The P2P Meme Map, and the positioning of the Foundation

We’ve experimented with a new visualisation of the P2P universe, and we’re adding an excercise in positioning the P2P Foundation within it.
(to view the vizualization below, right click and select ‘view image’ as there is too much text for the width of this blog…’apologies in advance..)

Strategic Positioning

P2P is a template of human relationships based on the free and equipotent contribution to common resources which are made available to all according to need. It is emerging throughout the social lifeworld as an expression of a new way of feeling and being (ontology), new ways of knowing (epistemology), new constellations of core values. It expresses itself most directly in non-representational politics (creating new forms of Absolute Democracy, i.e. participation beyond only politics), peer production (creating a new Commons), and participatory spirituality (creating non-authoritarian forms of the search for truth). P2P is enabled and strengthened by a P2P technological infrastructure of distributed computing, a P2P communications infrastructure enabling many to many communications, and a set of collaborative technologies (both technological and human). P2P further enables a whole new range of activities such as Long Tail micromarkets, gifting and sharing economies, bottom of the pyramid and edge to edge development schemes, P2P marketplaces.

User Positioning

P2P is a new language that reflects the values of many in the new generation, going beyond the old dichotomies of liberalism vs. socialism, freedom vs. equality, the market vs. the state. It reflects the desire for freedom in creativity, egalitarian and mutually respectful relationships, in a just world. P2P proposes the construction of a healthy Commons within a reformed market and state. It aims to further the construction of common public goods, for democracy and participation in all areas of life, for a Pluralist Economy which no longer destroys the biosphere and the legacy for next generations, and for a partnership-based way of relating to nature and its being, all humans, and the cosmos of which we are a part. P2P is not an Utopia or perfect society, but an extension of existing social practices and the desires of the multitude.

Core Competencies

– recognizing, monitoring and integrating the emergence of the participative worldview and practices (descriptive)

– affirming a new way of relating to people, other beings, and the entire cosmos (normative)

– creating new common public goods through free cooperation and defending and supporting such efforts (creative)

– creating a positive feedback loop between values, technological and legal infrastructure, human cooperative practices (integrative)

Tools and Products

– distributed computing, viral communicators requiring no backbone or infrastructure (self-organised meshworks), filesharing (Internet, Wireless Commons)

– the alternative information and communications network (Writeable Web, Podcasting, Webcasting)

– the technological collaboration infrastructure: social software, groupware, social accounting tools

– the social collaboration infrastructure: many new dialogical, consensual and deliberative methodologies

– legal infrastructure: General Public License and OSI to create a productive commons; the Creative Commons to create a content commons; technological protocols geared for participation (TCP/IP), social protocols for collaboration (project-related and internally generated)


– non-representational politics: alterglobalisaton movement, social forums, coordination formats

– peer production: 1) free software, open sources; 2) user-centric innovation and production without manufacturer; 3) knowledge collectives (Wikipedia), citizen science; 4) collaborative publishing, citizen journalism, podcasting, webcasting

– cooperative economics “enabled” by P2P: local exchange and trading systems, sharing projects (carpooling, distributed libraries), local currencies, microcredit schemes

– participatory spirituality: cooperative inquiry, pluralist and contributory spiritualities, peer circles, participative cosmologies



– Absolute democracy: the widest possible equipotential participation in all areas of life

– Pluralist Economy: a strong Commons in a reformed market and state system

– Participative Cosmology: partnership-based relations with nature and the cosmos

2 Comments The P2P Meme Map, and the positioning of the Foundation

  1. Avatarjames

    hi michel, i am curious how you could rephrase all you have written above into a few lines explaining what p2p is to a less educated normal person. How would you compare and contrast it politically to in US poliitcs, being a republican or democrat? (maybe this sounds like a dumb exercise, but i just trying to find some more compact defininitions.


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