Call upon invitation: Open Education for the Knowledge Society

“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”


Within this first volume of the journal Education Ouverte et Libre – Open Education (EOL-OE), you are invited to revisit your research and experience of Open Education to imagine its future. 

We are in a historical moment of Humanity and the planet Earth, a moment of handover. The modern society is seeing some of its characteristics disappear, others transforming into new forms and others yet emerging from diverse knowledge systems and collective intelligence (Innerarity, 2015; UNESCO, 2021). To give one example, copyright law is being revisited to unveil how it has been distorted over the centuries (e.g. Wu, 2021), conducting to “hacking it” with Creative Commons licences or labels for indigenous communities (Stacey, 2021).

The 1970s, also a historical window opportunity, paved the way to make Open Education a concrete reality today. It is our role as scholars to prevent any “normative paradox” (Honneth, 2004, cited by Deimann, 2019) to take place by some glitch as it did happen in the recent past (e.g. MOOCs offered on commercial platforms that witness the discrepancy between the values of opening up education and how it concretised in some practices).

Is not it our role to imagine how Open Education should look like in an Open ecosystem and a knowledge society in 10, 20, 50 years? Let us remind you that a knowledge society is a collective task to be accomplished, not a state where everything is set and decided (Innerarity, 2015).

With this first volume of EOL-OE, we would like to discuss epistemologic, historic, economic, legal, funding, policy, research, method and cooperation issues in relationship with key constructs of Open Education, namely freedom, transparency, justice, respect, openness as attitude or culture, absence of barriers, promotion of sharing, accessibility, collaboration, agency, self-direction, personalisation, and ubiquitous ownership (Baker, 2017) and indigenous constructs like the Mother Earth, dignity or water (Santos, 2016).


Baker, F. W. (2017, 2017/03/01). An Alternative Approach: Openness in Education Over the Last 100 Years. TechTrends, 61(2), 130-140.

Honneth, A. (2004). Organized Self-Realization:Some Paradoxes of Individualization. European Journal of Social Theory, 7(4), 463-478.

Innerarity, D. (2015). Chapitre 3. La société de la connaissance et l’ignorance. Dans Démocratie et société de la connaissance (p. 47-65). Presses universitaires de Grenoble.

Santos, B. d. S. (2016). Epistémologies du Sud : mouvements citoyens et polémique sur la science. Desclée de Brouwer.

Stacey, P. (2021). E-mail exchanges among Open Education stakeholders.

UNESCO. (2021). Recommendation on Open Science.

Wu, M. M. (2021, 2021/07/03). The Corruption of Copyright and Returning It to Its Original Purposes. Legal Reference Services Quarterly, 40(2-3), 113-156.