Scaling Up the Art of the Possible:
At the Oasis HUB, we're big fans of open source software; it underpins everything we do. Personally, I've been working in, and around open source software for many years.
For example, recently we've been very impressed with this document created by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)
The document assesses 31 software packages, across the following perils:
- Earthquake Loss Estimation
- Flood Loss Estimation
- Wind/Hurricane/Storm Estimation
- Tsunami/Storm Surge/Wave Loss Estimation
It is well worth a read and is linked to this blog post so you can do so at your leisure.
Why does open source work so well?
Ok, "work so well" is a bit of a subjective term, but if we summarised some of the benefits of open source it would look something like:
- (Generally) free access, so it's easy to get hold of
- Flexible and extensible, so you can modify to suit your own needs
- Supported by a community, saving time and costs
- Documented, so you can learn how it works
Developing economies appreciate these benefits as they may not have the financial resources, technical skills, or technical infrastructure to consume a fully commercial system.
Put simply; open source opens doors.
Open Collaboration, beyond software
As I've written before, I've also spent a long time working with collaboration software and tools. Maybe I just like the idea of helping people get on with each other and get things done.
In conversations with people across a range of industries, there tends to be a recurring theme, or maybe a challenge, which is how do I collaborate with a competitor, so we achieve a mutual benefit, without compromising our respective organisations?
A good example, close to home, is the work being carried out by our friends at Oasis Loss Modelling Framework (LMF) which "...has been constituted so that it operates in line with its members' wishes and is protected against take over by minority factions."
The membership of LMF consists of over forty of the world's largest insurance and reinsurance companies. Although fiercely competitive, they are united and working together towards realising an open architecture loss modelling framework for the global community.
Scaling up the art of the possible
Oasis LMF demonstrates that with clear objectives, and good governance, what appears to be mutually exclusive collaboration within a competitive environment, is possible.
We want to take that a few stages further, not only scaling up the number of projects and participants, we also want to deal with what can be a messy and chaotic nature of our business. Here I'm talking about identifying gaps, in data, tools, and services, and collaboratively (if it makes sense) plugging them.
Take, for example, the need for flooding data for Vietnam. The cost of researching and creating a good quality dataset might be $30,000. An insurer might look at this and decide that while the data is worthwhile, the economic return doesn't justify the cost. The gap remains unplugged.
What if, two insurance companies, and a government department, or a locally based manufacturer worked together to share the development costs? $30,000 suddenly becomes $10,000, easier to justify, and more likely to happen. Each party gains value; the gap gets plugged.
Oasis HUB - the Crowdfunding Hub
In the coming weeks, along with a software and services library, we'll also be releasing a Crowdsourcing service, which, with your feedback as part of the Oasis HUB prelaunch will develop to satisfy your wishes.
If you haven't already, you can still register for a FREE account on the Oasis HUB here.
Please use the "Feedback" button and support forum to let us know what you'd like to see more of, and less of, as well, of course.