The Knowledge Futures Group is a non-profit technology organization where promising new projects nurtured at knowledge institutions get built to scale and compete with proprietary alternatives.
Founded at MIT, directed by educators, publishers, and technologists, and supported by a consortium of funders and partners, the KFG brings the intelligence and experience of knowledge institutions together with the product development speed and capacity of technology companies.
We build better futures.
A New Approach to Infrastructure
We look for projects that move us far beyond the status quo, not just create more open versions of the current system. We focus on four core activities:
Product and tool development. We build low-cost, easy-to-use, open-source technologies that solve real problems for researchers, institutions, and society.
Standards, protocols, and best practices. We participate in the development of standards, technical and social protocols, and best practices that align with our goals and further our mission.
Advocacy. We advocate for the adoption of infrastructure and best practices that further this mission of making sure knowledge belongs to everyone.
Data collection and maintenance. We identify, collect, and distribute data in ways that help researchers, knowledge institutions, and funders assess impact effectively and fairly.
Our Core Values
Accessibility. We believe that competitive technologies must be simple and inexpensive to deploy and use. Our projects focus on lowering the time, technical, and cost barriers to entry – and on including everyone in the knowledge ecosystem.
Bottom-up process. We believe that bringing researchers and institutions closer to the tools they use is the key to durable change. Our projects deploy community-driven development practices to solve real problems.
Sustainability. We believe that technologies cannot perpetually rely on short-lived grants to compete effectively with proprietary alternatives. We look for projects with viable sustainability models and we help develop them.
Funding & Governance
The Knowledge Futures Group is run by a consortium of knowledge institutions who contribute funding and steer the organization. Operations are supported by generous infrastructure grants from individuals and foundations.
We treat projects like experiments. New projects are designed to reach sustainability in a finite time, with measurable key results determined by our leadership and members. This focus on sustainability means that member dues and infrastructure grants fund core operations and new projects, rather than keeping an ever-growing list of legacy work alive.