It is not always easy to objectify the reality of the P2P transition.

On the cultural front, we can point to the change in attitudes documented by the Edelman Peer Trust Barometer, which between the years 2003 and 2007 saw a radical shift from trust in institutions to trust in ‘people like me’.

On the economic level, we can cite the Fair Use report, which calculates that already one sixth of U.S. GDP activities relied on shared knowledge, i.e. fair use exceptions to copyright law, involving an estimated 17 million workers.

What is happening objectively in the civic sphere is harder to determine, but here is a very interesting graph from commons researcher Tine de Moor in a study entitled “Homo Cooperans”, which only counts formal civic initiatives, so not even counting the informal communities that are at the heart of peer production itself. It basically shows the start and exponential rise of civic initiatives starting about ten years ago in 2004, a deceleration in 2008 due to the shock of the crisis, and a new exponential update shortly after.

These and other data are cited in an article by Dutch transition researcher Jan Rotmans, who stresses that these initiatives are emphatically not a result of governmental stimulation, but have been created outside that sphere.


Photo by alex mertzanis

2 Comments The graph that everyone should see: the P2P revolution is real and exponential

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