Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation was in Barcelona again last week to speak at the Universidad Nomada in the Sala Conservas and I went along with Ricard Espelt & Gemma Urgell to film this interview with him for their #talkingabout series. #talkingabout is a paltform which aims to create participation around things, people & ideas worth, well, talking about through a system of videos, votes, comments etc which is open to anyone. I previously wrote about #talkingabout here and will be recording an interview with Ricard & Gemma soon.
I met Michel Bauwens, the founder of the P2P Foundation, at UrbanLabs which took place at Citilab in Cornellà, Barcelona. He kindly agreed to record an interview for the PodCamp Barcelona Podcast, but due to his hectic schedule it was impossible to do until recently. I finally caught up with Michel when he was in Amsterdam and we recorded this conversation over Skype from his hotel room. I think the recording provides a very good introduction to the work of the P2P Foundation and Michel’s vision.
We function as a clearinghouse for open/free, participatory/p2p and commons-oriented initiatives.
We aim to be a pluralist network to document, research, and promote peer to peer alternatives. Our political aims could be summarized under the following maxims:
ending the destruction of the biosphere by abandoning the dangerous conceptions of pseudo-abundance in the natural world (i.e. based on the assumption that natural resources are infinite);
promoting free cultural exchange by abandoning the innovation-inhibiting conceptions of pseudo-scarcity in the cultural world (i.e. based on the assumption that the free flow of culture needs to be restricted through excessive copyrights etc…).
For more information, or to get involved with the P2P Foundation, check out these sites:
UrbanLabs has been a very ambitious project which has brought people together from all over Spain and beyond at Citilab-Cornellà to discuss and possibly construct a common vision of where we are going digitally and the crossover to an increasingly blurred “real” life. Unfortunately due to Ana being ill I had to return to Lleida after the first day and a morning spent poking around the magnificant space that is Citilab-Cornellà, thanks to the invitation of a very busy Enric Senabre who made me more than welcome. Since returning home, I’ve followed the rest of the event on the web and although I haven’t been able to participate directly, have been able to watch the streaming of the thought-provoking talk given by Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation as well the interesting presentation of David Cierco, the General Director of the Plan Avanza of the Spanish government. It also means that I was able to see this morning’s discussion of the future and organisation of UrbanLabs, and I want to say here that I would love to be involved.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with Michel Bauwens yesterday and he couldn’t praise Citilab-Cornellà highly enough. I certainly got the impression that the place is not the typical council-funded project filled with bureaucrats and powered by enchufes, but a genuine place full of imagination, ideas and the willingness and creativity to put them into action – as an old cynic I’m bloody shocked. If you have the opportunity, go and check the place out for yourself, I’m hoping to be able to go back and spend more time there soon.
As I had to leave early, I could ony participate in one session about Digital Education which was facilitated by Boris Mir. There were so many ideas and projects talked about that it would have taken weeks to discuss every pertinent point and it was hard to find a structure to encompass everything in the allotted time. As we found out at PodCamp Barcelona, it showed that there are many, many people out in the digital world trying to find the way to explore new avenues of communication and co-opereration and UrbanLabs has gone a long way towards finding a way to have that dialogue in both the “real” and digital worlds and demonstrates that for many of us, that separation is disappearing.