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The accelerating emergence of an Open Food Movement

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
23rd November 2014


Excerpted from Kirsten Larsen et al. who writes:

“A movement of practitioners is emerging who are applying Open Source philosophy to food systems work. Our goal in this article is to recognize the power of this fledgling movement and to highlight some of the people and organizations who are using Open Source for food.

For food systems work, Open Source means open ideas, knowledge, plans, documents, tools, code, data, and so on, all open for use and improvement by others. Instead of privatizing and patenting intellectual property, we’re sharing designs and building off each other’s innovations.

When source code is “open,” anyone can start where someone else left off. Any documented piece of knowledge can be reused and redirected to fit unique situations and local needs. It can be shared across the globe and implemented quickly and easily by local people and organizations working within their communities.

In the late 1990s, the software community popularized the term “open source” to denote “open code” which is available for use by all. The idea was powerful and gave rise to a vibrant Open Source software ecosystem. We all use products built on Open Source every day. Apache servers run the internet; Wikipedia has revolutionized… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Food and Agriculture, Open Content, Open Models, P2P Movements |

Greece: Insular Environments, Empowering Technogenesis for a Global Continent

photo of Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan
23rd November 2014


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On the 7th of November 2014, the Greek Society of Regional Scientists (SEP) and the Social Lab of Greek Engineers (KEP) co-organised a round table discussion with subject «Insular environments, empowering technogenesis for a global continent».

Michel Bauwens, invited guest, provided an introductory presentation concerning the similarities between P2P communities and insular regions or islands.

The key arguments discussed are:

  1. The insular approach in development shows how production and innovation may emerge without central control. Characteristics such as common language, shared values, goals and incentives, common value creation and mutuality, along with the inherited value of sustainability, can help us to understand the relevant… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Events, P2P Movements, Politics |

Digital Security Guide for Environmental Rights Defenders in Africa

photo of Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan
23rd November 2014


Written by Samuel Maina for Global Voices

A new digital security guide seeks to help environmental rights defenders in Sub-Saharan Africa protect themselves and their communities. Developed by Tactical Technology Collective, a Berlin-based info-activism organization, the guide was developed through a collaborative process with groups working in this field across the region.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.09.57 PMThe fight to save the environment and natural resources that impoverished communities depend on is intensifying as oil and gas are discovered in more and more places throughout Africa. The loss of land to agricultural multinationals and the building of mega-dams is increasing. Extraction of myriad other resources and poaching are all at an all-time high. In the middle of all this, environmental rights defenders (ERDs) are struggling to make corporations and governments accountable to the people and to defend the integrity of ecosystems.

Reports released by such organizations as Global Witness, particularly the “Dangerous Environment“ report, show a sharp increase in known killings of environmental and land defenders by their adversaries worldwide. The report shows that three times as many people were killed in 2012 than… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Activism |

Video of the Day: Algorithmic Hegemony & the Droning of Labor

photo of Stacco Troncoso
Stacco Troncoso
22nd November 2014


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First of a series of videos from the New School on Digital Labor. You can find the whole series here.

Algorithmic Hegemony & the Droning of Labor – Part 1

Algorithmic Hegemony & the Droning of Labor – Part 2

Algorithmic Hegemony & the Droning of Labor – Part 3

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Posted in: Cognitive Capitalism, Collective Intelligence, Culture & Ideas, Economy and Business, Featured Content, Featured Video, P2P Labor, Peer Property, Videos |

Knowledge as a Common – Communities of production and sharing in Greece

photo of Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan
22nd November 2014


Vasilis Kostakis -

“The free/open source software and design communities; hackerspaces and the do-it-yourself enthusiasts; movements for an independent Internet; initiatives for free/communal wifi and open access to knowledge; permaculture communities… What do all these have in common? Are they unrelated cases or coincidences? Or could they be seen as seeds of a new civilization full of contradictions and chances for renaissance and change? This documentary — a low-budget yet sublime production — narrates the story of several Greek-based, knowledge-oriented communities that are building the world they want, within the confines of the fragmented world they want to transcend.”

For English subtitles, go to “settings” on youtube and press ‘cc’

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Posted in: Activism, Culture & Ideas, Featured Movement, Featured Video, Videos |

Robin Murray on The Potential of Cooperative Alternatives

photo of Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan
22nd November 2014


In this excellent article Robin Murray illustrates the wealth of diversity in the Cooperative Movement with examples from the financial, industrial and social sectors of the economy.

The first great surge of co-operation took place in Britain at the dawn of the age of railways in the 1840s. It was a consumer co-operation of the industrial working class. Within 50 years it had grown into a network of more than 1,000 retail co-ops and a wholesale society that had become the largest corporate organisation in the world. By the first world war, British co-ops accounted for 40 per cent of food distribution. They owned their own factories, farms, shipping lines, banks, an insurance company and even a tea plantation in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The co-operative movement was, in the vision of one of its inspired organisers J T W Mitchell, on the way to developing an alternative economy.

There were similar movements of small farmers and artisans on the continent and in North America, and later in Asia. Common to them all was an emphasis on civic and workplace democracy, autonomy, the quality of work and on small-scale units gathered into large federated organisations… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Cooperatives |

Are You Ready to Trust a Decentralized Autonomous Organization?

photo of Nathan Schneider
Nathan Schneider
21st November 2014


The “social” in a lot of online social networking turns out to be pretty weak. Sure, we can share pictures and opinions with thousands of people, even organize protests and recommend one another for jobs. But protests organized on Facebook event pages tend not to turn into lasting organizations that can wield power after the fact. The employer one finds through LinkedIn can’t exist solely on the network; there’s likely brick-and-mortar somewhere, and certainly some paper documents. Social media only goes so far. So it’s probably not surprising that bands of geeks — and their investor friends — are eager to upload more aspects of life to the Internet: from money to contracts to organizations to entire countries.

Some of the odd boundaries between online and offline community are on display when you walk into Hacker Dojo, a member-run hackerspace not far from the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. A dull office-park storefront opens into an expanding series of rooms with clusters of people, mostly white and Asian young men, staring into their individual screens, but together. At the door,… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Collective Intelligence, Culture & Ideas, Economy and Business, Open Innovation, Original Content, P2P Business Models, P2P Development |

Video of the Day: The Future of Workers in the Sharing Economy

photo of Stacco Troncoso
Stacco Troncoso
21st November 2014


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Second of a series of videos from the New School on Digital Labor. You can find the whole series here.

The Future of Workers in the Sharing Economy – Part 1

The Future of Workers in the Sharing Economy – Part 2

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Posted in: Cognitive Capitalism, Crowdsourcing, Culture & Ideas, Economy and Business, Featured Video, P2P Labor, Sharing, Videos |

From Renewable Energy to Renewable Matter

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
21st November 2014


From the Post-War Era we have inherited a thriving society that is now threatened by pollution and a diminishing social cohesion. These problems cannot be solved by erecting defensive walls to stop innovation but by building bridges towards an engaging future. Renewing energies, materials and relations is the way forward.

From the Renewable Matter magazine launch editorial:

” Today, the march towards renewable energy can only be slowed down, but not reversed. Therefore, time has come to add a second pillar: that of renewable matter. It is a considerable conceptual leap implying an overturn of the current dominant viewpoint. Up until now, the industrial production generated a one-way material flow, turning part of nature into a mine and another into a dump, passing off pollution and environmental degradation as unavoidable collateral damage. On the other hand, the renewable matter approach views the environment as a key resource – the major asset for all possible exploitations and whose yield can be smartly utilised – and considers the materials involved in production as a continuous flow, in which single commodities are just the transitory steps matters goes through.

Such conceptual leap requires a change in language. Terms such as “virgin material”, “raw material”,… Continue reading »

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Posted in: P2P Ecology, P2P Manufacturing |

Trend of the Day: Edible Forests

photo of Guy James
Guy James
20th November 2014


By LUKE RUNYON:

“Imagine turning a public park into a free-for-all of community plants – and snacks. Food forests have been likened to Garden of Eden revelry, or the blissful sampling in Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall room.

It’s like a community garden on steroids. The concept is pretty simple: planners recreate a forest ecosystem with edible plants and trees in a public space. Then, in a deviation from most community garden models, they open it up and allow people to forage for food for free.

“It is a forest. It is a park. But it’s all edible, so the whole community can come in and sit under the apple tree and eat from the apple tree,” said Stephanie Syson, manager at the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI).

There are only a few food forests already up and running in the country, with the highest profile projects in Seattle, Wash. andWestern Massachusetts. Planners of a new food forest in the tiny mountain town of Basalt, Colo., are experimenting with the concept now, trying to figure out how to make… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Featured Trend, Food and Agriculture, P2P Infrastructures |