual world prototyping space. The project was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and is hosted by The Tech Museum in San Jose, California. So far the project has incorporated the formal participation of more than twenty institutions and 1,200 individual site members, who have generated more than 400 exhibit designs and video projects. In January 2012 the project was expanded and renamed The Tech Open Source (

Navigating a forest of opportunities

Although there are clear benefits for creative projects from external input and collaborations, the methods of proceeding through these exercises can vary widely. Many levels can be navigated, from the simplest user feedback to deeper partnerships over longer time periods. New online tools arise daily and create opportunities to exchange ideas and designs in novel ways. Project leaders are often in the position of needing to develop expertise with these new tools while simultaneously learning how to create a structure for the collaborative relationships.

Core purpose

The main purpose of open innovation is to provide a conduit through which new ideas can come into the institution from outside, in a structured way.  These new ideas and influences can come from unexpected sources.  An open approach can also become a valuable community-building process, bringing experts, enthusiasts, and staff together around an exhibition or topic.

Overall, the project has sought to improve the level of sharing and collaboration among science and technology centers. In an industry that is geographically distributed, exhibitions in development at one institution are not visible to others without physical travel.  The efficiencies of posting in-progress work online then become obvious.

Many exhibit productions are undertaken without the benefit of having any “prior art” knowledge of in-progress or even completed projects at other institutions. Knowledge of exploratory work and even half-formed ideas can be of immense value in these situations.

Our project seeks to improve the well-known situation in which institutions are working in their own local silos, “reinventing the wheel” with each new exhibit project.  A collaborative forum for the field invigorates the pace of innovation and the level of competition by exposing this previously opaque or seemingly irrelevant information. In addition, it provides an open venue for outside input and discussion that was not previously available.

Terms used in The Tech Open Source

Guided by similar open-source working methods (like those used in software development, for example), the project is structured around a few key components and concepts.

Open Innovation

Open innovation can be defined as “a means of production for innovation” (Castro, 2010) and is generally achieved by opening up the organization to allow the contribution of new ideas from outside contributors toward a product or goal.

Open Source

Open source in the context of this project refers to methods of collaborating with outside participants using online materials. Open source projects may start with or without a base of source material. Open source projects do not necessarily use open source software and may still involve intellectual property.


A request is an online posting of an open opportunity to contribute. It is similar to a design brief or a request for proposal. It contains a title, a one-line “big idea,” a description, and beginning and end dates. This approach traces its roots to the open-source software-development method of using a “Request for Comments,” which originated in the very earliest days of the development of the Internet (Wikipedia, 2012).


A project is a reply to a request. It too is composed of a title, a “big idea,” and a text description. A project can be as simple as a text description of an idea, or it can be an elaborate effort that evolves over the life of the Request.

2. Other Approaches to Open Collaboration and Open Source

Visitor participation and crowdsourcing

The Tech Open Source differs from other open efforts that have appeared in the field, in that it is a forum specifically for design work in progress.  This should be considered separately from the range of participatory practices where visitor participation is a primary goal (Brown and Novak-Leonard, 2011).  The approach also differs from most “crowdsourcing” methods, in which defined tasks are distributed across a group of individuals to complete. In purely crowd-sourced projects, the contributed work is essential to the completion of the product, and contributors often participate without full information about, or interest in, the end product that is being produced. The purpose of this project’s open source approach is to facilitate collaboration during the ideation and planning stages.

Other online venues

In contrast, Exhibit Files ( is a forum for exhibit reviews and case studies of fully completed exhibits. Open Exhibits ( focuses on software development, using a modular approach with customizable and interoperable templates, user-interface elements, and utilities. Exhibit Commons, a project by Liberty Science Center, sought to provide ways for visitors to “change exhibits using creative problem solving,” and speculated that this could lead to a “participatory approach to exhibition development” (Labar, 2006). The Museum Open Source Code and Repository (MOSCAR) was envisioned as a resource hub for museum-exhibit–related software projects but not necessarily physical exhibits (Lakhani and Moose, 2009). Numerous institutions also have their own individual open source projects.

In-person participation and co-creation

Other approaches for in-person, local participation in developing content have previously been explored. Museum administrator and author Nina Simon describes the structure of participation and its potential for visitor involvement in detail in The Participatory Museum (Simon, 2010). She traces the origins of participatory projects to the Public Participation in Scientific Research project undertaken by the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) (Bonney et al., 2009). The model described by the CAISE project and Simon classify participation in the following categories:

  • §Contributory, in which participants collect samples or data
  • §Collaborative, in which visitors actively shape the exhibition
  • §Co-Creation, in which participants and the institution work together on all aspects of the project, and community interest may define the goals of the project
  • §Hosted, in which an institution hosts programs developed completely by outside groups.

Generally, The Tech Virtual program did not seek to involve participation from in-person visitors at physical building locations. Instead, it connected to contributors found through external online networks and groups with their own diverse interests outside the institution. The approaches cited above focus on cultivating ownership by a local community of participants. In the CAISE framework, Requests generated under The Tech Virtual would generally fall into the category “Contributory,” because the direction, theme, and parameters of the participation are all predetermined by the institution staff, not visitors or outside groups.

In The Tech Virtual program, although the outside contributions can influence the overall development somewhat, the call for collaboration specifies fairly rigid, predetermined goals for the outcomes. Both of these approaches were successfully combined in two stages during the Expolab program in 2009 (; they are described in detail in “Engaging Users in Science and Technology Exhibition Codesign Online and Offline” (Lapuente and Sanguesa, 2010a).

3. Structures for collaboration

In undertaking these collaborative projects, we used a number of approaches. These fell into three general categories defined by the levels of commitment expected from collaborators. Collaborators participated at deepening levels of commitment, expertise, and responsibility. These ranges are guidelines and are not exclusive of one another. In any given project, a set of individual collaborators may fall into different categories, depending on their time allotment and level of involvement.

 Levels of Commitment


Casual Contribution

Casual contributors, using mostly text input, contribute a range of comments and ideas.

Mentored Development

Interested contributors, topic experts, enthusiasts, or community members develop more sophisticated projects over a set period of time.

Expert Networks

Outreach to expert networks yields high-commitment participation ranging from ideas to projects and actual content, which may include hardware.

Table 1: Three approaches to open development with differing levels of commitment

Casual Contribution level

In a Casual Contribution scenario, individual collaborators are asked to give input in the form of ideas, which may often be expressed in a few sentences or less. This method of gaining input leads to divergent paths, and very unexpected new ideas often arise. These can invigorate the creative process, as the proposed ideas may be very different from what an “expert” would bring to the table. This widening field of ideas is one of the main reasons for opening up to contributors in this way. Casual participatory projects can often be done very simply, using online forms or email for input. Contributors wishing to do more sophisticated projects are encouraged to develop them further.

Casual Contribution  
Approach Casual, light participation, light interaction with project managers
Contribution Level Casual, one-off ideas and creations
Pool of Potential Contributors Very large, may never meet in person
Call Method Wide call, to a large community
Path to Become Physical Exhibit Extensive interpretation followed by “last mile” fabrication
Innovation Potential Emergent, forward looking, unexpected
Examples Contributed ideas formed in one sentence or paragraph, quick sketches, unique concepts and ideas, and personal visions
Motivations Participation, sense of community, topic of interest to participants, prizes

Table 2: Casual Contribution approach

In the “Exhibits About Microchips” request that was open from mid-2009 to early 2010 (, the majority of the entries in response to the request were submitted by text input only. Very few, if any, of the contributions evolved over time. A few basic concept illustrations were contributed, but largely, the staff gave little feedback about their relevance or how they would be implemented. 


 Figure 1: Sketch for “Microchips in the World” Project, an interesting concept that was not evolved after its initial proposal

The physical exhibits that were eventually produced were only lightly influenced by the open process. Some very detailed projects were created for the Microchips Request, but the majority are classified here as Casual Contributions because they generally did not evolve beyond their very first descriptions. This limitation was partly due to the minimal involvement of exhibition staff with the outside contributors. The casual level, then, may also be defined by the level of commitment available from internal staff.

Mentored Development level

In a Mentored Development scenario, a group of interested participants develop their own projects over a set period of time. Staff members make a large time investment to mentor the projects from draft stages to more completed products. This approach was used for the Expolab ( and Places of Invention ( Requests. During this process, the request (or a detailed design brief) serves as a guiding document for the open-source developers from beginning to end. As in an industrial product-design process, the organizers hold weekly design reviews, using online tools such as comments on individual Project web pages or real-time meetings in a virtual world. The participants’ work is reviewed and steered to best answer the needs of the design brief. It is crucial that the institutional staff attend to the stages of the process, including the design meetings themselves, to understand and guide the details of the concepts in development.

Eventually, ideas are narrowed down, and off-course projects are refined or eliminated from consideration. Resulting projects that answer the design brief are documented by the institution’s designers to produce design documents for production.

The method is time consuming. As a result, it can produce more refined ideas, as opposed to one-offs or highly personal visions. A staff member or professional consultant is needed to lead the contributors in a supportive and instructive way during the design process. Fabrication generally still requires additional interpretation by  production staff.



 Mentored Development



Mentored, guided

Contribution Level

Advanced contributions developed over time as in an exercise or class

Pool of Potential Contributors

Small, may meet in weekly design review sessions (possibly online), or use chat logs and forums

Call Method

Call to explorers and learners with time to contribute

Path to Become Physical Exhibit

Additional interpretation followed by “last mile” fabrication modifications

Innovation Potentials

Emergent to traditional ideas


Produces ideas with developed outlines, details, possibly sketches or models, and detailed plans

Motivations Advancement of portfolio, connections, sense of community, hobby, intellectual interest, topic of interest to participants, prizes

Table 3: Mentored Development approach

In the Expolab project, which was open during the first quarter of 2010, weekly design reviews were used to refine and develop contributed projects. This approach yielded a higher ratio of feasible solutions per contributed project than the Casual approach. The overall themes of Expolab were formed in in-person participatory sessions held at the institution’s physical location before the online call for contributions.

Figure 2: “Connections,” an exhibit produced for the Expolab Request, showing virtual model (top) and production diagrams (bottom)

The definitive factor in the success of the mentored approach lies in the group collaboration and creative process that results from the weekly review sessions. The participating designers and staff interact over a period of many hours to produce the resulting concepts, which may then be moved forward for production. Because of changes in institutional plans, the Expolab exhibition was not produced as physical exhibits. We took steps to begin software production for the exhibits using yet another set of external communities, and the exhibit plans remain available should there be future interest in their production (Lapuente and Sanguesa, 2010b).

Expert networks level

For some situations, it may be desirable to connect directly with a group of experts skilled in creating specific content. For example, communities of videographers were contacted for contributions to video contests. Similarly, researchers and pioneers in augmented reality were contacted for an exhibition of emerging interfaces. In each case, we sought expert contributors to provide nearly fully formed, modular portions of an exhibition.

 Expert Networks

Approach Seek experts for contribution
Contribution Level Professional results expected
Pool of Potential Contributors Extremely small, may all know each other
Call Method Target specific groups and individuals with expertise, discovery through expert groups
Path to Become Physical Exhibit Collaborative fabrication, or produced content that may be directly usable by the museum
Innovation Potentials State-of-the-art is expected, may yield unexpected results as well
Examples Exhibit materials shipped to site and installed, or video files transferred via the Internet
Motivations Professional connections, feedback, testing results, recognition, and portfolio building

Table 4: Expert networks approach

An example of this method is found in “The Tech Test Zone 2011” Request, which was open for nearly six months during 2011 ( For this exhibition, Expert Networks were contacted to collaboratively construct exhibits featuring emerging technology, based on research or product prototypes. Generally, the expert contributors collaborated on the production of the exhibits through extensive contact with the institution’s engineers and fabricators. 

Figure 3: “Pixel,” an exhibit developed for The Tech Test Zone 2011 using external expert collaboration and materials

Through this process, entirely new configurations of the contributed projects were generated. For example, a new shape for the Digital Foam interactive was produced (, as well as an improved, museum-quality model for the Pixel handheld “viewer” units ( This approach had the highest ratio of number of participants per completed exhibit of the three types.

Giving structure to open contributions

After determining a level of commitment to solicit, managers of collaborative projects need to determine what type of structure will best allow the contributions to be accepted and integrated. A framework is provided in The Global Brain, by Satish Nambisan and Mohanbir Sawhney (2007). We found this structure extremely useful in defining the parameters of an open Request.


Central Network Control

 Diffused Network Control

Emergent Innovations

 “App Store” or “Creative Bazaar”

Contributors invited to create within a wide selection of themes

“Jam Session”

Allows for more emergent and unexpected ideas, inspired by exploring a wide them

Defined Contributions


 Contributors expected to add discrete units of content

 “Mod Station”

Participants modify existing content atop a basic foundation

Table 5: Nambisan and Sawhney’s models for innovation

The grid above is for use in outlining the parameters of an open-innovation or open-source project. “Network” as used in this example refers to the extended network of creative participants; it may be controlled or steered centrally by one institution or diffused across several.

Does the request call for participants to explore and create ideas across a wide field of emergent ideas, or should they contribute more defined and immediately “usable” projects? Is the potential for new ideas to shape the parts of the exhibition wide open, or is there a focus on practical units within a defined whole? These two questions define the range of contribution that is requested and the types of innovations that are invited.

The Orchestra model

In the Orchestra model, contributors are expected to contribute discrete units of content or ideas, which are then combined to construct a complete exhibition. Examples include The Tech Test Zone 2011 (, in which exhibit content falling under a distinct description (emerging interactive technology) was placed in defined spaces with a common theme. The Microchip Clips video contest ( and the Science of the City Video Contest ( also fit under this model.

Figure 4: “Digital Foam,” an exhibit developed for The Tech Test Zone 2011 using the Orchestra model for structured contribution

 The App Store or Creative Bazaar model

In the App Store or Creative Bazaar model, contributors are invited to contribute within a wider theme, with fewer restrictions than in the Orchestra model. There is less restriction on exhibit concepts, interaction, and content. Examples of this model include Expolab ( and The Tech Awards 2008 (, in which contributors were free to choose from a number of themes for exhibits within a single exhibition.

The Jam Session model

The Jam Session model is the most exploratory model, allowing for more emergent and unexpected ideas. Examples of this type of contribution structure include Places of Invention (, Water (, and The Tech Virtual Test Zone 2008 (, which was arranged around creating exhibits involving art, film, and music.

Figure 5: “Make it Your Own” and “House of Inventions” were produced using a Mentored Development level of commitment and a Jam Session model

 The Mod Station model

The Mod (or modification) Station model refers to open projects in which participants can modify existing content sitting atop a basic foundation, as is common in open-source video games. In this example, contributors create within a defined interaction mechanism or other format. Examples of this model include Monopoly-based board games that are customized for various cities or topics. None of the Requests run on The Tech Open Source thus far have fit this model precisely, but we plan to use it in the future.

Resulting stages of completion

The results of an open innovation approach using open-source methods generally falls between the input level derived from focus groups and that produced by contracted, hired firms through a traditional request for proposal (RFP). When first approaching any project, content developers should consider the actual results desired from the process described above. A general framework for these contributions can be based on the participants’ time and ability to contribute. In producing exhibit content, the scale of completion can include ideas and brainstorming, detailed plans, and content.


Focus Groups (not open) Ideas and Brainstorming Detailed Plans Content  RFP (not open)
Yields market insight, possibly ideas Yields new ideas, new approaches Specialists or mentored groups can create detailed plans for exhibits Contributors, possibly experts, create content such as text or videos for display A firm is hired to produce a physical exhibit
  Casual Contributors Mentored Development
Mentored Development,
Expert Networks

Mentored Development,

Expert Networks


Table 6: Levels of completion that can be expected

One should not expect that open-innovation and open-source methods will result in directly usable ideas or content. The motivation for the approach should be based on obtaining new insight and fresh perspectives that could not be generated within the constraints of a single institution’s internal resources. One should expect that the products of open-innovation and open-source methods will nearly always require modification for actual installation as museum exhibits or content.

4. Results and outcomes

Findings and considerations for using open innovation and open source

Recruiting of contributors is essential

Open-source projects do not always attract contributors. This is a factor inherent in the model. Therefore, the hosting institution should generally expect to supply some basis or core of the “source” material that is to be “open.” This process starts with a thorough and thought-out request (the design brief); it can be even more meaningful to the industry if staff members post their concepts and in-progress ideas for a given exhibition.

To truly leverage the benefits, content developers will have to actively approach communities and individuals who may have a vested interest in contributing. One must consider who can contribute (the expected level of commitment) and what form of contribution (the model) to achieve the results (ranges of completion) is expected. Failure to define these parameters may lead to disappointment or confusion in the open approach.

A program leader is required

Achieving results from open innovation requires dedicated attention from a project staff member with expertise in managing correspondence among the contributors. This person can be called a community manager, developer program director, or other title. He or she is the point of contact for the community of developers and participates in all aspects of the program. The composition of the request can be particularly daunting. Nearly all the disappointments with open-source results occurred because insufficient time was allotted by the participating institutions. Without staff time committed to the process, there is little chance that an open-source, open-innovation project will produce any meaningful result.

Last-mile fabrication

Every idea, no matter how well thought out, will require extensive interpretation to become a physical museum exhibit. Last-minute, onsite construction details can be impossible to predict. Organizers should expect to make modifications when using an open-source approach, as contributors may have relatively little information about the physical space itself. Ideas obtained by open approaches should not be discounted if they appear off course; rather, they should be modified and mentored to achieve more fitting products.

Open development advances competition

Open development advances the overall atmosphere of competition by providing a much wider palette of ideas from which to choose. This competition for better ideas stimulates innovation. Opening up the creative process to anyone results in cross-pollination of ideas and “democratizes” the opportunities for a diversity of input (Hippel, 2006). It is crucial that the organization’s staff recognize the importance of this factor in producing more informed products.

In short, in closed development, the institution has a monopoly on the production of its own product. With open methods, the market of ideas benefits from creative input from a wide range of people. This advantage is especially relevant to community organizations such as museums.

A diversity of ideas, some obvious

There is no doubt that open source provides a greater diversity of ideas than could come from an internal team alone. Among the internal creative staff, no doubt there will already be wide knowledge about current ideas and approaches to the task. Contributions from open-source methods may, therefore, appear to be obvious solutions. This factor should be expected, and not taken to be a fault of the open approach. Accordingly, obvious ideas can be evolved to become more useful. Documentation of obvious solutions can provide a jumping-off point for new modifications of old themes and uncover potential models for “template” exhibits with varied content. 

“Expert” does not mean done

The Expert Network approach had mixed results. Several experts committed to projects that could not be delivered as described. (Indeed, in museum projects, often even paid contractors cannot deliver projects as described.) Expert contributors generally have no more knowledge than non-experts about what constitutes a typical or successful exhibit. In addition, the internal staff will be in a position of learning from the external experts. Overall, this approach requires intensive collaboration with the production staff, and sufficient time should always be allotted for unseen difficulties. In the case of contributed video content, this proved to be a less important factor.

Time frames

Requests generally yielded the best results within a time frame of approximately 60 to 90 days. This restriction concentrates the effort of the contributors. Longer time frames generally resulted in diffusion of the original energy behind the Request. Consider that it takes some time to “get the word out” to prospective contributors. If the resulting fabrication can be scheduled within one year, this can motivate participation more than multi-year time frames.


The benefits of various reward structures for contributors are beyond the scope of this report. In general, however, contests can produce good results but tend to be unsustainable. Contests by nature do not foster collaboration, except within groups working to win the contest as competitors. Contests tend to produce a motivated group that dissipates entirely when the contest ends. Invariably, the results of a contest are not agreed upon by all of the participants, and so discontentment is to be expected. Open-source projects that succeed best are ones in which the contributors have a vested interest in the final product. Again, motivations can include recognition, the feeling of contributing to a worthwhile endeavor, a sense of mission, learning new skills through association with the developer community, and a feeling of ownership of the project (Schroder, 2011).

The virtual environment

Use of the virtual world of Second Life provided the widest array of tools, and the most effective means of real-time collaboration, by far. It is best approached as a high-speed sketching and prototyping tool (Ketner and Stephenson, 2010). Its success reveals the “industrial inertia” plaguing existing, slower prototyping tools, which offer no option for working in shared virtual spaces. The Second Life environment, which provides tools to build three-dimensional objects, has a high “effort-to-performance ratio,” meaning that orders of magnitude in prototyping speed and collaboration options become  available to those who learn to use it (Engelbart, 1962). The inherent openness of the platform itself leads to a great deal of enthusiasm around collaboration and sharing (Ball and Phillips, 2011).  There is an even deeper ideal in the possibility that anyone, regardless of her position or resources, can, with online tools, create and succeed on the basis of the merit of her ideas.

Overwhelmingly, contributors wish to use the tools of expression that they are most familiar with. In instances in which it may be desired that contributors use specified tools, it should be determined whether the same results could be obtained by other means. If one particular tool or programming language is to be used exclusively, one should expect that the ability to contribute may be limited to highly skilled and motivated specialists.

A “cultural change” is required

Implementing an open-innovation or open-source project requires complete support from the institution at the highest level (Nambisan and Sawhney, 2007). The “not invented here” syndrome, which pits internally developed ideas against externally sourced ones, must be left behind. Successful use of open-source methods requires acceptance of “bad” ideas along with the good. The exposure of half-formed ideas should not be feared; rather, the opportunity to develop them further with the benefit of outside input should be emphasized.

Community is essential

Open-source development requires carefully handling a community of contributors (Bacon, 2009). Without this community, there can be very little motivation to contribute. Open approaches can extend the impact and meaning of the institution beyond its “four walls” and its physical location. Similarly, the visibility of any one institution’s creative efforts invigorates innovation for the industry as a whole.

5. Going forward: Future potentials for open-source approaches

There are significant opportunities for the further development of open-innovation and open-source methods in creating museum content.

Data sharing and prototyping with Feedback Stations

The Tech Test Zone 2011 produced a unique Feedback Station model. Contributors can view input from visitors directly via a configurable tablet computer-based interface ( Input from users is shared directly with developers and staff, and across multiple exhibits and physical locations. Institutions wishing to participate should contact The Tech Open Source project for further information.


Figure 6: The Feedback Stations deployed in The Tech Test Zone are a model for exhibit prototyping feedback and data exchange between multiple institutions

Modular prototyping spaces

The Tech Test Zone introduced five modular exhibit prototyping stations. Developers wishing to deploy experimental content are invited to post their suggestions as Projects from the current Test Zone open Request. Ideas for other “templated” testing spaces with modular content should also be considered. As of January 2012 (, these include:

1.  An “eye-tracking” wall consisting of fourteen video monitors (22-inch screens) and two “viewer” units (does not require use of eye tracking)

2.  An interactive “counter space” consisting of two spots with monitors for countertop interactives

3.  A “ubiquitous” space consisting of two or more tablet computer units mounted on adjustable stands

4.  The gestural interface space consisting of a Microsoft Kinect(tm) unit and a large monitor

5.  The 2-meter-by-4-meter open “free-form” space with an available projection wall.

Reward structures

Additional research into reward structures for open-innovation and open-source projects is needed. The museum environment and its various diverse and widely connected communities provide an intriguing set of possibilities to experiment with. Documented insight into how a range of rewards can function in different situations would be invaluable.

An Open invitation

The Tech Open Source program ( is provided as a non-proprietary, industry-wide, open design platform where the benefits of open-innovation and open-source methods can be realized. By definition, participation by other institutions is crucial to advancing the art and science of exhibit and content design.  All are invited to post their own Requests and Projects and continue this work.

6. Acknowledgments and references


Thanks are due to the hundreds of contributors to The Tech Virtual project during its pilot phases. In addition, Dr. Robert Stephenson provided a crucial intellectual foundation to make this project meaningful through deep connections to the very origins of open-source methods.


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