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The Brief

We Are Open helped Creative Commons develop a CC Master Certificate and specialised versions for educators, government, and librarians. We helped them start to shape a brand and visuals for the certificates themselves.

Thanks to the entire We Are Open Cooperative team for today’s thinkathon. It’s incredibly helpful to have you all help us think through what a new kind of certificate is, or might be.

Paul Stacey

The client

Creative Commons “helps individuals and organizations legally share their knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world — unlocking the full potential of the internet to drive a new era of development, growth and productivity.”

Our work

We ran a virtual Thinkathon to get the ball rolling around:

  • Generating a fun Creative Commons Certificates brand that aligns with Creative Commons organisational image and identity
  • Visually conveying the designs of the Certificates themselves
  • Inviting/inciting CC Certificates participation

Every thinkathon we run is different, and what made this particularly good was the familiarity of everyone involved with meeting virtually. This led to an extremely productive session, where we went both broad and deep on various issues.

“Nothing is off the table,” said Paul Stacey, who led the project for Creative Commons. That was music to the We Are Open team’s ears, who like to think openly, invite tangents, and are comfortable exploring rabbit holes before zooming out to see the bigger picture.

One particularly rich vein we explored was the type of metaphors that could be used for Creative Commons certification. In the space of a few minutes, we came up with around 30 metaphors — ways in which we could use to explain the importance of ‘the commons’.

You can read more about our Thinkathon with Creative Commons in this blog post by Doug.

Our Outputs

By the end of the Thinkathon, the Creative Commons team were ready to move on and focus on four integral questions:

  1. What is it like to participate in curriculum/certificate? This has to have both informal and formal piece. What’s the experience of engagement?
  2. What are the activities people are engaging in? Knowledge needs to be applied and people should become part of the community.
  3. What does assessment look like? Who is assessing? What is assessed?
  4. What constitutes ‘completion’? In a formal sense, and particularly with libraries and governments (they need a start/end).