P2P Value

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= P2PValue: Techno-social platform for sustainable models and value generation in commons-based peer production in the Future Internet

URL = https://p2pvalue.eu/ [1]


"Commons-based peer production (CBPP) is a new and increasingly significant model of social innovation based on collaborative production by citizens through the Internet. This project will foster the CBPP phenomenon by providing a techno-social software platform specifically designed to facilitate the creation of resilient and sustainable CBPP communities.

The project focuses on three key areas of improvement over current platforms:

(1) Enhancing community sustainability by adopting the governance, legal, economic, and technical infrastructures that favour value creation and resilience;

(2) Supporting the contributors with systems of reward that allow value to flow back to the creators;

(3) Integrating the functionalities of online social networking services and collaborative software in a privacy-aware platform based on a decentralised architecture. The project takes multi-disciplinary approach: open source software development (UCM), social network analysis & simulation (UniS, UCM), sociology (UniS, UNIMI), political science & online governance (UAB), law & interface design (CNRS), economic innovation (UNIMI, P2PF, UAB), CBPP practices (P2PF, UAB).

The design of the P2Pvalue platform will be empirically and experimentally grounded. Through a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods, we will elaborate guidelines for the institutional and technical features that favour value creation in CBPP. The platform will be tested using the FP7 FIRE CONFINE facilities, which follow a federated approach in alignment with P2Pvalue’s. This will allow us to deploy, run, monitor and experiment with an open ecosystem of distributed P2Pvalue nodes within the CONFINE community networks. Evaluation of the P2Pvalue platform will be supported by experimentation on 3-4 communities that will adopt the platform. Additionally a “Stakeholder Board”, composed of external experts and user representatives, will provide periodical evaluation reports to the project."

Summary of the Findings

1. Intro by Michel Bauwens [2]:

P2P Value is a landmark study because it is the first long (3-year) scientific study of 300+ peer production communities, and it largely confirms the ten years of empirical observations that form the basis of P2P Theory and the documentation in the P2P Foundation Wiki. Our team was also one of the 8 partners in the consortium.

Here are some interesting findings, which I would like to highlight:

1. These communities are also ‘imaginary communities’ with specific values, i..e. they want to make the world a better place, i.e. they are ethical communities not just profit-maximising entities, and their identification is in global networks, not just the locales they are embedded in. This is historically important since it echoes the birth of nation-states as imaginary communities (see Benedict Anderson’s landmark book on this topic)

2. A majority of 78% of these communities are practicing, preparing and/or looking into open value or contributory accounting systems; again, this is significant since changes in accounting practices and philosophies have accompanied the great value regime transitions in the past

3. Reputation capital is a fictitious commodity that has an effective capacity to drive and allocate resources to these common projects.

This document is therefore a must-read for the P2P and Commons community.

2. Summary by Adam Arvidsson et al. :

"This paper summarizes three years of ethnographic work on Commons Based Peer Production (CBPP) communities within the research project P2PValue, funded by the European Commission. By Adam Arvidsson, Alessandro Caliandro, Alberto Cossu, Maitrayee Deka, Alessandro Gandini, Vincenzo Luise, Brigida Orria and Guido Anselmi.

Key insights:

CBPP is part of a broader transformation in the information economy whereby collaboration and common knowledge have come to play an ever more important part in value creation. This development has roots that go back to the industrial revolution in the 19th century and it has been greatly accelerated by the diffusion of digital media. CBPP or CBPP like modes of production have become a core component to the contemporary information economy as a whole.

CBPP occurs in highly particular kinds of communities. They are not kept together by frequent interaction or a tight web of social relations. Instead they are kept together by sharing a common imaginary that posits a transformative potential on the part of the particular practice to which these communities are dedicated.

Contributions to this potential through technical skills and/or virtuous conduct is rewarded with reputation. Reputation is the form of that exchange value takes in CBPP communities, it is the ‘fictious commodity’ typical to CBPP.

Reputation is also the most important value form that structures transactions between CBPP and other institutional logics, such as that of markets, capitalism and the state.

The value of reputation lies in its ability to give a proximate measure to risk.

The fact that value is principally related to risk means that CBPP communities operate a value logic that mirror that of financial markets.

Most CBPP communities envision commons based markets as alternatives to capitalism. Such commons-based markets build on the construction of imaginaries that are able to transform insecurity into risk in ways that mirror communitarian principles." (https://p2pvalue.eu/762-2/)

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