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Governing Diversity in the Digital Ecosystem

By Mary Darking, Edgar A. Whitley, Paolo Dini

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 51 No. 10, Pages 137-140

The concept of ecosystem is about to be brought into the digital age where, instead of plants and animals, the digital species who roam the landscape include software components, applications, services, business models, contractual frameworks and laws. Along with understanding the nature of habitat and the significance of localisation, diversity is one of the key characteristics of a healthy ecosystem. However, encouraging diversity in the context of technology production brings with it significant challenges, and designing a framework for governance that can balance interests, address technology lock-in and enable the co-existence of diverse software production methods quickly becomes a priority, as participants in the Digital Business Ecosystem project have found.

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