Infrastructures for Relocalized Economies

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This is the starting page for a joint P2P Foundation project with Steven L Bosserman and P2P colleagues everywhere to document shifts towards relocalized economies and the adoption of critical infrastructures that facilitate those transitions.

At the heart of this project, we want to populate a knowledge commons about infrastructure-related activities you are involved in or see going on about you that catalyze economic relocalization in your community.

For any of such updates on pages you create, make sure to mention the geographic location - at least placename and country - from which you are reporting.

We will be using the tag Localization to create an automatic directory of updates.

We thank you in advance for your contributions. And whatever we might do to make this more useful for you in return, please let us know.


Request for Input to the P2P Top Ten Trends for 2016

Michel Bauwens: In a January 2, 2017 Facebook post, I requested input to my soon-to-be-published annual list of P2P Top Ten Trends for 2016. Included in my draft list were the following:

  1. Civic and Commons Renaissance in Western European cities
  2. The emergence of Super-Competent Democracies
  3. Municipal Coalitions
  4. Platform Cooperativism comes of age
  5. Politisation of the Commons
  6. P2P Value report findings on really existing peer production communities
  7. P2P Foundation research comes of age
  8. The year of the blockchain and cryptoledger applications, but also open and contributory value accounting
  9. Gender and Race; diversity and p2p

Primary Indicators of the Final Drive into a Post-Capitalist Reality

Steven L Bosserman: Historians will look back on 2016 as the year when the forces of change aligned to begin the world's final drive into a post-capitalist reality. Each of us have our preferred evaluative methods to note this occasion. My primary indicators concerned the ongoing and pervasive presence of certain human behaviors which I considered essential to precipitate such an onslaught:

  1. Commitment by individuals and groups to systems, processes, and tools that enable people to meet their basic needs where they are so they do not resort to destroying the environment, emigrating / seeking refuge elsewhere, or resorting to radicalism or nihilism
  2. Adoption of acknowledgement systems that assume each person has value to offer regardless of circumstances and recognize those occasions when each person contributes the value they have
  3. Match of distributed governance structures to population centers (nodes) so that residents have the authority to localize their knowledge commons, manage their resource flows (sources to sinks), and ultimately, meet their basic needs
  4. Connections of distributed population centers (nodes) into regional and global economic networks wherein residents can exchange ideas, share experiences, refresh their knowledge commons, and restore the sources of their localized resource flows

The political, diplomatic, economic, societal, and environmental events of 2016 have provided the catalyst to launch what's next in an irreversible and inevitable way. While the list of Top Ten Trends for 2016 you've compiled thus far and will no doubt rigorously refine, is excellent, I submit there's a larger contextual drama playing out that the composite listing does not fully address. And that is that 2016 represents the year when the world turned the corner on its future and from here on out we're building what's next more than we're perpetuating what is or what was.

Why Was 2016 a Pivotal Year?

Michel Bauwens: What makes you say that 2016 has been a pivot year in this ... I had the impression that 2015 was one, and most of these trends have perhaps consolidated in 2016, (see our top trends of 2015), but this year, what makes you conclude it was a pivot?

The Realization of Systemic Failure

Steven L Bosserman: Bear in mind that being in the US throughout 2016 influences my perspective. With that caveat in mind and having reread The Top Ten P2P Trends of 2015 I can place the key determinants under a general heading of the only ones we can truly trust are those in the communities where we reside. Previously, we held out hope that the established decision-making processes at international, federal, and state levels would yield results we could live with and we would not have to change in substantive ways (read: actively adopt and proliferate the strategies identified in last year's "P2P top ten").

Here are four of the major conditions I found that make 2016 "pivotal" (in the sense of a pendulum ending its arc in one direction and starting its return):

  1. A significant number of people are not "feeling the love" of globalization wedded with neoliberalism - to the point where they rejected this union in the US and Great Britain.
  2. The rise of fake news has called into question the integrity of established media outlets and news services - how do we really know what's going on and understand its significance?
  3. Flirtation with (if not the embrace of) fascism - demonstrated most notably by the demonization of those deemed to be "outsiders" or "different".
  4. Opioid addiction, which devastates families and impacts communities throughout the US - and only gets worse despite all-out efforts to criminalize addicts and users as a deterrent.

The consequence of these four (and many more that readers are encouraged to add!) is that WE NOW KNOW "the establishment" / "the dominant culture" / "the system" is hopelessly corrupt, anachronistic, and cares not a whit for the majority of those it's in place "to protect and serve". That realization of systemic failure to such a degree tipped the scales in 2016.

For example, within my community, I KNOW who's struggling to make ends meet and who's not even able to do that; I KNOW what's reality and what's fiction; I KNOW good people who belong to those classifications judged to be unworthy of residence in the US; I KNOW individuals and families who have to deal with issues of addiction and death and they deserve respect, care and compassion, NOT to be treated as pariah. Armed with this GROUND TRUTH I can tap into the P2P top-ten trends for 2015 (and 2016) with UNWAVERING COMMITMENT and join with individuals and groups where I reside to build what's next starting at the community level.

It is this across the board realization that we have no alternative thereby profoundly altering our behaviors that earmarks 2016 as a pivotal year and sends the pendulum back to the future of our community roots.