Michel Bauwens: Transitioning to a Commons-Based Society

Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens

Transitioning to a Commons-Based Society

Background on the FLOK Project

Michel Bauwens:

The National Plan of Ecuador recognizes and stresses that the global transformation towards knowledge-based societies and economies requires a new form for the creation and distribution of value in society. The National Plan’s central concept is the achievement of ‘Buen Vivir’ (Sumak Kawsay) or ‘good living’; but good living is impossible without the availability of ‘good knowledge’, i.e. ‘Buen Conocer’ (‘Sumak Yachay’). The third national plan for 2013-2017 explicitly calls for a open-commons based knowledge society[1].

President Correa himself exhorted young people to achieve and fight for this open knowledge society[2].

The FLOK Society is a joint research effort by the Coordinating Ministry of Knowledge and Human Talent, the SENESCYT (Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación) and the IAEN (Instituto de Altos Estudios del Estado) to develop transition and policy proposals to achieve such an open commons-based knowledge society.

FLOK refers to:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
May 19

Patrick Meier: Latest Findings on Disaster Resilience – From Burma to California via the Rockefeller Foundation

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Latest Findings on Disaster Resilience: From Burma to California via the Rockefeller Foundation

I’ve long been interested in disaster resilience particularly when considered through the lens of self-organization. To be sure, the capacity to self-organize is an important feature of resilient societies. So what facilitates self-organization? There are several factors, of course, but the two I’m most interested in are social capital and communication technologies. My interest in disaster resilience also explains why one of our Social Innovation Tracks at QCRI is specifically focused on resilience. So I’m always on the lookout for new research on resilience. The purpose of this blog post is to summarize the latest insights.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

This new report (PDF) on Burma assesses the influence of social capital on disaster resilience. More specifically, the report focuses on the influence of bonding, bridging and linking social capital on disaster resilience in remote rural communities in the Ayerwaddy Region of Myanmar. Bonding capital refers to ties that are shared between individuals with common characteristics characteristics such as religion or ethnicity. Bridging capital relates to ties that connect individuals with those outside their immediate communities. These ties could be the result of shared geographical space, for example. Linking capital refers to vertical links between a community and individuals or groups outside said community. The relationship between a village and the government or a donor and recipients, for example.

As the report notes, “a balance of bonding, bridging and linking capitals is important of social and economic stability as well as resilience. It will also play a large role in a community’s ability to reduce their risk of disaster and cope with external shocks as they play a role in resource management, sustainable livelihoods and coping strategies.” In fact, “social capital can be a substitute for a lack of government intervention in disaster planning, early warning and recovery.” The study also notes that “rural communities tend to have stronger social capital due to their geographical distance from government and decision-making structures necessitating them being more self-sufficient.”

Read full post.

Comments Off
May 13

Tim Berners-Lee: Internet Magna Carta

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee

We Need a Magna Carta for the Internet

Huffington Post, 6 May 2014

These comments are adapted from a talk to the Net Mundial conference in Brazil on May 4.

“Twenty-five years ago, when the Internet had been running for 20 years, there was internet mail and net news and remote login, but there was no web. No web sites, web pages, links. So I invented the World Wide Web. As the project grew, I needed collaborators. To achieve that, I went to the Internet technical community.

Specifically, I founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a multistakeholder organization that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. W3C works on different aspects of Internet technology with numerous organizations, including the Internet Engineering Task Force, ECMA/TC39, IANA, and ICANN.

Hopefully you all agree that we have done a reasonable job. The Web, and its underlying Internet infrastructure, have been an enormous engine of growth and understanding for society. It has been the collaboration between these multi-stakeholder organizations which has made this possible.

Our technical community achieved this contribution with little oversight from governments. In fact, our “OpenStand” vision is that the right way to build a technical infrastructure for society is through multi-stakeholder technical groups where decisions are made in the public interest and based on technical merit. Discussion is open. Documents are available for free on the web. In W3C specifically, companies commit that as the standard emerges, they will not charge royalties to those who implement it.

The web needs to remain a system which exists without regard to national borders. Today most of the work is already done in the non-national Internet technical community. I was also pleased to hear that ICANN is beginning a dialogue to create a multi-stakeholder review process to replace that of the U.S. government. That is appropriate because ICANN services the global public interest.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
May 7

Jean Lievens: Stacco Troncoso Shares Helene Finidori on FLOK Society and the Commons

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Helene Finidori on FLOK Society and the Commons

Here’s an excellent summary, written by our good friend Helene Finidori from the Commons Abundance Network, on FLOK Society’s historical significance for the Commons and P2P movements. The article was originally published in STIR magazine and Helene has kindly given us permission to republish it here.


This column was published in STIR’s spring issue and is available to buy here

With the Free Libre Open Knowledge (FLOK) Society project, peer-to-peer commons-based economics have a good chance of being institutionalised in Ecuador, or in other words, of entering at a nation-state level through the front door. This would be a world first.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

Ecuador may not be particularly advanced as far as urban P2P dynamics are concerned, but its indigenous and rural communities have a long history of sharing knowledge. And since the election of a progressive government in 2007, the country is politically ahead in its determination to continue developing an economy based on the creativity of its citizens and on the sustainable leverage of its internal resources.

The focus here is to transition away from cognitive capitalism where value is commonly extracted via technology transfers through intellectual property rights mostly held by large foreign companies, generating dependencies on the global north and increasing the internal social divide. The goal is to shift towards a ‘social knowledge economy’ where knowledge is freely accessible, produced and shared through co-operative and open processes, and where the resulting knowledge commons can be built upon to accelerate innovation and the distribution of wealth.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
May 5

Gordon Cook: Policy Paper on Connectivity

Gordon Cook

Gordon Cook

Policy Paper on Connectivity

1. Executive Summary
2. Introduction
3 Technical Background
3.1 Peering and Transit – How thousands of Networks become the Global Internet
4. Special Issues in Connectivity
4.1 Access for Scientists
4.2 Access for Rural Areas
4.3 Access for Citizens via a Civil Society Stakeholder Body
5.The Ecuadorian Political, Economic, and Infrastructural Framework
5.1 Existing Infrastructure and Policy Goals for Unbundling, Structural Separation and Sale of IRUs
5.2 Celec EP (Corporación Eléctrica del Ecuador – Celec EP)
5.3 Telconet
5.4 CNT
5,5 CEDIA – The Ecuadoran University Network necessary for global connectivity to Collaborative Science
5.6 Formulation of a Vision for “Higher Education”
6. Alternative Models
6.1 Case Study 1: Brazil, Netherlands
6.2 Case Study 2: guifi.net
7. Policies to Assist the National Broadband Plan and Strategies for Expanding Internet Use
7. 1 Policy Goals of the Broadband Plan and the Three Basic Strategies
8. Ecuadoran Policy Recommendations
8.1 A single overriding basic principle
8.2 Policy for Bringing guifinet to Ecuador
9. Bibliography
10. Why I Withdraw this Paper [Extract Only]

Full Paper with All Notes and Active Links DOC (24 Pages): Cook on Connectivity

Full Text NOT Footnotes NOT Links Below the Fold

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
May 5

Jean Lievens: Open Source Urbanism & “Right to Infrastructure”

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

The right to infrastructure: a prototype for open source urbanism

Alberto Corsín Jiménez

Abstract. This paper develops an analytical framework to place the rise of open source urbanism in context, and develops the concept of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as expressive of new ecologies of urban relations that have come into being. It describes, first, a genealogy for open source technology, focusing in particular on how open source urban hardware projects may challenge urban theory. It moves then to describe in detail various dimensions and implications of an open source infrastructural project in Madrid. In all, the paper analyses three challenges that the development of open source urban infrastructures is posing to the institutions of urban governance and property: the evolving shape and composition of urban ecologies; the technical and design challenges brought about by open source urban projects; and the social organisation of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as a political, active voice in urban governance. In the last instance, the right to infrastructure, I shall argue, signals the rise of the ‘prototype’ as an emerging figure for contemporary sociotechnical designs in and for social theory.
Keywords: open source urbanism, infrastructures, urban ecologies, urban commons, right to the city, prototypes

Corsín Jiménez A, 2014, “The right to infrastructure: a prototype for open source urbanism” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32(2) 342 – 362

PDF (21 Pages): 2014 Open Source Urbanism Right to Infrastructure

Comments Off
Apr 28

Patrick Meier: Got TweetCred? Use This Tool To Automatically Identify Credible Tweets

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Got TweetCred? Use it To Automatically Identify Credible Tweets

What if there were a way to automatically identify credible tweets during major events like disasters? Sounds rather far-fetched, right? Think again.

The new field of Digital Information Forensics is increasingly making use of Big Data analytics and techniques from artificial intelligence like machine learning to automatically verify social media. This is how my QCRI colleague ChaTo et al. already predicted both credible and non-credible tweets generated after the Chile Earthquake (with an accuracy of 86%). Meanwhile, my colleagues Aditi, et al. from IIIT Delhi also used machine learning to automatically rank the credibility of some 35 million tweets generated during a dozen major international events such as the UK Riots and the Libya Crisis. So we teamed up with Aditi et al. to turn those academic findings into TweetCred, a free app that identifies credible tweets automatically.

We’ve just launched the very first version of TweetCred—key word being first. This means that our new app is still experimental. On the plus side, since TweetCred is powered by machine learning, it will become increasingly accurate over time as more users make use of the app and “teach” it the difference between credible and non-credible tweets. Teaching TweetCred is as simple as a click of the mouse. Take the tweet below, for example.

Read full post with more links.

Comments Off
Apr 28

Rickard Falkvinge: EU Court Trashes Mass Surveillance

Rickard Falkvinge

Rickard Falkvinge

Pirate Party Vindicated By Highest EU Court, Killing Mass Surveillance Law

Yesterday, the European Court of Justice ruled the detested Data Retention Directive invalid. Retroactively invalid, even: the court ruled that it had never existed. The directive (a directive is sort of a federal law covering the EU) mandated all EU states to log all communications from all citizens: from whom, to whom, from where, using what method, and when. No communication would be unseen by the Government.

This wasn’t for the usual organizedcrime-terrorism-pedophiles-filesharing mantra. This was for everybody, with the express purpose of using your communications logs against you. The Pirate Party was founded as a direct reaction to this blanket violation; we were quoted in 2006 saying “this is worse than Stasi” in a context depicting us as though we were talking complete rubbish and nonsense.

Yesterday, the European Court of Justice – the highest court of the world’s largest economy – said the same thing in a historic verdict. The blanket violations are intolerable and inexcusable.

Read full article.

Comments Off
Apr 10

Jean Lievens: LOOMIO – building public infrastructure tool for decision-making, held in the commons

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

BRING LOOMIO TO THE WORLD

LOOMIO is free and open-source software for anyone, anywhere, to participate in decisions that affect them.

“The world needs a better way to make decisions together. #Loomio is building it. You can help: http://thndr.it/1kaQhmy

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

We’re a small team of open-source developers, facilitators and activists in New Zealand. On Tuesday March 11, we’re crowdfunding to build a totally inclusive platform so anyone anywhere can participate in decisions that affect them. It’s called Loomio 1.0.

Learn more, support options.

LOOMIO Home Page

Comments Off
Mar 11

Jean Lievens: Seven Job Creation Strategies for Open Cities

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Seven Job Creation Strategies for Shareable Cities

The sharing economy offers enormous potential to create jobs. Sharing leverages a wide variety of resources and lowers barriers to starting small businesses.

Cities can lower the cost of starting businesses by supporting innovations like shared workspaces, shared commercial kitchens, community-financed start-ups, community-owned commercial centers, and spaces for “pop-up” businesses.

Read full article — list, comments, examples.

Comments Off
Dec 26