[ISEA2011] Panel: Michel Bauwens – P2P Al­ter­na­tives for a Sus­tain­able Fu­ture

Panel Statement

Panel: Re-rooting Digital Culture: Media Art Ecologies

Bauwens ar­gues for a provoca­tive dou­ble (hypo)the­sis, namely that for-profit pro­duc­tion based on pro­pri­etary knowl­edge is in­her­ently un­sus­tain­able, both at a micro, and a macro level, be­cause it is de­signed to ig­nore neg­a­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­ter­nal­i­ties, and mo­bi­lizes many dif­fer­ent strate­gies, such as planned ob­so­les­cence, to achieve this end. By con­trast, com­mons-ori­ented pro­duc­tion that is cen­tered around busi­ness ecolo­gies work­ing with open com­mu­ni­ties, is in­her­ently sus­tain­able. Open com­mu­ni­ties have no in­cen­tive to de­sign un­sus­tain­able prod­ucts, and the busi­ness ecolo­gies work­ing with them, have to build their for-profit ac­tiv­i­ties on this foun­da­tion. In ad­di­tion, non-pro­pri­etary de­sign has a deep im­pact not just on the prod­ucts, but on the very ma­chin­ery of pro­duc­tion (through the de­vel­op­ment of open and dis­trib­uted man­u­fac­tur­ing) and on con­sump­tion (through prod­uct-ser­vice ecolo­gies that are specif­i­cally de­signed for sus­tain­abil­ity and re-use). In this pre­sen­ta­tion, Bauwens will un­pack the char­ac­ter­is­tics of peer pro­duc­tion that are trans­form­ing pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion processes to­wards sus­tain­abil­ity.

  • Michel Bauwens is an ac­tive writer, re­searcher and con­fer­ence speaker on the sub­ject of tech­nol­ogy, cul­ture and busi­ness in­no­va­tion. He is the founder of the Foun­da­tion for Peer-to-Peer Al­ter­na­tives and works in col­lab­o­ra­tion with a global group of re­searchers in the ex­plo­ration of peer pro­duc­tion, gov­er­nance, and prop­erty. He has been an an­a­lyst for the United States In­for­ma­tion Agency, knowl­edge man­ager for British Pe­tro­leum, eBusi­ness Strat­egy Man­ager for Bel­ga­com, as well as an in­ter­net en­tre­pre­neur in his home coun­try of Bel­gium. He has co-pro­duced the 3-hour TV doc­u­men­tary Tech­no­ca­lyps with Frank Theys, and co-edited the two-vol­ume book on an­thro­pol­ogy of dig­i­tal so­ci­ety with Salvino Sal­vag­gio. Michel is cur­rently Pri­mav­era Re­search Fel­low at the Uni­ver­sity of Am­s­ter­dam, NL, and ex­ter­nal ex­pert at the Pon­tif­i­cal Acad­emy of So­cial Sci­ences (2008). Michel cur­rently lives in Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land.