The Organization of United Phyles: a post-Westphalian proposal by Las Indias and the P2P Foundation

Republished from Las Indias (Indjana Kooperativa Grupo):

“Worldwide, a growing number of transnational communities is appearing. Some of them tend towards, pursue, or already have a shared economy around diverse commons. They are phyles, and every day, more and more people see them as the alternative to combat crisis, experience social innovation, and live out their identity inclusively. It will soon be time to interconnect and network them worldwide.

A growing number of transnational communities is appearing. Truly children of the P2P age, they are everywhere and they share and produce almost everything: from songs to buildings, from software to cars. Some of them tend towards, pursue, or are developing their own economy. They create spaces of solidarity and identity markets from different forms of the open commons: knowledge, organizational techniques, technology, language…

They are called “phyles,” and they explore the new world of Economic Democracy using P2P tools and promoting the logic of abundance of distributed networks. Their networks are wider than the connections between their members, because phyles don’t just focus on themselves, but also seek to have an impact on their surroundings through actions of cultural and economic solidarit. In the middle of the global crisis, phyles are a bet on cohesion that is not limited to state borders.

What are “phyles?”

Phyles are transnational communities with their own distinctive and diverse identities that develop or pursue different forms of Economic Democracy for their members and their environment

Existing phyles are growing, and social entrepreneurs are trying to organize more of them. Every day, more and more people see phyles as the alternative to combat crisis, experience social innovation, and live out their identity inclusively.

With this big picture in mind, Michel Bauwens, President of the P2P Foundation invited Las Indias to work with them to coordinate a Organization of the United Phyles, the first worldwide network of phyles. Its main objectives will be to connect existing phyles by creating a global exchange network and supporting the development of new initiatives.

It’s likely that phyles are neither very numerous nor very wealthy. They are not very visible as subjects of new times. This will be the first time many phyles will be unveiled to the world. It could be the most important P2P initiative of this decade.

Organizations are transnational if …

* They don’t have national objectives

* Membership is not limited by passport or national identity

* Their action is not limited by national or state borders

* Their internal organization and representation is not divided into national or state groups.

We want to invite our English speaking readers to discuss on phyles in this post. We’ve found really interesting phyles and proto-phyles working in many languages (Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Esperanto…). Are English-speaking phyles still to come? Do you know of groups evolving into phyles now?

4 Comments The Organization of United Phyles: a post-Westphalian proposal by Las Indias and the P2P Foundation

  1. AvatarDavid de Ugarte

    Thanks a lot for republishing Michel! Just a note: The post was not written by my, but translated by Steve Herrick and me. It appear signed by the whole group as it is the result of the common conversations handled after your emails. I was a part of it but I wasn’t the writer. I think probably the language question is making you overvalue me 😉

  2. AvatarMichel Bauwens

    hi David, I routinely check for the author, but couldn’t find any, so assumed it was yours, as you are most often the author in that english blog, but rechecking I assume the ‘Grupo’ was the author, a collective rather than you as an individual. Sorry for that, I will change it.

  3. AvatarJoe Corneli

    Hello David, Michel, and World:

    As we’ve been working on building the Free Technology Guild (wiki intro), we came across the notion of a “phyle”… and it seems like our little informal organization is more of a “proto-phyle”. We’d like to grow. Does the OUP, Las Indias, and/or P2P Foundation have some “incubating” facility to help proto-phyles grow into full fledged “transnational communities”? (Advice is welcome!)

    Part of the relevance of our project is as a new way to secure funding for research and a new way of doing research (links from the wiki-research-l, for “Research into Wikimedia content and communities”, but what’s more interesting to us is a sort of “wiki way” of doing research).

    In short, we have a lot to add but our growth is necessarily slow for now. Full disclosure: we too would like to be a “project incubator”, this time mainly for technical projects that can get some benefits from working together (example projects).

    Joe Corneli
    [email protected]

  4. AvatarMichel Bauwens

    Dear Joe, from the side of the p2p foundation, I don’t think we have incubation capability, but certainly we can help, network and mutually assist each other to a certain degree. Let’s pursue this dialogue!!


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