Year in review – P2P Foundation’s notable activities in 2015.
P2F founder Michel Bauwens spent seven months of travelling on three continents (with the personal assistance of Kevin Flanagan), including :
- Madison, Wisconsin (USA) working with Eric Olin Wright/ Real Utopias project
- Cassis, France at Fondation Camargo, outreach of a French book on P2P
- Catalonia, Spain working with the Catalan Integral Cooperative
- Baltimore, Maryland (USA), commons outreach in the Edge Funders network
- South Africa, working with our colleague Irma Wilson of Futuresharp
We worked on urban transitions, collaborating with Christian Iaione of LabGov, visiting and supporting the Bologna project and the City as a Commons conference of the IASC. We have also fostered relationships with individuals in Podemos and the citizen-led government coalitions in Barcelona and Madrid, and with the XES solidarity economy network.
We presented and/or participated in events including:
- OuiShareFest 2015
- International summit on domestic affairs
- World Social Forum in Tunisia
- Reinforcing Local Participation for a Democratic Europe
- Economy, People and Planet
- Degrowth Public Policies
- European Cultural Foundation’s Idea Camp
- Smart CSOs: Re-imagining Activism
Our proposals to create an independent political and social voice for commoners have led to several new developments in 2015, after onsite visits from Michel Bauwens:
- “Chambers of the Commons” and similar initiatives were created in Chicago (USA) and several cities in France
- a local Commons Transition Coalition in Australia was formed
An emerging interest in our approach led to our meeting with:
- Green Party parliamentary group (Belgium)
- Chairman of the Flemish Christian-democratic party
- Chairman of the Flemish socialist party
- Local officials (including mayors, ministers) in locations including New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland
In the educational sphere, our team (including John Restakis and Kevin Flanagan) held:
- A week-long teaching in commons economics at Schumacher College
- The first P2P Foundation Summer School, on ‘the art of commoning’
Reports of our work appeared in major articles in leading newspapers and magazines in several countries.
And, of course, The P2P Foundation also continued to diligently curate and nurture the knowledge commons, both here on our blog and on The P2P Foundation Wiki. Noted contributors to this blog have included: David Bollier, Carmen Lozano Bright, Kevin Carson, Kevin Flanagan, Sepp Hasslberger, Øyvind Holmstad, Guy James, Vasilis Kostakis, Rajesh Makwana, Nathan Schneider, Penny Travlou, and the team from las Indias, among a great many others.
In 2015, we’ve developed alliances with partners including:
Together, we are planning joint actions to build a new, transnational activist network identified with the Commons to broaden into mainstream awareness.
Commons Transition works with communities wishing to adapt the Commons Transition approach to their prefigurative systems, including the Catalan Integral Coop (CIC). We spent a week with the CIC, studying their projects, giving lectures on P2P and building relationships. For this sub-project, we were awarded one of the first Robin Hood Coop collective grants. We will continue our collaborative work developing their bio-regional, civil society-led Commons Transition plan.
Along with its network of fellows and collaborators from all over the world, the P2P Lab has been mostly active in a theoretical basis in 2015, focusing primarily on transitional scenarios in various academic research fields as well as imagining visions for a commons-oriented economy and society.
Our full output for 2015 as well as other information, like our open call for new collaborators, may be found in the Lab’s webspace. In a nutshell, this past year the Lab has produced pieces of academic work that look into subjects like smart cities; open source technologies (such as 3d printing) in education; digital economies; the relationship between law and technological advancement; and most importantly the advent of a new production model called “design global – manufacture local”.
At the same time, we have designed large scale research projects and mapped out their materialization by securing research partners and exploring funding opportunities.