It’s official: Open source is an engine for growth

When I wrote about open source as a stealth stimulus package this summer, some readers expressed skepticism. But two reports from Europe today support the growing hypothesis that open source provides an excellent monetary bundle for economies that embrace it. More than that, it can be a springboard for businesses that engage it on the basis of delivering flexibility rather than restricting their vision to cost savings.

The Open World Forum has been held annually in Paris for the last five years, in part because of the regional government’s decision to invest in open source. The man responsible for that allocation is the deputy mayor of Paris, Jean-Louis Missika; it was especially appropriate for him to break the news of how open source has benefited the city. Using data from a PwC survey of 27 international cities known for their business power, Missika reported that Paris is second only to Beijing in economic strength, third in intellectual capital (behind Stockholm and Toronto), and of course first in quality of life.