p2p foundation

p2p foundaation site

founder/president/curator:  Michel Bauwens.. (other 2 founders)

  • the zero node website, i.e. the site of the P2P Foundation, would have a website with directories, an electronic newsletter and blog, and a magazine. It aims to be one of the places where people can interconnect and strengthen each other, and discuss topics of common interest.

Michel Bauwens, November 29, 2005

The P2P Foundation has several nodes on the web: a wiki,blog, a social network, and an email discussion list. Each has an administrator.


intro to p2p via  blog via Michel oct 2013:

p2p is a global research collaboratory.. action research ish

copyright/patent making it more difficult for people to share.. 

do it as a community..  not for scarcity..

4:29 – all kinds of collab – consumption is one – mutualize physical resources, you have to share knowledge as common good – crowdsourcing – not collabing because you compete with logo.. c.. fb – sharing but not constructing something in common..

7 min – sharing vs cheating – maybe they were sharing.. when we thought they were cheating

low hanging fruit – knowledge and software code… making physical is more demanding.. how to move from immaterial peer production to material peer production… what if we do this with money, machinery, energy.. 

10 min – talking about a commons – a post- capitalist system (making things to make a profit)

12 – what does it take to go from prototype stage to mainstream – 


p2p on ed:

p2p on ed


Michel’s tiny little 6 mos project in equador… 1st sharing country..

flok society



atomic energy can be used for good (energy) or for bad (war),
Thus, the emergence of peer to peer as a phenomena spanning the whole social field is not ‘caused’ by technology; it is rather the opposite, the technology reflects a new way of being and feeling,
Society is not just a physical arrangement, or a rational-functional arrangement, but everything is experienced symbolically and reflects a meaning that cannot be reduced to the real or the rational. It is the product of a ‘radical social imaginary’.
In this context, peer to peer is the product of a newly arising radical social imaginary. Nevertheless, this does not mean that technology is not an important factor.
he development of P2P technology is an extraordinary vector for its generalization as a social practice, beyond the limitations of time and space, i.e. geographically bounded small bands. What we now have for the first time is a densely interconnected network of affinity-based P2P networks. Thus, the technological format that is now becoming dominant, is an essential part of a new feedback loop, which strengthens the emergence of P2P to a degree not seen since the demise of tribal civilization. It is in this particular way that the current forms of P2P are a historical novelty, and not simply a repeat of the tolerated forms of egalitarian participation in essentially hierarchical and authoritarian social orders.




nov 2014

shared by Michelp2p foundation – on fb:



knowledge as a common


city ness

money ness


feb 20 2014:

Meeting on Sensorica’s open value accounting system with the p2pValue research group


new p2p blog (feb 2016):

p2p foundation

from about page:

hat it offers not only youth but people of all ages a vision of renewal and hope to create a world that is more in tune with their values; that it creates a new language and discourse in tune with the new historical phase of ‘cognitive capitalism’. P2P is a language which every digital literate can understand. However, ‘peer-to-peer theory’ addresses itself not only to knowledge workers and the network-enabled but to the whole of civil society, and to whoever agrees that the core of decision-making should be located in civil society, not in the market or in the state, and that the latters should be the servants of civil society.

perhaps problem is more meta… ie: who keeps deciding on the decisions to be made… and that decisions need a consensus… perhaps.. we just need better.. coord.. re grouping.. facilitating…
esp.. listening … deciding… w/o agenda..
thinking louis‘ unu magnets dragging/pulling the puck..
why is there a puck…?.
intro to p2p – videos via Michel:

p1 – what is p2p

p2p is a permissionless way of communicating w/each other but also creating value with each other… diff today.. w/tech.. can now scale global.. can scale small group dynamics

if you can freely join common project.. no one can tell you what to do.. so need a new form of governance and property..

p 2 – p2p politics

start organizing the world the way you want it to be – reconstructing society and fighting injustice… reconstruction of politics around notion of the commons

p 3 – economics

citizens become productive force as value – now an ethical market econ… new form of state – partner state – how does this work w/ dominant system…  ie: when have to make a living.. have to work for company.. we need to make commons production autonomous… so people need open coops… to create own livelihoods… 3 main ways to react to econ crisis 1\ sustainability 2\ solidarity 3\ sharing … we need to build bridges between those three..

p 4 – copyfair licenses

value created in communities stays w/in common hood to create livelihood.. ie: open coops.. shared knowledge/infrastructure… and open coop co produces a common.. open coop 1\social goal – not profit making 2\ multi stake holder 3\ co production of commons.. 4\ takes global view.. alt to private/profit companies… 5\ work on licensing.. copy left – everyone can contribute and use… also big companies… copy fair.. only thing it changes is that if you want to use commons w/o contributing.. have to pay…   6\ open source circular econ…   7\ open value .. or contributary accounting… rish capture of value of many by few… a fair contract w/in contributive communities


transformative proposals… 2015 – [much like Michel‘s talk at cu boulder april 2016]:



A Synthesis of the Findings of P2P Theory: Ten Years After bit.ly/1NIZMtk
pretty much recap of talk I just took in (via Michel – may 2016 – berkman center w Yochai)..
1/  network: commons
2/ market: ethical
3/ govt: for benefit (for all people/ nature)
1/ productive (N- network),,, contribute to commons
2/ ethical (M- market).. based on needs/livelihood
3/ beneficial (I- institution).. doesn’t direct.. but allows space resources to happen


taken from convo on fb (aug 2016) about steemit not being p2p.. mostly adding words from Michel:

michel: so to answer Rogier … why is it not p2p ? the answer is, where is the commons, are the people primariliy competing as individuals, or constructing something together

roger: Thanks for your clear response. So whether or not some organizational structure is P2P depends not so much on the structure but on the intention behind it?

michel: dear Rogier, no no, not just intent, the actual concrete practice, is the design dominated by the creation of internal competition for tokens ? or is it designed to create a common resource through cooperation … of course, the design depends on the intent, but you can have a good design by accident without the intent, or, good intent, but lack of knowledge of what that means for the design ; the intent can be unconscious, a value-sensitive design analysis would uncover it .. so , if the members of a community are unconciously convinced that people need to be incentivized (i.e. believe that external motivation is the key), rather than say, believe that people are internally, intrinsically motivated … clearly in the case of steemit, it seems the underlying belief is that people are writing for money or tokens; while the huffington post believes the people are intrinsically motivated (and they ‘extract’ value from that); also look at the governance models, is everything based on individuals contracting with each other; or is it based on measures of dialogue and common discussion .


Michel share on fb:

P2P Value is a landmark study because it is the first long (3-year) scientific study of 300+ peer production communities, and it largely confirms the ten years of empirical observations that form the basis of P2P Theory and the documentation in the P2P Foundation Wiki. Our team was also one of the 8 partners in the consortium. Here are some interesting findings, which I would like to highlight: [ 1,716 more word ]


Here are some interesting findings, which I would like to highlight:

1. These communities are also ‘imaginary communities’ with specific values, ….

2. A majority of 78% of these communities are practicing, preparing and/or looking into open value or contributory accounting systems; …..

3. Reputation capital is a fictitious commodity that has an effective capacity to drive and allocate resources to these common projects.

This document is therefore a must-read for the P2P and Commons community


“The publication of Yochlai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks in 2006 introduced the notion of Commons based peer production (CBPP) to the theoretical vocabulary of the social sciences.


(In Michel Bauwens’ (2005) words CBPP communities are self-organized ‘adhocracies’: organizational structures and hierarchies emerges as a consequence of practice and members invest significant time and energy in developing organizational forms and governance systems as they go along.)


To Benkler CBPP is primarily a civic, rather than an economic phenomenon. As such it is driven by virtues, which he understands to be beyond calculation (Benkler, 2006:109). And although he concedes that it is sometimes possible to construct economic explanations for participation in CBPP communities (as in the early work of Lerner & Tirole, 2002), this, he suggests, somehow does violence to the phenomenon:

indeed.. violence.. via the measuring..


This non-economic nature of CBPP is central to Benkler’s whole theory. Not only does it serve to separate CBPP from markets and hierarchies, but it is also key to the civic and political potential of this movement.


top 10 trends in 2016

Top Ten P2P Trends of 2016 – P2P Foundation https://t.co/JInUD6Idk4

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/KevinCarson1/status/816792631925764096

1\ struggle for appropriate scale

2\ infrastructure.. 2017 yr of pilots

3\ coop econ in rojava – platform coop

4\ commons renaissance in w eu cities

5\ super competent democracies – fake news

6\ politicisation of commons

7\ p2p value report finding on existing peer production communities

8\ tech sovereignty

9\ gender/race.. diversity

fb share by Michel

I started writing the final synthesis of our annual list, preview of Trend 1:

Trend 1: The struggle for the appropriate scale of a new world order: Localization, Global Nomadic Structures, and the Subsidiarity of Material Production[edit]
Indeed, what Bosserman describes is the loss of faith in bigger centralized structures, such as the nation-state, and a huge return to the necessity and feeling of localization. And we can see it everywhere. In 2016, a study on the Flanders by the Green think thank Oikos, confirmed the results of an earlier study by Tine de Moor in her booklet Homo Cooperans: there has been a tenfold increase in local civic initiatives over the last ten years, and many of those involve the creation of commons-based shared resources at the local level. So yes, there is indeed a demonstrated exponential rise of urban commons inititiatives. With Christian Iaoione and his colleagues of LabGov, and with Vasilis Niaros of the P2P Lab, we have undertaken a analysis of 40 urban commons case studies (half of them from the Global South), which confirms the present sophistication not just of the project individually, but of public urban policies that support them.
At the same time though, the internet continues to exerce itself as a technology for global neo-nomadic structures. In our list from last year, we mentioned the huge underground neo-nomadic economy of the transmigrants described in the Alain Tarius’ seminal book (Etrangers de Passage) on the ‘poor to poor, peer to peer’ infrastructures. This year, we witnessed the international expansion of the kind of peer to peer entrepreneurial coalitions we are following, such as the Enspiral collective. On the geeky side, infrastructures such as the Embassy Networks, ImpactHub and other franchises are continuing their development apace, creating ‘circular territories’ or territories of circulation that are not confined to borders and nation-states. Our own report, Value in the Commons, co-written with Vasilis Niaros, highlights three cases studies of how such global entre-donneurial (i.e. generative towards the commons, rather than extractive) coalitions are developing complex contributory accounting systems. The P2P Value study, which studied 300 peer production communities over 3 years, with the P2P Foundation as member of that consortium, unearther significant findings under-writing our theses on these global governance mechanisms. For example, in Adam Arvidsson’s (et al.) concluding esssay on the findings, he found that a majority of 78% of these communities are practicing, preparing and/or looking into open value or contributory accounting systems; again, this is significant since changes in accounting practices and philosophies have accompanied the great value regime transitions in the past. Just as important are the findings on the new post-natioanl ideologies being born in such communities: these communities are also ‘imaginary communities’ with specific values, i..e. they want to make the world a better place, i.e. they are ethical communities not just profit-maximising entities, and their identification is in global networks, not just the locales they are embedded in. This is historically important since it echoes the birth of nation-states as imaginary communities (see Benedict Anderson’s landmark book on this topic). As one neo-tribal advocate [3] writes: “Neotribes aspire to be both grounded in the local and connected to the global.”
The issue that is raised here is how to compose the contradictory yearnings for localization, with the emergence of global trans-national structures, practices and mentalities that are occuring at the same time. At the P2P Foundation, we believe there is a logic which ‘transcends and includes’ the advantages and necessities of both localization and trans-nationalization: what we call Cosmo-Localization as a organizational principle for the organization of society at all levels (what’s light is shared globally, what’s heavy is organized and produced locally). Applied to industrial and material production, our friends at the P2P Lab call this methodology: DGML (‘Design Global, Manufacture Local’) and a prime expression of this are the plans of the Fab City coalition (of which we are now a part as well), which works around the Barcelona Pledge, to re-localize the production of products, services and food by a factor of 50% by 2054, and which now coalesces 16 cities. One of the main expressions. and drivers of such trans-nationalization may well be international coalitions of cities such as this one. In the last few weeks, thinking through the tension between localization and trans-nationalization, I have come up with the concept of ‘the subsidiarity of material production’, which marries both imperatives, and can be clearly distinguished from both nation-state protectionism, neolilberal globalization, but also simple reactice localism.


jan 2017

“Peer-to-peer: a new opportunity for the left” by @mbauwens & Vasilis Kostakis https://t.co/Sa4slyD86Y@P2P_Foundation #P2P https://t.co/uVQ4ObrY9e

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ROAR_Magazine/status/819625741562314752

  1. P2P is a type of social relations in human networks;

  2. P2P is also a technological infrastructure that makes the generalization and scaling up of such relations possible;

  3. P2P thus enables a new mode of production and exchange;

  4. P2P creates the potential for a transition to an economy that can be generative towards people and nature.

    We believe that these four aspects will profoundly change human society


the P2P relational dynamic — strengthened by particular forms of technological capacities — may become the dominant way of allocating the necessary resources for human self-reproduction, and thus replace capitalism as the dominant form.


On the one side, for example, we can consider the capitalism of Facebook, Uber or Bitcoin. On the other, we can look at the commons-oriented models of Wikipedia or free/open-source software projects.


That said, we argue that as long as peer producers or commoners cannot engage in their own self-reproduction outside of capital accumulation, it remains a proto-mode of production, not a full one.


the new class of commoners cannot rely on capitalist investment and practices. They must use skillful means to render commons-based peer production more autonomous from the dominant political economy. E

host-life-bits.. as the day [aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]


we should strive to escape the situation in which capitalists co-opt the commons, and head towards a situation in which the commons capture capital, and make it work for its own development.

This proposed strategy of reverse cooptation has been called “transvestment” by telekommunists Dmytri Kleiner and Baruch Gottlieb. Transvestment describes the transfer of value from one modality to another. In our case this would be from capitalism to the commons. Thus transvestment strategies aim to help commoners become financially sustainable and independent. Such strategies are being developed and implemented by commons-oriented entrepreneurial coalitions such as the Enspiral network or Sensorica.