You may have seen the name, Axim Collaborative, Inc., in documents like the new Open edX Contributor License Agreement (CLA). Some collaborators have asked about this name and the entity behind it and we want to clarify those details.
Axim Collaborative is the interim name for the nonprofit organization formerly known as edX Inc. In the future we will announce the permanent name of the nonprofit.
The core elements of that nonprofit organization — the trustees, the mission, the stewardship of the Open edX platform, even the tax ID — remain the same despite the name change. In signing the new CLA, you are effectively entering into an agreement with the same entity, under a different name.
The change of name was not the primary factor requiring us to issue a new CLA, rather that was required because:
- we are changing where the source code is contributed
- we are changing the agreement from a grant of ownership to a grant of license
To further clarify the context for the name and agreement changes, it may be helpful to understand the details of the evolution of the nonprofit organization to date.
In 2012: Harvard and MIT created a charitable nonprofit organization (the “Nonprofit”) called edX Inc. with a mission to:
- increase access to high quality education for everyone, everywhere,
- enhance teaching and learning on campus and online, and
- advance teaching and learning through research.
From 2012 – 2021: The Nonprofit accomplished this mission by (1) developing and maintaining the Open edX open source platform for online courses, (2) offering a global website at www.edX.org that runs on the Open edX Platform to host online educational courses and programs offered by partner colleges, universities, and other providers, and (3) assisting such partners in their creation of effective online educational content.
On November 16, 2021: the Nonprofit completed the sale of its global website business at www.edX.org to 2U, Inc. As a result of this transaction:
- The business known as edX and the www.edX.org website are no longer governed by Harvard or MIT.
- Instead, the business known as edX and the www.edX.org website are now part of a for-profit organization that is owned and operated by 2U, Inc., a publicly-traded, global education company.
- The Nonprofit expects to pursue its original mission through research and thought leadership activities that improve the accessibility and viability of online education and advance technical innovations for teaching and learning including via ongoing support for the Open edX open source platform. The Nonprofit is separate and independent from 2U, Inc.
- The Nonprofit continues to be governed by a board of trustees appointed by Harvard and MIT.