“Open-Source Reasoning and Open Mindedness as a Strategy for Responding to the Fukushima Crisis”
White Paper of the Asia Institute
June 7, 2014


This paper is an expansion of some of the central ideas that were articulated by Emanuel Pastreich and Layne Hartsell in an article published in Foreign Policy in Focus in September, 2013 concerning the response to the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The article, titled “The Century-Long Challenge to Respond to Fukushima,” called for an international collaborative response to the ecological, social and economic crisis left to the world after the disaster of March, 2011.

The article briefly outlined the potential role of wide scale collaboration across the globe between stakeholders and Institutions (public and private) across diverse disciplines to formulate and implement solutions to this on-going Fukushima nuclear disaster, radiation leakage from which has found its way into the food chain and even into products that sourced from Japan.

In addition to the treatment of the victims of radiation poisoning—which has led to the crippling of public health in the region—trust in many the formal institutions has declined due to their slow response to a problem that is still growing. Thus, posing a serious threat to public health in the Asia-Pacific region[1]. Moreover, the unprecedented secrecy surrounding the accident within the government and other institutions has resulted in many calls for greater transparency and participation of the Japanese and international intellectual community.

This white paper presents some of the original findings form a series of seminars involving experts working in varied fields related to nuclear technology, the environment, international relations and the potential of global networks. The white paper focuses on the potential for a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) collaborative method to employ so as to understand, mitigate and resolve the Fukushima crisis through long-term projects. The P2P method of collaborative production entails free interaction between producers of knowledge, products or even services, and the process can include citizens and other stakeholders (namely members and employees from corporations, public or private research institutions, governments, non-profits and NGOs). Many of us are familiar with P2P based collaborations in open source reasoning and development (such as Wikispeed, Wikipedia and Linux). The full potential for P2P to address more complex issues of policy and technology has not been fully explored, especially in East Asia. This white paper introduces in greater detail the possible avenues for P2P collaboration between knowledge producers globally that would be relevant in the Fukushima case and presents insights concerning feasibility and possible shortcomings in the solutions they could deliver. Furthermore, a special emphasis is placed on governance, owing to the information intensive nature of such collaborations and their potential to serve as models for future global collaboration between formal institutions and a host of experts and activists.

Chief Editors:

Shantesh Hede


The Asia Institute

Emanuel Pastreich


The Asia Institute

Layne Michael Hartsell

Research Fellow in convergence and 3E

The Asia Institute

Research Fellow in ethics and technology, The P2P Foundation




Michel Bauwens, Member at P2P Cooperative

Joachim Lohkamp, Founder at JOLOCOM

Xinyue Zhao, China coordinator at the Asia Institute

Andrew Ju, Researcher atthe Asia Institute

Daniel Garrett, Associate at the Asia Institute

Gabriel Pettyjohn, Researcher atthe Asia Institute

Kathrine Gladwin Ross, Auckland Art Gallery

Tiberius Brastaviceanu, Co-Founder at Sensorica.

Julian Gresser, Chairman of Global Innovation Integrators



The Paper is available in PDF format at the link below. 

Asia Institute White Paper on Fukushima 2014.06.08