The term “Open Source (OS)” is familiar to many in the sense of software. It refers to programmed code that is publicly accessible and can thus be viewed, modified or extended by anyone. The underlying principle is community-based. The software is not produced by just one person or one team, but is checked (peer-reviewed) and further developed by a network. Thus, open source software is often cheaper, more durable and usually better than classic software products.

A movement has emerged from this simple principle. The OS community not only programs, but has set itself the goal of tackling problems and challenges of society and industries and solving them together. Many open source projects are hosted on GitHub. Here, repositories can be accessed or participation in community projects can be implemented. A particularly well-known example of an open source project is Linux.

Today, however, open source is no longer only used in the context of software. The approaching Silicon Economy, for example, is based on a Platform Economy and increases linking among market participants. Through the Internet of Things or Values, the Social Networked Industry, the use of Artificial Intelligence or even Blockchain technology, networks are developing that communicate and work with each other in a completely new way. The sharing of knowledge, design plans for hardware components, business model samples, presentations or quite simply images, icons and graphics, is also frequently coupled with the open source approach. In this case, open source stands for freely accessible information. Ownership rights recede into the background and the focus is on joint further development on the way to the future.