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My application to link media and academia as a Research Fellow

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Thanks to Suresh Fernando, I recently joined Open Kollab http://groups.google.com/group/openkollab where I learned about a job offer at the University of
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 11, 2009
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      Thanks to Suresh Fernando, I recently joined Open Kollab
      where I learned about a job offer at the University of Westminster. They
      need a research fellow to assist for 8 months with a UK social network
      that they piloted and are now expanding between the media (such as the
      BBC) and academia (Arts and Humanities, but especially, new media
      researchers). I share my application.

      Andrius Kulikauskas, Minciu Sodas, http://www.ms.lt, ms@..., +370 699
      30003, skype:minciusodas

      How might creative individuals overcome the "corporate wall" which keeps
      them from getting corporate work? Why and how might individuals and
      corporations prefer to share creative work as freely as possible and
      contribute to the Public Domain? How might social networks "create and
      then reflect"? These questions are key for my wish for a sustainable
      culture of "independent thinkers". I therefore enthusiastically apply to
      work as a Research Fellow in Knowledge Transfer and Public Engagement at
      the University of Westminster.

      I am an experienced organizer of independent thinkers, social
      entrepreneurs and open content activists. I am broad and deep as an
      investigator and thus able to engage and promote a wide variety of
      researchers. I am an active creative artist and appreciate the
      challenges of applying that creativity.

      In 1998, I founded Minciu Sodas http://www.ms.lt, an online laboratory
      for serving and organizing independent thinkers around the world. We
      have more than 150 active and 3,000 supportive participants around the
      world. I have served about thirty clients as an organizer, researcher,
      programmer, producer, writer, narrator, translator and editor. All of
      these projects have led to Public Domain content or open source software.

      *** Coordinate feasibility study for road map for knowledge exchange
      network. ***

      How and why might private interests be motivated to pay for individuals
      to work openly on content in the Public Domain? As founder of Minciu
      Sodas, I have soul searched for theoretical foundations as well as
      accumulated experience from many practical attempts.

      In 2001, I wrote reports for Peter Kaminski of Agile Media in Palo Alto,
      California to propose the business logic and engineering strategy for
      expanding BAJobs.com as a global network of local online job boards. At
      the time, Craigslist was just starting. I suggested to combine
      impression-based advertising (engaging the unconscious mind) with
      community-based matchmaking (engaging the conscious mind).

      In 2002, I coauthored (with David Ellison-Bey) "An Economy for Giving
      Everything Away".
      I explained how Jesus's principle of "giving everything away" leads to a
      criteria of "best use" and a calculus of "minimizing anxiety" that
      coexists with and also extends the classical economy of "maximizing
      happiness". The multi-dimensional negotiation of "best use" means that
      "wealth is relationships" and the latter maxim is a helpful guide in
      designing business models, especially those that leverage open content.
      From this perspective, I then analyzed six markets for open source
      software and noted the wealth they generated. I won a travel award to
      Bangalore, India to present this paper at MIT Media Lab's Think Cycle's
      Development by Design conference. Chris Messina later cited this paper
      as an influence on the open character of the Bar Camp movement.

      In 2003, I consulted Michael Wolff of http://www.ki-work.com on new
      revenue streams for British Telecom as an "integrity bank" for personal
      contact information. I also worked for Britt Blaser to implement and
      promote his idea XpertWeb of an XML format for a peer-to-peer economic
      protocol. I worked for Ian Bruk to design and prototype a Living
      Research Report to crowd source and monitor the wisdom of investments.
      In 2004, I and my lab worked for Amanda Koh to promote Prodigal Art
      http://prodigalart.ning.com by which hosts enjoy and promote the work of
      artists and split with them the profits from any sales to new hosts. In
      2006, I promoted Nikos A Salingaros's book "A Theory of Architecture",
      and more broadly, the pattern language movement. (Nikos is an urbanist,
      physicist, mathematician and editor of Christopher Alexander's "The
      Nature of Order".) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Theory_of_Architecture

      In 2009, I led my laboratory's work for Leon Benjamin
      http://www.winningbysharing.net of the London advertising agency The Law
      Firm to engage UK online communities on behalf of Mornflake Cereal's
      online video contest http://www.mornflakecompetition.com This was a
      breakthrough in my lab's efforts to organize global teams for the
      corporate world on public assets that benefit everybody. We created, in
      the Public Domain, a directory of 500 UK online communities.
      http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?UKOnlineCommunities We then engaged
      about 70 of them and proposed to help them as online volunteers, thanks
      to Mornflake's support. In this way, marketing budgets can fuel online
      community outreach and service. I'm currently writing a case study about
      our work.

      Currently, I am leading an art exhibit "May I dream?" as part of
      UNESCO's human rights month activities with support through the Human
      Rights Monitoring Institute. We are engaging the public at the
      co-working hub on the fourth floor of the Gedimino 9 shopping center in
      Vilnius, Lithuania. We are collecting people's dreams-in-life, helping
      them express them creatively, and working to integrate them and bring
      them to life. This week, we successfully made use of the Latvian method
      "ideju talka" of visual thinking to make posters of what each of us
      wants to do and what help we would like from others. I want to spark an
      internal "economy of dreams".

      *** Encourage media professionals and academic researchers to
      participate. ***

      I've personally engaged in conversation and signed up thousands of
      individuals for Minciu Sodas working groups (Yahoo email lists). I've
      made these contacts by attending more than one hundred conferences,
      workshops, seminars, unconferences and other events. I've also
      participated in dozens of online groups.

      I've taught more than one hundred people how to use our tools such as
      wiki, chat, Ning, Skype and video. I've trained others to do so likewise.

      In 2008, I led our most outstanding achievement, the Pyramid of Peace,
      http://www.pyramidofpeace.net to organize 100 independent peacemakers
      on-the-ground and 100 online assistants to avert genocide during the
      post-election turmoil in Kenya. I coached our Kenyan leaders with
      nonviolent techniques to engage youth gangs and free the roads to allow
      food, medicine and refugees to move freely. I led the overall strategy
      for the independent peacemakers who we supported in more than 30
      locations. I disbursed funds to safer parts of Kenya where they were
      used to purchase mobile phone credits and forwarded to hungry people to
      barter them for food, as well as to gang members who were willing to
      work openly with us. I organized our online system of
      chat-letters-wiki-Skype-Ushahidi so that content flowed from
      on-the-ground sources to bloggers and broadcasters such as The World.

      In 2003, I wrote a proposal "Social Networking Kit for Marginal Internet
      Access" on fractal team building which foreshadowed our later achievements.

      I foster our chat room as a "help room" that is key for growing a
      thriving network. On a recent day we had two chats led by Pamela McLean
      and by Rising Voices "Blogging Positively" (with HIV/AIDS) guide author
      Janet Feldman. We had participants from the US, Canada, Colombia,
      Brazil, UK, Lithuania, Ukraine, Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya,
      Tanzania, India, Taiwan, thus five continents !

      *** Communicate research interests and findings more effectively with
      others. ***

      I've organized Minciu Sodas as an online laboratory so that we support
      each other by learning to think out loud about what we don't know rather
      than what we know. I've also organized us into working groups based on
      the deepest values in life of our leaders. Thus we have:
      Franz Nahrada's Global Villages
      Janet Feldman's Holistic Helping
      Pamela McLean's Learning From Each Other
      Kiyavilo Msekwa's Learn How to Learn
      Edward Cherlin's Earth Treasury http://groups.yahoo.com/group/earthtreasury/
      Samwel Kongere's Mendenyo (Motivation through sacrifice)
      John Roger's Cyfranogi (Participatory society, community currency)
      Eluned Hurn's Fighting Peacefully
      my own Living by Truth http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/
      and for God, Loving God http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lovinggod/
      and others.

      Over the years, I've collected:
      Deepest values from more than 500 people and investigatory question from
      more than 200 people.
      More than 100 endeavors which we support and catalyze.
      And most recently, our dreams
      along with tasks by which we can support them

      I am a Knight News Challenge 2008 award winner for my idea to design an
      Includer for our African participants, like Samwel Kongere, who at least
      once a week would walk three miles and pay $1 per hour to participate in
      our groups, as we are very responsive. The Knight News Challenge
      http://www.newschallenge.org is the premier award for the future of
      journalism. My idea was to design a simple device, the Includer, so that
      at home they could read and write emails stored on their USB flash
      drives, then upload and download them when they go to Internet access
      points. I was one of 16 winners (including Tim Berners-Lee) out of 2,000
      submissions. I received $15,000 to blog about my idea
      http://www.includer.org My posts included reports from my friend David
      Ellison-Bey's home in the Chicago ghetto, such as his "hardship letter"
      in 2008 that we wrote when his house was foreclosed:
      and a murder right after it happened in the lot next door:
      Here I'm communicating David's wisdom which he teaches me. Knowledge
      transfer works in both directions.

      I've encouraged a variety of investigations, which often go beyond usual
      academic research questions and methods. Nice examples are Ricardo's
      geeky investigations:
      and Natalie d'Arbeloff's artistic investigation:

      Pamela McLean (in London) and I contributed "The Logic of the Global
      Brain" (about the bandwidth-poor in Africa and the bandwidth-rich in the
      West working together through our Public Domain venues) for the book
      "Designing Social Interfaces: Principles, Patterns and Practices for
      Improving the User Experience" by Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone,
      2009, O'Reilly and Yahoo! Press. It's a practical example of the
      dynamics of knowledge transfer.

      I am ever reaching out to other networks such as Tiffany Von Emmels and
      Dreamfish http://dreamfish.com, Michel Bauwens and the P2P Foundation
      http://www.p2pfoundation.net, Suresh Fernando and Open Kollab
      http://wiki.openkollab.com, Tara Hunt and Coworking
      http://groups.google.com/group/coworking, Jonathan Gray and Open
      Knowledge Foundation http://www.okfn.org, Vinay Gupta and Global
      Swadeshi http://globalswadeshi.ning.com, Jerry Michalski and the Yi-Tan
      tech calls http://www.yi-tan.com

      My greatest success has been in bringing and keeping together the widest
      variety of independent thinkers so that we grow as people, give and get
      moral support, leverage more minds, create a shared social framework,
      and discover support for our endeavors and resources for making a living.

      *** Organize a workshop, an inspiration event, a website of positive
      case studies, Web 2.0 tools ***

      I've organized many face-to-face events, especially to synergize our
      online work.

      In 2008, I organized a workshop of COMMUNIA, the European Union's
      thematic network for the Public Domain http://www.communia-project.eu We
      had 50 participants from around Europe and 50 more locally from Vilnius,
      Lithuania. I proposed an innovative theme and format,"Ethical Public
      Domain: Debates of Questionable Practices". We organized and webcasted
      ten debates. We also included ten Kenyan acrobats who debated and later
      performed for us and others in Lithuania, including a school for the
      deaf, a village in the countryside, Uzhupis Republic's Independence Day
      and Lithuania's national morning television show. I set up a Ning
      website to handle registration and (unsuccessfully) encourage online
      networking: http://ethicalpublicdomain.ning.com

      Our largest online project was "My Food Story"
      http://www.myfoodstory.info for Greg Wolff of Unamesa Association in
      Palo Alto, California for $24,000. I organized six teams with a total of
      100 people (including paid workers in Kenya, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda,
      Israeli-occupied Palestine, Lithuania, Latvia, Serbia, UK, Finland,
      Missouri). We collected 500 food stories on-the-ground and 1,500 more

      Currently, we're starting "My Video Story" to collect practices for
      Franz Nahrada's Grundtvig seminar on a pattern language for video
      communications, which will take place January 2010 in Vienna, Austria.

      Since 1994, I've worked as a software developer for databases and
      websites. I program in PHP, Perl, Python, MySQL, XML, CSS, RSS, Visual
      Basic (Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word). I use Linux.
      I have installed and custom programmed Drupal, Plone, TouchGraph, ARSC
      (chat room), PmWiki, ProWiki. In 1998-2000, I led a Minciu Sodas
      initiative to organize an interchange format for tools for thinking:
      http://www.ms.lt/mindset.html with support from The Brain
      http://www.thebrain.com and Mind Manager http://www.mindmanager.com

      I have also set up a Ning website http://worknets.ning.com which I've
      custom programmed to show the latest chat line from our chat room, and
      the latest update at our wiki. In general, I'm skilled at creatively
      interweaving low-tech tools such as Yahoo! groups, RSS, wiki and chat.

      I am fluent in English and Lithuanian, but also know enough Spanish and
      Mandarin Chinese to help me organize people in those languages.

      *** Case study for "community of innovation" at Media City, Salford ***

      In 2003, thanks to Franz Nahrada, I became aware of the key role that
      villages play as environments which are small enough for us to impact. A
      village can crush a person who thinks differently, but a handful of
      people can shape an entire village. An urban neighborhood such as Media
      City, Salford may also have that spirit. A co-working center is key for
      a "global village" to thrive, for individuals to learn to work in teams
      locally, but also globally. http://www.globalvillages.info

      Franz has emphasized the importance of video bridges for a center to
      participate fully in global networks. In 2007, I and my team (Zenonas
      Anusauskas, Irena Buinickaite and other) organized 12 video bridges with
      support from the European Union.
      Our research motivated the Global Telecenter Alliance's interest in
      video bridges:

      Franz is also a great fan of Ning http://globalvillages.ning.com and has
      championed its use in the Transition Town movement. He is a key resource
      as he organizes a Global Village Network around the world.

      >From 1998 to 2007, I had my office at the Folk Creativity Club in the
      Pavilnys neighborhood of Vilnius and supported the entire community
      center. Currently, I live with Zenonas and his family in the Lithuanian
      countryside and support his regional Internet television

      This last year I have grown very close to the Uzhupis Republic, a
      neighborhood of artists in Vilnius with its own constitution, flag,
      president and Independence day when custom posts are set up for stamping
      passports and what not.
      In our Mornflake cereal work, foreign minister Tomas Chepaitis captured
      the imagination of UK online communities to good effect. He has
      organized a network of 200 ambassadors.

      Another promising ingredient is John Caswell's and Group Partner's
      Structured Visual Thinking which is used by leaders of the largest
      corporations for thoroughly addressing complex issues. He's agreed that
      we develop a Public Domain version of this methodology which might be
      used by all manner of personal and public initiatives including Media
      City, Salford. This can be a way to express deep questions and profound
      ideas and apply them to every day issues.

      *** Teach seminars ***

      At UCSD, I was senior teaching assistant, responsible for scheduling and
      helping thirty teaching assistants. I also taught algebra from my own
      notes based on deep ideas and classical math problems. In 2008, I taught
      this course at American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I markedly
      stimulated my students, who were business majors, so that they
      appreciated and developed their ability to think mathematically.

      In 2006, I gave talks on "fighting peacefully" for three weeks at
      An-Najah National University as part of an eight week visit to Israel
      and Israeli-occupied Palestine to reach out to Islamic independent thinkers.

      I can teach and assist with all manner of subjects. I've won travel
      awards for my papers and presentations in economics, leadership
      development, online organizing, online ethics, intellectual property,
      architecture and automata theory.

      We learn to stick our necks out, Open Culture (2005). Proceedings.
      (Travel award to Milan, Italy)

      Social infrastructure for virtual flash mobs, Oekonux (2004).
      (Travel award to Vienna, Austria)

      Social hacking: The need for an ethics, Open Contents (2003).
      (Travel award to Milan, Italy)

      The algebra of copyright, BlogTalk – A European Conference on Weblogs
      (2003). Proceedings.
      (Travel award to Vienna, Austria)

      Salingaros's Laws of Architecture (2008)
      Presentation at Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science" summer school.
      (Travel award to Burlington, Vermont)

      Organizing thoughts into sequences, hierarchies and networks, with
      Saulius Maskeliunas, EMMSAD'99 (1999). Proceedings.

      Symmetric functions, bi-brick permutations, and Lyndon words, with
      Jeffrey B. Remmel. January 9, 2002. Preliminary report.

      *** PhD and research interests ***

      In 1993, I received my Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of
      California at San Diego for my thesis "Eigenvalues of the Symmetric
      Functions of a Matrix". I discovered a combinatorial framework that
      provides insights into the conceptual origin of mathematical objects. I
      studied mathematics as "the study of structure" and essential for the
      practical formulation of knowledge in general.

      In 1986, I received my B.S. in mathematics and B.A. in physics from the
      University of Chicago. There and at UCSD I took many classes in the
      humanities and social sciences, including literature, philosophy,
      history, music and linguistics. I also worked on my philosophy for one
      year at the University of Vilnius in Soviet-occupied Lithuania. It
      happened to be the year 1988-1989 before the Berlin wall fell, thus I
      was an active participant in the historic movement for Lithuania's
      independence. I grew up in a Lithuanian family in the United States of
      America. It was for us a miracle that our country became free. I moved
      to Lithuania in 1997 and am a dual citizen.

      My quest in life, since childhood, was to know everything and apply that
      knowledge usefully. In 2009, I created a 10 minute video "I Wish to
      Know" which satisfies my wish for a big picture vision of all knowledge
      and how it unfolds.
      I'm currently interested in organizing a culture of independent thinkers.

      Consequently, I have a deep and broad appreciation of a wide variety of

      I express my philosophical interests and cultural aspirations through my
      drawing, painting, sculpture, video, poetry, song, storytelling. This
      year I had my first personal show at the Uzhupis Republic incubator's

      I would like to apply David Gauntlett's methodology of creating and then
      reflecting. I imagine that we are doing so as we clarify and collect our
      values, questions, endeavors, dreams and try to achieve them.

      Theoretically, I'm attracted to the link between technology and culture:
      * Industrial production - the ability to create anything without
      constraint - leads to modernism (as with skyscrapers).
      * When the every day objects around us are all mass produced, then we
      recombine and repurpose them, as in post-modernism (as with collages).
      * When design tools (computers, cameras, recorders) are freely
      available, then we become self-publishers, as in the network society (as
      with blogs).
      I'm interested in what comes next, what might be relevant for a culture
      of independent thinkers, as I'm working to organize, and as expressed by
      my draft of the Worknets charter http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?Charter

      I'm also interested in rethinking education in terms of rapid
      self-learning, which is relevant in a world of drastic changes,
      including climate change. Mathematical, literary and other forms of
      thinking might be grounded in the learning of ethics relevant for a
      culture of individual creators.

      I'm interested in blurring the lines between the academic world and

      Finally, I would be excited to work with the Media, Arts and Design team
      of Professor David Gauntlett, Dr Peter Goodwin and Dr Lizzie Jackson and
      their linking of theory and practice. This spring I and ten members of
      my team visited George Auckland at the BBC headquarters in London. (We
      had met earlier as speakers at the workshop "Preserving Quality in an
      Open Evironment" in Como, Italy in 2006.)
      I was sobered by the challenges of making connections even within the
      BBC and so I'm delighted to realize that your efforts are making good
      progress there and beyond.

      *** Kind Words ***

      Doc Searls: "If we want an original take on something, it's best to look
      to the peole who look to other people for something completely outside
      the prevailing frames of reference, yet deeply personal and grounded in
      the real world. So today I turned to to David Weinberger, who today
      turned to Andrius Kulikauskas, who is one of the most original guys we
      both know. On David's blog Andrius has come through with a brilliant and
      truly useful piece of wisdom."

      David Weinberger: "Andrius is enough of an idealist that he is sometimes
      shocked by the cyncism most of us take for granted. And lord bless him
      for it. And he never lies. This is worth reading."

      Doc Searls and David Weinberger are coauthors of The Cluetrain Manifesto.
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