What the P2P Foundation did in 2014 Part 2 – Community

We continue today with our review of 2014. The P2P Foundation is a global network of activists and researchers so we have invited members of our community and friends from Brazil, Greece, Spain and the UK to share with you some of the wonderful work they have been doing throughout the year.

Yesterday we published The P2P Foundation Blog in Review: most popular posts of the year 2014 and on Tuesday we had a personal report by Michel Bauwens What the P2P Foundation Did in 2014 (1): founders’ report. We will post a 3rd and final part of this review over the weekend.

Happy New Year To You All

The P2P Foundation in Brazil

By Janice Figueiredo

JaniceThe P2P Foundation has been present in Brazil since 2012, when a partnership between the P2P Foundation, the IBICT (Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia) and the UFRJ (University of Rio de Janeiro) brought Bauwens to the country to minister a 2-month course on P2P practices and the commons. The course was followed by a Wikisprint that mapped almost 100 P2P and collaborative initiatives in Brazil.

During 2014 the P2P Foundation supported a couple of projects in the country:

In September, 2014 the biannual digital magazine “P2P and Innovation” (“Revista P2P & INOVAÇÃO”) was launched, bringing together 8 articles, written by Michel Bauwens’ students and one by Bauwens himself. The magazine is linked to the Collaborative Economy and P2P Production Research Group in Brazil, managed by Professor Clovis Montenegro de Lima (IBICT). The second issue of the magazine is scheduled to be released in March, 2015 and it will include a compilation of key articles describing the FLOK experience in Ecuador.

In the last months of 2014 the P2P Foundation consolidated a partnership with “Tecnopolíticas: territórios urbanos e redes digitais” , a recently created research network aimed to contribute to the practices of sustainable urban development in Brazil. The network is composed of 15+ Brazilian and international universities and several other international institutions and researchers, especially from the Ibero-american axis. It intends to produce knowledge and to explore technology to promote the intersection between digital networks and urban spatial dynamics. The project proposes the collaborative development of open and adaptable social technology, basing itself on initiatives that promote free knowledge sharing, such as the open source or peer-to-peer movements. The network will be coordinated by Professor Natacha Rena (Indisciplinar-UFMG) and Professor Fernanda Bruno (MediaLab-UFRJ).

In May, 2014, thanks to the initiative of Fabio Cunha Filho, a landing page of the P2P Foundation in Portuguese started to be worked upon. The highlights of the page are the translation into Portuguese of Bauwens’ “The Political Economy of Peer Production”, done by Miguel Caetano (“A Economia Política da Produção entre Pares”) and “Em Direção à Democratização dos Meios de Monetização” (from the English “Towards the Democratization of the Means of Monetization”), also from Bauwens, translated by Fabio Cunha Filho.

In the last days of December, 2014 an article describing the FLOK Society Project in Ecuador was published in the Brazilian magazine TOTVS. The article was written by Journalist Gabriela Mafort and can be read at pages 8-11 here: http://www.totvs.com/experience/en-us/. The Portuguese version can be accessed at http://www.totvs.com/experience/pt-br/ and the Spanish version at http://www.totvs.com/experience/es/ .

Brazil has a vibrant and intense ecosystem of collaborative communities and practices that includes an active free software community, a dynamic cultural landscape, solidarity economy practices, the use of alternative and open currencies, hackathons, co-working spaces, urban farming initiatives, crowdfunding platforms, alternative education propositions, platforms for citizen engagement and sharing resources initiatives. In 2015, a group of P2P researchers and an extended network of academics, activists, independent researchers and P2P enthusiasts intend to document such initiatives, as well as to group together on a site relevant academic and non-academic works already published in Brazil on the field.”

The P2P Lab in Greece

By Vasilis Kostakis

Some members of the P2P Foundation in Greece From the left,  George Dafermos, Vasilis Kostakis, Michel Bauwens and George Papanikolaou at the 1st CommonsFest 2013 in Heraklion

The P2P Lab is a Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation & Governance and P2P Foundation spin-off interested in interdisciplinary research on free/open source technologies and practices. Our Greece-based lab was created in December 2012 as a community-driven space, and since then it has evolved into a for-benefit organization which features a FabLab; a co-working space; a physical library with literature on the Commons; and a guest room designed to host international collaborators and colleagues.

In a nutshell, our long-term goal is to build the necessary infrastructures upon on which the Commoners can create sustainable livings and thus empower and promote the circulation of the Commons versus the accumulation of capital. In 2014, the P2P Lab collaborators published various articles and books, in English, Greek and Spanish, which can be freely accessed at our Publications page. Many of them were based on hands-on projects/case studies that were run by our members and collaborators, like the “3Ducation project”.

During the first half of the next year we will be designing certain research projects with the aim to develop bottom-up, Commons-oriented pilots that would explore and implement the productive model “design global-manufacture local”. P2P Foundation is a key partner in our effort to materialize the vision of our book Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy, i.e., to build a Commons-oriented, sustainable society.


By Chris Pinchen


We had an intense year participating in the P2Pvalue project which is already yielding some excellent results such as:

  • the creation of the biggest directory of Commons Based Peer Production projects and communities http://directory.p2pvalue.eu/
  • a decentralized and FLOSS alternative to Google Drive Real-Time API, which means that developers can now take benefit of simultaneous collaboration features in their apps without selling their soul to Google https://github.com/P2Pvalue/incubator-wave
  • a theoretical synthesis of Commons Based Peer Production, the findings of which will be disseminated in various formats during 2015 http://p2pvalue.eu/sites/default/files/u28/D12_31July_TheoreticalFindingsA%20%281%29.pdf
  • analysis of institutional design characteristics of CBPP communities and software platforms based on decentralized architectures and bottom-up peer-to-peer coordination, extracting the most important ones that were compiled into a set of guidelines or best-practices

We are continuing building links with communities as well as the P2Pvalue Stakeholder Board (http://p2pvalue.eu/consortium/stakeholder-board), disseminating information and material, organising events such as the 2nd FLOSS4P2P Worksop which will take place in London in March 2015 http://p2pvalue.eu/2nd-floss4p2p-workshop, as well as planning improvements to the directory and some datathons to exploit it.

 2015 looks like it will be equally intense and rewarding as we engage with testbed communites on further software development and ethnographical research.

Guerrilla Translation

By Ann Marie Utratel, co-founder


We developed Guerrilla Translation as a P2P translation collective and cooperative, founded in Spain. Our group is a small but international set of avid readers, content curators and social/environmental issue-focused people who love to translate and love to share. We presently work in the language pair of Spanish and English, and want to develop additional language pair nodes. All work is done in-house, artisanally, without using translation software, and we use and promote innovative, peer-production licensing. We are not volunteers, instead we are building our own innovative cooperative business model to support our unique vision of a self-sustaining system of pro-bono and paid work within our collective, which “walks the talk” of much contemporary writing on the new economy and its power to change. Our core mission and values are oriented and inspired by the ideal of a commons-based equitable society, and we see ourselves as communication facilitators toward that end.

Unlike other traditional translation agencies, we don’t have pre-determined or fixed roles and positions; we’re flexible and multi-skilled individuals who work in a peer-to-peer style which captures our individual strengths and magnifies our abilities. Also, we’re a permeable organization where members can opt in and out of work commitments depending on their own individual needs and realities. Our primary challenge in the short term is refining our team-building mechanisms. We specialize in a wide variety of topics related to social change, such as: the P2P/Commons movement, and social / environmental justice collectives and movements, the collaborative economy, technological innovation, cryptocurrencies, permaculture, open software and licensing, feminism, art/activism, and many other related topics. Our distinctive characteristic which attracts our clients is our involvement in these movements, actually helping to create the evolving lexicon in the target language.

We have developed an internal governance model expanding on an existing model produced and implemented by BetterMeans, called the Open Enterprise Governance Model, which values meritocracy or “equipotentiality” as we have re-envisioned it, and which also incorporates a multi-tier system of external pricing as well as a balanced, multi-part income stream for members, where income is detached from labor but fairly distributed, allowing for the ability to continue our flagship pro-bono work. In addition, we have developed our use of online systems for workflow management, consensus documentation and inter-team coordination.

We’ve had fantastic exposure and feedback in our first year. Our Spanish to English translations have been republished in Open Democracy, Reality Sandwich, Adbusters, Shareable, Occupy.com, and the P2P Foundation blog, among others. So far, we’ve translated and published David Graeber, Naomi Klein, Robert Jensen, Gabriella Coleman, Charles Eisenstein, Katie Teague, Henia Belalia, Michel Bauwens, Douglas Rushkoff, Dmytri Kleiner and Steve Lambert, among others, into Spanish. We’ve also enjoyed a great deal of word-of-mouth recommendations. Oh, and we also won an award at OuishareFest 2014, which did not hurt at all.

Some of our 2015 plans:

  • Revamp our website to make it language-specific, and for ease of navigation (in progress, relaunching January 2015).
  • Continue to develop an ongoing collaborative project focused on creating an international, networked book distribution system – including translation, promotion, production and distribution resources – working with a variety of Spanish and Latin American publishers and on-demand printers. This project is being developed in collaboration with the author David Bollier (using his book “Think Like a Commoner” in a Spanish translation as a “pilot” project), the crowdfunding platform Goteo, and publisher/distributor Traficantes de Sueños (crowdfund planned for Spring 2015).
  • Working with the P2P Foundation, we’re continuing to research and develop new forms of international coop alliances in concert with the CIC, las Indias, United Diversity, and other players.
  • Ongoing participation in the customized development of specialized value-tracking software for our unique economic redistribution model, in conjunction with Mikorizal Software, Sensorica and other players.
  • Team-building and recruitment, striking a balance between being discriminating as far as skills and the ability to work both independently and within a cooperative team, contrasted with the level of inclusion and cohesive, familiar dynamics we prefer.

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