P2P Foundation

P2P Foundation: The Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives is an organization with the aim of studying the impact of peer to peer technology and thought on society. It was founded by Michel Bauwens, James Burke and Brice Le Blévennec.[1]

The P2P Foundation is a registered institute founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its local registered name is: Stichting Peer to Peer Alternatives, dossier nr: 34264847.[2]

P2P Foundation
P2PFoundation Logo
Michel Bauwens


The P2P Foundation is an ANBI status non-profit organization and global network studying the social, economic and ecological impact of commons-based peer production. It was conceived to "help people, organizations and governments transition towards commons-based approaches to society through co-creating an open knowledge commons and a resilient, sustainable human network."[3]. It functions as an organized network to facilitate and interconnect emergent commons-based initiatives by gathering information and researching and theorizing on the social impacts of peer to peer technologies and social relations.[4]

The P2P Foundation's strategic priorities include working towards regenerative practices to end biosphere destruction (by recognizing natural and resources limits in the physical sphere) and promoting free knowledge and cultural exchange (by curtailing IP-driven "artificial scarcity" found in the digital realm). [5]

It won the Golden Nica Award for "The Next Idea" 2011 [6] and for "Digital Communities" in 2016.[7]

Knowledge Commons

The P2P Foundation maintains a number of websites including an open access wiki and daily blog, as well as an interactive, didactic website with introductory materials and infographics. The P2P Lab website features research projects undertaken by the P2P Foundation's research division [8]. Many of the P2P Foundation's publications can be found in its Library Page [9].

Nakamoto controversy

Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, released one of the first papers describing bitcoin on the p2p website.[10] When Newsweek ran an article claiming Nakamoto is Dorian S. Nakamoto from Temple City, California, Nakamoto's user profile posted that he was not Dorian.[10][11] The p2p foundation verified that the account was the same account that posted one of the first papers describing bitcoin.[10][12] On September 2014, Nakamoto's p2p account was allegedly hacked and a post was made to his account that said his information was being sold on Darknet.[13][14]

Chokepoint Project

The Chokepoint project was established in 2011 following the Internet blackouts in Egypt and Libya.[15] The internet blackouts inspired two members of the P2P Foundation, James Burke and Chris Pinchen, to create the Chokepoint Project. The project's aim is to create a live visual map of the internet that identifies Chokepoints and people holding access to these Chokepoints. Chokepoints are defined as points of Internet access vulnerability. This map would potentially allow people to identify the degree and precise location of internet outages. Much of the data used for the mapping is supplied by volunteers.[16] The Chokepoint project also works to dispel the assumption that the internet is a decentralized medium that is not subject to government power.[17] For those who are subject to internet blackouts, the Chokepoint projects also provides methods of circumventing these chokepoints and information on legal matters regarding the internet blackouts.[15] The Chokepoint project was awarded the Prix Arts Electronica in May 2011 in the Next Idea category.[18]

See also


  1. ^ "An interview with Michel Bauwens founder of Foundation for P2P Alternatives". www.furtherfield.org. 2011-07-01. Archived from the original on 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
  2. ^ Stichting Peer to Peer Alternatives, Open kvk, (Retrieved Jan. 6, 2015).
  3. ^ "About", p2pfoundation.net. Retrieved 22-2-2018.
  4. ^ "Our Mission", p2pfoundation.net. Retrieved 22-2-2018.
  5. ^ Our Strategic Priorities, p2pfoundation.net. Retrieved 22-2-2018.
  6. ^ Kat Austen. Ars Electronica celebrates subversion , New Scientist, CultureLab, 5 September 2011
  7. ^ Martin Hieslmair. The 2016 Golden Nicas, Ars Electronica blog, 10th May 2016
  8. ^ The P2P Foundation's Web Ecosystem, p2pfoundation.net. Retrieved 22-2-2018.
  9. ^ The P2PF Library , p2pfoundation.net. Retrieved 22-2-2018.
  10. ^ a b c Catherine Shu, “Real” Satoshi Claims He Is Not Dorian Nakamoto, Tech Crunch, (March 6, 2014).
  11. ^ Ian Paul (7 March 2014). "Both Satoshi Nakamotos say accused Satoshi Nakamoto isn't Bitcoin's creator". PCWorld.
  12. ^ Julianne Pepitone. "Desperately Seeking Satoshi: Bitcoin Creator Hunt Turns Bizarre". NBC News.
  13. ^ "Bitcoin open source implementation of P2P currency". ning.com.
  14. ^ Jeremy Kirk (9 September 2014). "Will Bitcoin's creator be unmasked for $12,000?". PCWorld.
  15. ^ a b "Chokepoint project introduction". p2pfoundation.ning.com. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  16. ^ Austen, Kat. "Subversive apps help citizens fight state silencing". New Scientist. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  17. ^ "Prix Ars Electronica 2011 – ...and the Golden Nicas go to... - voestalpine". www.voestalpine.com. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  18. ^ "James Burke - The Next Speaker". The Next Speaker. Retrieved 2016-11-19.

External links

Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) is a research centre of the University of Pretoria.

It was launched at the International Studies Association annual conference on 6 April 2013 and then in South Africa on 20 May 2013 by the University of Pretoria, with a keynote lecture by political scientist and activist Susan George.

GovInn is the first research institution in Africa dedicated entirely to governance innovation and its goal is to promote research that helps rethink conventional wisdom in the field of development and governance studies, with projects dedicated to the governance of the commons, Beyond GDP economic governance, and new forms of bottom-up regionalism.

It also specializes in resource governance, through international projects such as the Land Matrix, the global dataset on land grab and other forms of investment in land, agriculture and common resources The centre is directed by political economist Lorenzo Fioramonti and its international advisory board is made up of scholars and experts in international development, including Susan George, Simon Zadek, Luk Van Langenhove, Lydia Powell, Jan Aart Scholte and Lew Daly.

GovInn hosts the Governance Innovation Week, an annual gathering of leaders and innovators from all over the world. Keynote speakers at the Week have included Susan George, Johan Galtung, Robert Costanza, Raj Patel, Michel Bauwens and Simon Zadek. GovInn has long standing partnerships with research institutions such as CIRAD and the United Nations University, through its Institute for comparative regionalism UNU-CRIS. GovInn also houses the first and only Jean Monnet Programme chair in Africa and the UNESCO-UNU Chair in Regional Integration Migration and Free Movement of People.GovInn is based at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa.


Liberapay is "a non-profit organization founded in 2015 in France" providing a platform to donate money to teams, organizations and individuals. The service does not charge a fee on donations aside from that required by its payment processors, instead financing its own activity through donations handled by the service itself in the same way as donations to third-parties are handled.Liberapay began as a European fork of the now-defunct US-based platform Gratipay.com, which had undergone changes after facing legal issues. Initially Liberapay's only currency was the euro, but support for the US dollar was added after Gratipay announced that it would shut down.Notable projects on Liberapay include Archive.is, Mastodon, Pepper&Carrot, Matrix and others .

Liberapay shares similarities with the for-profit platform Patreon, but it does not allow creators to reward their patrons like Patreon does. This difference in the nature of the transactions has tax implications, for example Patreon collects VAT on all payments made from inside the European Union whereas Liberapay does not.

Mayo Fuster Morell

Mayo Fuster Morell (born 1975, Oliva (Valencia)) is a social researcher. Her research has focused on sharing economy, social movements, online communities and digital Commons, frequently using participatory action research and method triangulation. She has been part of the most important research centres studying Internet and its social effects, including the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the MIT Center for Civic Media or the Berkeley School of Information. As an active citizen, she is the co-founder of multiple initiatives around digital Commons and Free Culture, such as the Procomuns Forum on collaborative economy.

Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens (born 21 March 1958) is a Belgian Peer-to-Peer theorist and an active writer, researcher and conference speaker on the subject of technology, culture and business innovation. Michel Bauwens is a theorist in the emerging field of P2P theory and director and founder of the P2P Foundation, a global organization of researchers working in collaboration in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. He has authored a number of essays, including his seminal thesis The Political Economy of Peer Production.


The originally German Oekonux (pronounced "urkonooks") project was founded to research the possibilities of free software to fundamentally change the current political and economic structures.

Oekonux considers that the mode of production of free software represents a new mode of production that has the potential to supersede the capitalist mode of production.

See also Hipatia, a related Spanish language initiative.

Open-door academic policy

An open-door academic policy, or open-door policy, is a policy if a university accepting to enroll students without asking for evidence of previous education, experience, or references. Usually, payment of the academic fees (or financial support) is all that is required to enroll.

Universities may not employ the open-door policy for all their courses, and those that have a universal open-door policy where all courses have no entry requirements are called open universities. The policy is seen to be a part of the educational revolution. From the dictionary meaning of the open-door policy, which is the idea of granting access to those who want access to the country freely, a similar idea can be drawn in terms of education.According to Deepa Rao, the open-door academic policy is one of the main ways in which adult learners become a part of university/college life. The recognized demand for post-secondary education made many institutions commit strongly to the policy, but many concealed limitations in the policy can prevent some from securing a degree.

Open-source hardware

Open-source hardware (OSH) consists of physical artifacts of technology designed and offered by the open-design movement . Both free and open-source software (FOSS) and open-source hardware are created by this open-source culture movement and apply a like concept to a variety of components. It is sometimes, thus, referred to as FOSH (free and open-source hardware). The term usually means that information about the hardware is easily discerned so that others can make it – coupling it closely to the maker movement. Hardware design (i.e. mechanical drawings, schematics, bills of material, PCB layout data, HDL source code and integrated circuit layout data), in addition to the software that drives the hardware, are all released under free/libre terms. The original sharer gains feedback and potentially improvements on the design from the FOSH community. There is now significant evidence that such sharing can drive a high return on investment for the scientific community.Since the rise of reconfigurable programmable logic devices, sharing of logic designs has been a form of open-source hardware. Instead of the schematics, hardware description language (HDL) code is shared. HDL descriptions are commonly used to set up system-on-a-chip systems either in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) or directly in application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designs. HDL modules, when distributed, are called semiconductor intellectual property cores, also known as IP cores.

Open admissions

Open admissions, or open enrollment, is a type of unselective and noncompetitive college admissions process in the United States in which the only criterion for entrance is a high school diploma or a certificate of attendance or General Educational Development (GED) certificate.

Open collaboration

Open collaboration is "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." It is prominently observed in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists and online communities. Open collaboration is also thought to be the operating principle underlining a gamut of diverse ventures, including bitcoin, TEDx, and Wikipedia.Open collaboration is the principle underlying peer production, mass collaboration, and wikinomics. It was observed initially in open source software, but can also be found in many other instances, such as in Internet forums, mailing lists, Internet communities, and many instances of open content, such as creative commons. It also explains some instances of crowdsourcing, collaborative consumption, and open innovation.Riehle et al. define open collaboration as collaboration based on three principles of egalitarianism, meritocracy, and self-organization. Levine and Prietula define open collaboration as "any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and noncontributors alike." This definition captures multiple instances, all joined by similar principles. For example, all of the elements — goods of economic value, open access to contribute and consume, interaction and exchange, purposeful yet loosely coordinated work — are present in an open source software project, in Wikipedia, or in a user forum or community. They can also be present in a commercial website that is based on user-generated content. In all of these instances of open collaboration, anyone can contribute and anyone can freely partake in the fruits of sharing, which are produced by interacting participants who are loosely coordinated.

An annual conference dedicated to the research and practice of open collaboration is the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (OpenSym, formerly WikiSym). As per its website, the group defines open collaboration as "collaboration that is egalitarian (everyone can join, no principled or artificial barriers to participation exist), meritocratic (decisions and status are merit-based rather than imposed) and self-organizing (processes adapt to people rather than people adapt to pre-defined processes)."

Open university

An open university is a university with an open-door academic policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. Open universities may employ specific teaching methods, such as open supported learning or distance education. However, not all open universities focus on distance education, nor do distance-education universities necessarily have open admission policies.


OurProject.org (OP) is a web-based collaborative free content repository. It acts as a central location for the construction and maintenance of social/cultural/artistic projects, providing web space and tools, and focusing in free knowledge. It claims to extend the ideas and methodology of free software to social areas and free culture in general. Since September 2009, Ourproject is under the Comunes Association umbrella, and gave birth to the Kune collaborative social network for groups.

Platform cooperative

A platform cooperative, or platform co-op, is a cooperatively owned, democratically governed business that establishes a computing platform, and uses a website, mobile app or a protocol to facilitate the sale of goods and services. Platform cooperatives are an alternative to venture capital-funded platforms insofar as they are owned and governed by those who depend on them most—workers, users, and other relevant stakeholders. Proponents of platform cooperativism claim that, by ensuring the financial and social value of a platform circulate among these participants, platform cooperatives will bring about a more equitable and fair digitally mediated economy in contrast with the extractive models of corporate intermediaries. Platform cooperatives differ from traditional cooperatives not only due to their use of digital technologies, but also by their contribution to the commons for the purpose of fostering an equitable social and economic landscape.

Ruth Catlow

Ruth Catlow (born 1968) is an English artist-theorist and curator whose practice focuses on critical investigations of digital and networked technologies and their emancipatory potential. She is also the Director, with Marc Garrett, of the Furtherfield gallery, commons space, and online arts-writing platform based out of London, which the duo founded in 1997.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the unknown person or people who developed bitcoin, authored the bitcoin white paper, and created and deployed bitcoin's original reference implementation. As part of the implementation, they also devised the first blockchain database. In the process, they were the first to solve the double-spending problem for digital currency using a peer-to-peer network. They were active in the development of bitcoin up until December 2010.

Social peer-to-peer processes

Social peer-to-peer processes are interactions with a peer-to-peer dynamic. These peers can be humans or computers. Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a term that originated from the popular concept of the P2P distributed computer application architecture which partitions tasks or workloads between peers. This application structure was popularized by file sharing systems like Napster, the first of its kind in the late 1990s.

The concept has inspired new structures and philosophies in many areas of human interaction. P2P human dynamic affords a critical look at current authoritarian and centralized social structures. Peer-to-peer is also a political and social program for those who believe that in many cases, peer-to-peer modes are a preferable option.


Solipsis is a free and open-source system for a massively multi-participant shared virtual world designed by Joaquin Keller and Gwendal Simon at France Télécom Research and Development Labs. It aims to provide the infrastructure for a metaverse-like public virtual territory. Relying on a peer-to-peer architecture, the virtual world may potentially be inhabited by a theoretically unlimited number of participants.


A Stichting (foundation) is a Dutch legal entity with limited liability, but no members or share capital, that exists for a specific purpose. This form of entity makes it possible to separate functions of ownership and control. Its use has been pioneered successfully in recent years as a 'poison pill' style defence tactic in hostile takeover situations by Scott V Simpson, one of Europe's leading mergers and acquisitions lawyers.

Transnational Institute

The Transnational Institute (TNI), is an international non-profit research and advocacy think tank that was founded in 1974, Amsterdam, Netherlands. According to their website, the organization promotes a "... just, democratic and sustainable world."

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