The Most Important P2P-related Projects and Trends of 2013

Here is my proposed selection of what mattered most last year. Please visit all the links here.

Please note ‘most important’ does not mean ‘the best’ nor an endorsement. It simply means that the experiences and initiatives are significant from a p2p point of view.

What did I forget ? Do let me know of other interesting trends and projects!

1. Open value accounting, open book accounting and open supply chains

* Sensorica’s Open Value Network

* Check out Curto Cafe in Nitteroi, Brazil, to see a fundamental re-organisation of the coffee supply chain using p2p/commons/sharing principles, combining open research, crowdfunded retail expansion and many other interesting innovations

2. New open manufacturing methodologies

* WikiSpeed’s Xtreme Manufacturing design methodology ; and the Tabby open source vehicle that can be assembled in one hour

* Simone Cicero’s tireless work on documenting Open Electronics

3. Policy initiatives at city, regional and national scale

On the city level,

* Brest has continued its pioneering city commons development ; San Francisco has instituted a San Francisco Sharing Economy Working Group; Naples has nominated a Assessor of the Commons and ‘commonified’ its water supply, i.e. the Acqua Bene Comune Napoli project, setting an example of possibly more Public-Commons Partnerships. But it’s Sharing City Seoul that is the most ambitious.

2013 was also the year of big and substantive urban revolts in Istanbul, Turkey and Sao Paolo, Brazil; like the 15M and Occupy movements they may leave in its wake revitalized activst and constructive networks (such as the movement against expulsion that came out of 15M in Spain and initiatives like the Rolling Jubilee which came out of Occupy).

On the regional level, after the pioneering Open Commons Region Linz,

* it is now the French territory of Bordeaux which is launching a process to make the sharing economy the central plank of its regional development

But the big news is definitely that for the first time in history, a nation-state has legitimized the p2p/commons social transition,

* by asking to prepare a transition plan and legal framework.

4. The Emergence of Open technology cooperatives and open cooperativism

* The Open Tech Collaborative with projects like Open Source Beehives shows that ambitious programs on the line of Open Source Ecology can be democratically run.

* Guerilla Translation, for its adoption of Dmytri Kleiner’s Peer Production License

* Las Indias and its work on Phyles, global community-supportive business coalitions

* The work of Pat Conaty, Mike Lewis, Annemarie Naylor, Mira Luna, John Restakis, Robin Murray on Open Cooperativism, following the early lead of Josef Davies-Coates’ Open Coop model.

5. Developments in open agriculture, farmer to farmer cooperation and open agriculture machining designs

* Projects like the Nutrient Dense Project, and other forms of farmer-to-farmer cooperation such as Farmer-Scientist Partnership for Agricultural Development

6. Commons-oriented cloudfunding and crowdfunding and other funding innovations

* The Goteo commons oriented cloudfunding system is going beyond the merely ‘reverse market’ crowdfunding market model directed at individuals

7. Multiple currency innovations

* Following the innovative block chain model of the Bitcoin Protocol which should be distinguished from the problematic first 9currency that it produced, many new forks are pushing forward the frontier of more community-oriented cryptocurrencies, such as the demurrage-based Freicoin. See the update by Jem Bendell on the 15 weaknesses of Bitcoin and how they are being addressed.

Watch out for projects like FAZ and OpenUDC for experimental systems that integrate the Basic Income in their provision.

8. Critical and constructive voices on the sharing economy, and its legal empowerment

* The Ouishare global movement and Shareable magazine continue their expansion, community building, and even policy work on various fronts.

* More specifically, Janelle Orsi’s Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) and the pan-european ShareLex are starting to identify the impediments to sharing in the law and how to address them. The former’s work (with Shareable) on urban policies for sharing is exemplary.

9. Business models for open culture

* AMACCA in France applies the models pioneered in community-supported agriculture to the field of cultural production\

10. P2P-based open technical infrastructures

* Initiatives such as Libre-Mesh and the Gordon Cook’s Global Survey of Free Networks (which focuses on successful projects like the Catalonian show the growing maturity of user-built and owned wireless commons. The number of initiatives in the broader field of ‘true p2p technical infrastructures’ is amazing, but needs integration and mutual coordination.

Recommended by Adam Scislowicz:

* Commotion: commotion wireless is a p2p mesh stack available as an image for wireless routers, cell phones, or any linux system

* Twister (p2p microblogging platform taking ideas and code from bitcoin & bittorrent). The whitepaper is very good

11. Research hubs and open mapping jams for P2P practices and theory

* The creation of P2P Lab, an independent media lab with a physical space consisted of a fab lab, a library, a meeting space and a guest room. P2P Lab (can be seen as an informal “p2p university”) is interested in interdisciplinary research focused solely on free/open source technologies and practices. One of the aims of this initiative is to help communities or individuals who want to build a P2P Lab in their city inspired by the idea of solidarity franchising.

* A new type of action and research communities such as Edgeryders and their ability to start a new type of global cooperations such as the Unmonastery project.

* In march 2013, the global hispanic wikisprint took place, which participants from over 60 cities, in 23 countries and 500+ registered individuals and groups.

* Shareable organized a map jam on shareable cities resulting in the creation of a sharing cities network.

* New political parties

A new breed of political movements is emerging which want to more directly express popular opinion, see Partido X in Spain.

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