In preparation for our DML V Trust Challenge Workshop held at DML 2015 Conference, we asked grantees to answer three questions that we planned to workshop as part of a larger design exercise. The following represent the questions and answers provided by Open Badge Passport.
1) How does your project change or contribute to the narrative around trust in the larger conversation?
The function of the Open Passport is to contribute to the development of bottom-up trust networks and the services that could be developed on the foundation of such networks. For that we adopt the radical position to treat Open Badges as "trust statements" and explore how such trust statements can be used 1) to create trust networks 2) to generate new types of services exploiting the metadata contained in large collections of Open Badges. What the Open Passport aims at achieving is to align technology to the discourse on trust, something very different from what has happened so far with the development of "distrust technologies." The Open Passport aims at being an authentic "trust technology."
2) What challenges do you foresee as you implement your project, and what might others in the DML community be able to offer in the way of support or solutions?
The Open Passport is based on an open architecture where everybody will be able to create and add their own apps (just as one adds apps to a smartphone). As a project, we will develop the core of the system to support the creation of trust networks and a few services exploiting the properties of those networks.
We have to face two main challenges: the adoption of the Open Passport by end users and the commitment of a community of developers to develop the services that will make the Open Passport worthwhile to end users. It's a kind of chicken and egg thing... Massive adoption of the Open Passport requires valuable services, services created by developers who will only commit if massive adoption becomes a reality.
So, beyond testing the Open Passport, the contribution of the DML community would be welcome to imagine and design the services one might expect from the exploitation of the boundless collection of metadata extracted from Open Badges in the context of education, employment, social integration, etc. How about the next generation of Linkedin- and Facebook-like services?
3) What do you foresee the impact of your project will be once it is implemented (particularly in terms of the conversation around trust)?
Until now, most of the conversations around trust are linked to a specific domain, e.g. online sales (reputation on eBay), employment (endorsement on Linkedin) or security (protect privacy of medical records) etc.
The Open Passport could be a game changer. Not being linked to any specific domain or service (although initially based on Open Badges, the infrastructure is "service agnostic," i.e. it is not linked to education or accreditation systems), the Open Passport is a pure trust building infrastructure, an enabler for building trustworthy services in many different domains, most of them probably outside of education and employment.
Being freed from being embedded in specific services (eBay, Linkedin, etc.) while enabling many services, including the reinvention of old ones (eBay, Linkedin, etc.), the Open Passport will allow us to fully focus our conversations on trust as the fundamental currency for human interaction.