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At OpenCommons, our mission is to foster collaboration among community, industry, academic, and government stakeholders in the pursuit of developing and deploying cutting-edge technologies for smart rural and urban communities. Committed to the principles of openness, innovation, and shared learning, OpenCommons aims to create a vibrant and inclusive platform where diverse stakeholders can unite to co-create solutions that address the complex challenges of today.

We aspire to be a catalyst for positive change by facilitating the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and best practices, enabling communities to harness the power of emerging technologies effectively. OpenCommons is dedicated to establishing an environment that encourages cross-sectoral partnerships, driving the development of replicable, scalable, and interoperable solutions that enhance the resilience, sustainability, and overall quality of life in communities around the world.

Our collaborative approach seeks to empower communities to learn from one another, amplify successes, and collectively build consensus on standards that promote the widespread adoption of transformative technologies. By providing a dynamic space for co-innovation, OpenCommons strives to usher in an era of heightened efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and shared prosperity, ultimately contributing to the advancement of smart communities for the benefit of all.


OpenCommons is a dynamic 501(c)(6) non-profit organization based in the United States, founded in 2014 to facilitate collaborative initiatives stemming from a DARPA-funded collaboration. This collaboration involved multiple Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), Academic Institutions, and Industrial Organizations. OpenCommons emerged as a vital support entity for these organizations, providing essential networking opportunities in the development of open research and open-source activities.

The organization's inception was rooted in the goal of fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange among diverse entities involved in cutting-edge research and development. OpenCommons played a pivotal role in connecting stakeholders from the public, private, and academic sectors associated with the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) in 2016. By establishing a collaborative knowledge base, OpenCommons facilitated the sharing of best practices in smart cities and communities, contributing to the advancement of transformative initiatives.

In its current state, OpenCommons has evolved to support a range of programs spanning High-Performance Computing, Smart Cities and Communities, as well as Open Source and Open Data. These programs underscore OpenCommons' commitment to advancing technological innovation, collaboration, and the dissemination of knowledge in critical domains.

OpenCommons stands as a hub for networking and collaboration, providing a platform for entities involved in high-performance computing, smart city initiatives, and the development of open-source solutions. Its non-profit status reflects a commitment to serving the greater good and fostering cooperative efforts that transcend organizational boundaries. Through its various programs, OpenCommons continues to play a significant role in shaping the landscape of open research, technology, and smart community development.

Data Driven

OpenCommons promotes data-driven communities that prioritizes informed decision-making across various aspects by leveraging data analytics and fostering civic engagement. In this model, community members actively participate in shaping decisions related to zoning, public transportation, services, shelter, food, and well-being. Data-driven insights, derived from analyzing factors such as population density, commuting patterns, and community preferences, form the basis for policies that align with the community's vision and development plans. Civic engagement initiatives, both digital and in-person, provide residents with a platform to voice opinions, share concerns, and contribute to decision-making processes.

This dynamic approach extends to optimizing public transportation routes, allocating resources for community services based on demographic data, and addressing housing needs through data-driven analyses. Additionally, initiatives related to food security and overall well-being benefit from community input and data analytics. The symbiotic relationship between data-driven insights and civic engagement creates a responsive and inclusive community that actively addresses challenges and adapts to the evolving needs of its residents. By combining data-driven decision-making with active civic participation, the community ensures that policies and initiatives are not only grounded in robust data but also reflect the diverse perspectives and aspirations of its members.

In addition to fostering informed decision-making, a data-driven community places a focus on addressing issues of social, financial, racial, and gender equity through the integration of data analytics and robust civic engagement. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights, the community actively identifies and rectifies disparities across various domains. Whether it's social dynamics, economic patterns, racial disparities, or gender-based inequities, the community employs data analytics to inform targeted interventions and policies that promote inclusivity and address systemic challenges.

The tension between municipal organizations having sufficient information to offer personalized services and the imperative to safeguard sensitive personal information represents a delicate balancing act in the realm of data management. The more information collected centrally, the greater the risk of potential privacy breaches and unauthorized access.

One innovative approach to address this inherent conflict involves empowering individuals with control over their personal data through decentralized systems. Providing individuals with access to and ownership of their own personal data, stored securely in decentralized repositories like Solid Pods, introduces a paradigm shift. This not only makes identity theft substantially less appealing compared to targeting large centralized data stores but also establishes a framework where individuals have agency over their personal information.

In this decentralized model, personal private AI advisers can operate directly on the individual's data within the Solid Pod. These advisers can offer personalized advice, recommendations, and insights without compromising the privacy of the underlying data. By running AI processes locally on individual-owned resources, the need for centralized data storage diminishes, reducing the risk of mass data breaches. This approach aligns with the principles of privacy by design, ensuring that individuals retain control over their data while still benefiting from personalized services and advice. Ultimately, this innovative and privacy-centric model transforms the narrative, demonstrating that personalized services and individual privacy can coexist through decentralized and secure data management practices.

Resource Efficient

OpenCommons' mission to develop and deploy cutting-edge technologies for smart rural and urban communities aligns seamlessly with the diverse needs of its partners, spanning individual, industry, academic, and government providers in sectors such as transportation, shelter, agriculture, utilities, services, and food. For individual stakeholders, OpenCommons offers a platform for engagement and participation in the development of smart community technologies. This collaborative approach empowers individuals to contribute insights, needs, and preferences, ensuring that technological solutions are tailored to meet the specific requirements of end-users in areas like transportation, shelter, and food access.

Industry partners benefit from OpenCommons' mission through the exploration and adoption of innovative technologies that enhance efficiency, sustainability, and competitiveness. By fostering collaboration between industries and the broader community, OpenCommons creates an environment where industry players can contribute to and benefit from the development of cutting-edge solutions. The organization's commitment to smart technologies opens avenues for academic institutions to engage in research and development initiatives, providing a fertile ground for the exploration of new ideas, methodologies, and solutions that address challenges in sectors like agriculture, utilities, and services.

Government stakeholders find valuable support from OpenCommons in their pursuit of smarter and more responsive governance. The organization facilitates the integration of cutting-edge technologies into municipal planning, resource allocation, and service delivery. By leveraging smart technologies, governments can enhance transportation systems, improve shelter solutions, optimize agriculture practices, and ensure the efficient provision of utilities and services. In summary, OpenCommons acts as a bridge, bringing together stakeholders from various sectors to collectively advance the development and deployment of technologies that transform rural and urban communities into smart, sustainable, and technologically advanced hubs.

By harnessing cutting-edge technologies, these stakeholders can work together to optimize resource utilization, reduce waste, and enhance sustainability across sectors such as transportation, shelter, agriculture, utilities, services, and food. Through data-driven insights and collaborative initiatives, OpenCommons supports the development of circular economy practices, where resources are efficiently managed, recycled, and repurposed within the community. This holistic approach fosters innovation in recycling, sustainable energy, and waste reduction, creating a circular flow of resources that minimizes environmental impact and contributes to the long-term resilience of both rural and urban communities.