Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
P2P Foundation · Visioning

About

73
Publications
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Introduction
Michel Bauwens is the founder and director of the P2P Foundation and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. Michel is also research director of CommonsTransition.org. a platform for policy development aimed toward a society of the Commons and a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group, with Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, organizers of major global conferences on the commons and economics. He has (co-)published various books and reports in english, dutch and french, such as (with Vasilis Kostakis), such as ‘Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy’, and more recently, P2P, A Commons Manifesto (Westminster Un. Pr. 2019). Michel currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand and in 2017, has crafted a Commons Transition Plan for the city of Ghent in Belgium, after a similar project for Ecuador in 2014. For the next three years he is also advizer to SMart.coop, a fast growing European labour mutual for autonomous workers, seeking welfare reform (commonfare), while looking into biocapacity-based, contributive accounting mechanisms. Michel has been a candidate for the European Parliament, for the Flemish Green Party but as an independent candidate, on May 26, 2019. His last report, P2P Accounting for Planetary Survival, examines which shared accounting systems are needed for production within planetary boundaries. He is currently working on prototyping a MOOC on commons-based economics.

Publications

Publications (73)
Book
Sacred Civics argues that societal transformation requires that spirituality and sacred values are essential to reimagining patterns of how we live, organize and govern ourselves, determine and distribute wealth, inhabit and design cities, and construct relationships with others and with nature. The book brings together transdisciplinary and globa...
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The re-emergence of commoning over the last decades is not incidental, but rather indicative of a large-scale transition to a more “generative” organization of society that is oriented toward the planet’s global carrying capacity. Digital commons governance frameworks are of particular importance for a new global paradigm of cooperation, one that c...
Chapter
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A 'grammar' of peer production, i.e. a review of the main characteristics of this mode of producing and distributing value, based on open contributions and the creation of commons, facilitated technically by digital networking which allows for peer to peer self-organization. An update and reflection of the landmark essay: The Political Economy of P...
Article
In this chapter, the author revisits Michel's 2005 article, adopting, expanding, and refining the operational concepts – or “grammar” – he used to define peer production projects and the institutional ecosystems which sustain them. As capitalism faces a series of structural crises, a new socio‐technical dynamic is emerging from its ashes: peer‐to‐p...
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We live in a transformative moment in human history, at once on the precipice of crisis and simultaneously awakening into a new awareness of ourselves as commoners and planetary beings. For the individual, this transformative moment in human history feels more like a crisis than a transition-drawn out, full of dangers, obstacles, and growing pains....
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Minor additions have been added to the original essay: Reimagining New Socio-Technical Economics Through the Application of Distributed Ledger Technologies
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Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is increasingly proposed as a powerful tool to address the social and ecological challenges in the Global South. DLTs are opening up possible futures, one of which is a wave of infrastructure decentralization with common-centric and cosmo-local production. Shared logistics and supply chains for a circular economy...
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The proposal of this paper is to present a summary of ten years of research at the P2P Foundation, including by our own P2P Lab but also by our partners in common research programs, of what we know today about the emerging commons economy. It includes a basic account of why the ‘invention’ of the blockchain has been important, but stresses that the...
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Our main hypothesis in this paper is that in the current conjuncture, we are moving towards a ‘dominance’ of a ‘commons’ format for societal development. The commons format assumes a ‘third’ mode of development that indicates civil society and community as critical initiators and guardians of common value. The emerging commons model should be disti...
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This essay discusses peer-to-peer social dynamics and the relevant technological infrastructures that enable new modes of production. Commons-based peer production is presented as an alternative to the profit-driven peer-to-peer production models of the digital economy. The latter models utilize the peer-to-peer dynamics to harness social creativit...
Article
This article explores how autonomous workers/contributors, involved in peer-to-peer relations, can organise their productive efforts so that they have sustainable livelihoods. The discussion is guided by the concept of ‘open cooperativism’, which argues for a synergy between the commons-based peer production movement and elements of the cooperative...
Chapter
This chapter presents peer-to-peer theory and practice in the context of alter-globalization and planetary perspective on change. It begins through a short elicitation on peer-to-peer theory. It then synthesizes a dialogic engagement between peer-to-peer (P2P) theory and nine perspectives on planetary change: reform liberalism, post-development, re...
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Weltweit entstehen immer mehr Initiativen des Selbermachens, in denen eine Vielfalt von Anliegen und Problemen kollektiv bearbeitet werden. In diesen - jenseits von Markt und Staat angesiedelten - kollaborativen Zusammenhängen wird ein basisdemokratisch orientiertes Verständnis von Zusammenleben und Urbanität erprobt und zugleich nach ökologisch un...
Chapter
Today, the majority of human beings are city dwellers. In this increasingly urbanized world, smart cities are emerging as an alternative city model to tackle several environmental, economical, and societal issues. Although there is not any compact and agreed-upon definition of smart cities, cities are generally defined as “smart” when they are infu...
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Full-text available
Two prominent social progressive movements are faced with a few contradictions and a paradox. On the one side, we have a re-emergence of the co-operative movement and worker-owned enterprises which suffer from certain structural weaknesses. On the other, we have an emergent field of open and Commons-oriented peer production initiatives which create...
Article
This article aims to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on post-capitalist construction by exploring the contours of a commons-oriented productive model. On the basis of this model called "design global-manufacture local", we argue that recent techno-economic developments around the emergence of commons-based peer production and desktop manufacturi...
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Experience report on the implementation of P2P process, collaboration and knowledge sharing, called flok (Free/Libre Open Knowledge) in Equator. In the face of difficulties, we highlight the government's reluctance to give effective support, not considered strategic. Often, in order not explicit, the government claims to support but eventually affe...
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The emergence of radical right populism shows the end game of classic neoliberalism is in sight, and a new regime is in preparation. In this context, we need to know what the forces are that propel the victories of the Trump movement, and what progressive forces can do, especially in the context of the emergence of peer to peer and commons dynamics...
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ResumoNos atuais modos de funcionamento do mercado e do Estado, a sociedade civil não tem possibilidade de criar valor a partir de sua visão sobre o que é necessário para sua comunidade. Na lógica do mercado, bens e serviços são produzidos com o objetivo principal de obtenção de lucro e no Estado representativo os cidadãos não têm poder de decisão...
Book
This book builds on the idea that peer-to-peer infrastructures are gradually becoming the general conditions of work, economy, and society. Using a four-scenario approach, the authors seek to simplify possible outcomes and to explore relevant trajectories of the current techno-economic paradigm within and beyond capitalism. © Vasilis Kostakis and M...
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Full-text available
Two prominent social progressive movements are faced with a few contradictions and a paradox. On the one side, we have a re-emergence of the co-operative movement and worker-owned enterprises which suffer from certain structural weaknesses. On the other, we have an emergent field of open and Commons-oriented peer production initiatives which create...
Article
Two prominent social progressive movements are faced with a few contradictions and a paradox. On the one side, we have a re-emergence of the co-operative movement and worker-owned enterprises which suffer from certain structural weaknesses. On the other, we have an emergent field of open and Commons-oriented peer production initiatives which create...
Chapter
This chapter describes the first technological regime/future scenario which develops within the context of a new-feudal form of cognitive capitalism. ‘Netarchical capitalism’ matches centralized control of a distributed infrastructure with an orientation toward the accumulation of capital. For Kostakis and Bauwens, the netarchical capital is that f...
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This chapter highlights the progressive aspects of the cognitive capitalist projects that were discussed in the two previous chapters. The critical observation and documentation of the potentialities of such projects can arguably offer valuable lessons and chances for utilization. This chapter claims that Commons-based communities can benefit from...
Chapter
This chapter addresses the third future scenario which has a local orientation with a focus on the Commons. In the ‘resilient communities’ scenario there is distributed control over the P2P infrastructures while the focus is mostly on relocalization and the re-creation of local communities. It is often based on an expectation for a future marked by...
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This chapter deals with the ‘Global Commons’ scenario which celebrates the hypothetical model of mature peer production. Advocates of this scenario argue that the Commons should be created and fought for on a global scale. Though production is distributed and therefore facilitated at the local level, the resulting micro-factories are considered as...
Chapter
Many would argue that no other economic system than capitalism has produced so much wealth. On the other hand, some might claim that no other system has produced so much destruction. Others consider capitalism as a creative destruction system. This chapter discusses the theory of techno-economic paradigm shifts with the aim to recognize the dynamic...
Chapter
The P2P infrastructures, such as the Internet, are those infrastructures for communication, cooperation and common value creation that allow for permission-less interlinking of human cooperators and their technological aids. It has been assumed that such infrastructures are becoming the general conditions of work, life and society. In this context,...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the second technological regime/future scenario which develops within the context of a new-feudal form of cognitive capitalism. For Kostakis and Bauwens, ‘distributed capitalism’ matches distributed control over the infrastructure with a focus on capital accumulation. Under this technological regime, P2P infrastructures are d...
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At the current turning point of the ICT-based techno-economic paradigm and within the present political economy, this chapter argues, there are three different value models competing for dominance, which influence the way that the institutional recompositions will take place. One form is still dominant, but rapidly declining in importance; a second...
Chapter
There is arguably a need for political and social mobilization on regional, national and transnational scale, with a political agenda that would transform people’s expectations, the economy, the infrastructures and the institutions in the vein of a Commons-oriented political economy. According to Kostakis and Bauwens, the latter is not a utopia or...
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On the politics and economics of the peer-to-peer phenomenon, connections between life in art and the work of (digital) creatives today, and forms of urbanism that may emerge from these circumstances. Michel Bauwens is one of the foremost thinkers on the peer-to-peer phenomenon. Belgian-born and currently resident in Chiang-Mai, Thailand, he is fou...
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How will peer to peer infrastructures, and the underlying intersubjective and ethical relational model that is implied by it, affect scientific practice? Are peer-to-peer forms of cooperation, based on open and free input of voluntary contributors, participatory processes of governance, and universal availability of the output, more productive than...
Article
The aim of this paper is to make the case that peer production offers a unique chance to transcend capitalism, and that peer-to-peer movements represent the succession of industrial-society based socialisms. The paper describes the salient characteristics of peer production before going on to explore whether it is ‘transcendent’ or ‘immanent’ to th...
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This article argues that the information economy is split in two. On the one hand, there is the traditional capitalist economy that works with monetary incentives. This economy still handles the main part of material production: the production of cars, shoes, computer chips, and the transportation and maintenance of these goods. But immaterial prod...
Article
Le « peer to peer » est la dynamique intersubjective caractéristique des réseaux distribués. Le but de cet essai est de montrer qu'il s'agit d'une véritable nouvelle forme d’organisation sociale, apte à produire et échanger des biens, à créer de la valeur. Celle-ci est la conséquence d'un nouvel imaginaire social, et possède le potentiel de devenir...
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In this introduction to Integral Review’s inaugural issue, we explain the meaning we give to the title of this electronic journal which is open-access, both refereed and peer-reviewed, and why that meaning is important for us in today’s world. The draft of the basic article, which was intensely discussed among the members of the editorial committee...
Article
Before I started the P2P Foundation, I wrote this somewhat cyber-utopian text, which presents the potential of peer to peer technology and 'peer to peer relationships' as a key to societal transformation. It looks at the 'isomorphic' emergence of P2P dynamics in the different sectors of human existence. It is available in wiki format at https://...
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Discusses use of the Internet and World Wide Web in searching for sources of information on the legal profession in the wider context of the searching techniques available. Reviews the Web sites available for monitoring legal developments, including: Legal Practice Newsletter; CyberNews; CyberSpace Law Center; CyberSpace Statutes; and online period...
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Describes the construction and coverage of the Cybrarian’s Guide to Cyber-Marketing, an annotated and structured subject guide to Internet resources in the field of interactive marketing, online advertising and electronic commerce. The Guide monitors new Internet resources, especially Web sites and review articles, in terms of Internet marketing (p...
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Continues the theme of an earlier article (Business Information Review, 13(2), June 1996, pp. 77–82 (LISA ref. 9611401)), which presented a conceptual map of business information available on the Internet and the Web. Describes generic sources of information, covering general Internet business information development, including: sources for daily n...
Article
‘If you're not on the net, you're not in the know’, stated The Economist in its 1992 year-end review of conspiracies and networks. While it is true that the Internet is a wonderful resource, i.e. an ocean of information waiting to be tapped, and while it is also true that the information is freely available, not everybody has access to it. If you'r...
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Describes the use of Information Partner software by the Information Officer at BP Nutrition Headquarters for the delivery of competitor information.
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Describes a new organisational model for corporate libraries using the latest technology and taking into account modern business practices within large companies.
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Discusses the way in which business information professionals can keep abreast of new developments. Covers periodicals, associations, electronic communication and educational resources.

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