Michel Bauwens: Spanish P2P WIkispring on March 20

Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens

The Spanish P2P Wikisprint on March 20

Next Wednesday, March 20, a fascinating new stage in transnational cooperation will arrive when scores of commoners in twenty countries take part in a Spanish P2P Wikisprint, a coordinated effort to document and map the myriad peer to peer initiatives that exist in Latin America and Spain.

The effort, hosted by the P2P Foundation, was originally going to be held in Spain only, but word got around in the Hispanic world, and presto, an inter-continental P2P collaboration was declared! (A Spanish-language version of the event can be found here.)

As described by Bernardo Gutiérrez on the P2P Foundation blog, the Wikisprint will bring together an indigenous collective in Chiapas with a co-working space of Quito; a crowdfunding platform in Barcelona with the open data movement of Montevideo; a hacktivist group in Madrid with permaculturists in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas; and a community of free software developers in Buenos Aires with Lima-based city planners; among many others.

The Wikisprint will map the various Spanish experiences around the commons, open innovation, co-creation, transparency, co-design, 3D printing, free license, p2politics, among other things. It will also feature debates, lectures, screenings, speeches, self-media coverage, workshops, network visualizations and videos.

Here is a list of the 20 participating cities. Anyone can add a new node from a new city. If you’d like to participate in the Wikisprint, check out this document on the P2P Foundation wiki to see the criteria for inclusion. There is a special website created for the occasion — Wikisprint.p2pf.org – and a Twitter hashgtag, # P2PWikisprint.

The entire event will be peer-to-peer, meaning communication will take place through an open network topology in which each node is connected to the other without passing through any center. As Gutiérrez notes, “P2P – with its openness, decentralization and collective empowerment – is no longer something marginal. P2P is a philosophy, working trend and a solid reality. P2P is the nervous system of the new world.”

Gutiérrez explains the larger political and cultural importance of the Wikisprint:

The first one: Visualize processes that the mainstream media and western governments ignore. Spain, one of the countries hardest hit by the macroeconomic crisis, is one of the spearheads of the networked P2P world, the commons, the new horizontal logics, the collaborative economy. And the mass media ignore this reality, easily verifiable with data. Spain is the country with the largest number of co-working spaces per capita (3rd in total). Spain leads, by far, the social currencies flow. Spain, from 2010 has more Creative Commons licensed works than the United States. Spain is the fourth country in the world in number of fab labs (which does not summarize 3D printing world but it is a hint). Furthermore, copyleft culture in Spain has spread to architecture, agriculture, communication or advocacy. In Spain works the biggest alternative Wi-Fi network of the world, Guifi.net, that encourages shared nodes. And in Spain was born Proyecto Lorea, the greatest federation of free social networks. Besides, the cross-wise 15M-Indignados movement is catapulting new commons oriented political-social-communicative processes and revitalizing the urban and rural commons. Why does the mainstream media ignore this reality? Why is P2P usually associated with ‘piracy’?

For the same reason that mass media hides what is happening in Greece: they have fear. Ignored by the mainstream media, the Greeks are building a new economic paradigm around the commons, a collective world fed by the human networks and solidarity. Not coincidentally, the P2P Foundation has a version in Greek.

Gutiérrez also described the rich potential of “a techno-political alliance between southern Europe citizens and emerging Latin America”:

Possibly, Latin America has the best ecosystem to create a new world prototype. The region has, generally, left- and social-oriented Governments. Latin American has an intense history around collective ownership and collaborative work. A strong social inertia, both analogical and digital. Latin American is the only country in the world that protects Wikileaks (Ecuador). In Latin America, in Brazilian Porto Alegre, participatory budgeting and World Social Forum were born. In Latin America many governments use free software. In Latin America, the Zapatistas began the path of hacktivism technopolitics of the 99%. In Latin America, in the collapsed Argentina of 2001, assemblies and barter were born from the ashes of capitalism. In Latin America there are still millenary practices as the ayni (Bolivia), the tequio (Mexico) or the minga (Ecuador), in total harmony with P2P networks and the commons. The crowd, the collaborative, is in the DNA of Latin America. The cosmic race, the deeply mestizo race that Mexican philosopher José Vasconcelos wrote about in 1925, can save Europeans from the wild wrath of Frankfurt and Wall Street.

Here’s hoping that this rare European/Latin American Wikisprint is the start of something much bigger!