Michel Bauwens/Full Bio

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= Michel Bauwens is the founder of the P2P Foundation, an observatory on commoning and peer production and is the co-author of P2P, A Commons Manifesto . Based in Thailand, he has crafted Transition Plans for the city of Ghent and for Ecuador in 2014. The last 3 years he was advisor to SMart.coop, a labour mutual.

Short summary

"Michel Bauwens 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 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 was Primavera Research Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and external expert at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (2008, 2012). In Belgium, he published a best-selling interview transcript, with Jean Lievens, 'De Wereld Redden, met peer to peer naar een post-kapitalistische samenleving', which is nearing its third printing after a few weeks (February 2014), with an updated French-language edition, 'Sauver le Monde'. Palgrave-Macmillan produced an academic book, co-written with Vasilis Kostakis: "Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy"

Michel Bauwens has been a member/advisor to the Board of the Union of International Associations (Brussels), Ouishare (Paris) and Shareable magazine (San Francisco) and ShareLex. He was also scientific advisor to the "Association Les Rencontres du Mont-Blanc, Forum International des Dirigeants de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire" (2013-) and advized the Advisory Board for the 'Fourth International Conference on Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity'. He functioned as the Chair of the Technology/ICT working group, Hangwa Forum (Beijing, Sichuan), to develop economic policies for long-term resilience, including through distributed manufacturing. He has written editorials for Al Jazeera English [1] and other media outlets. He is listed at #82, on the Post Growth Institute (En)Rich list, http://enrichlist.org/the-list/ .

In the first semester of 2014, Michel Bauwens was the research director of the transition project towards the social knowledge economy, an official project in Ecuador (see floksociety.org). This project produced a first integrated Commons Transition Plan for the government of Ecuador, in order to create a 'social knowledge economy', with fifteen associated policy papers. The strategic framing of the plan is available at http://commonstransition.org . In the spring and summer of 2016, Michel was Honorary Fellow/Visiting Scholar with the Havens Center at UW-Madison, as an 'activist in resident' funded by the Link Foundation, to produce a major rewrite of the 2005 P2P Manifesto, 'P2P and Human Evolution', in the context of the Real Utopias series edited by Erik Olin Wright. The manuscript, in co-authorship with Vasilis Kostakis et al. was published by Westminster Press in the spring of 2019. In the spring of 2017, Bauwens advized the city of Ghent, with a Commons Transition Plan. Until June 2020, he is advisor to the CEO of the European 'labour mutual', SMART.coop. The last publication of note is a synthetic report on new accounting practices that guarantee production for human need within planetary boundaries, see: P2P Accounting for Planetary Survival: Towards a P2P Infrastructure for a Socially Just Circular Society. By Michel Bauwens and Alex Pazaitis. Foreword by Kate Raworth. P2P Foundation, June 2019. [2]. On 26 May, 2019, Michel Bauwens was a candidate MEP for the Flemish Green Party (Groen), as an independent candidate from civil society, in order to promote public-commons processes and institutions. From 2018 to 2020, Michel Bauwens was the 'intellectual in residence' and strategic advizer to Smart.Coop, a successful labor mutual in the EU, then under the leadership of Sandrino Graceffa. During 2020-2021, Michel was a strategic adviser to One Project, focusing on their commons-centric strategies for social change, and participated in their funding and investment committee. In 2022, he advised a European consortium to develop a knowledge commons for sustainability education (TepLab, Ghent-Upsalla).

Michel currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, has taught at Payap University and Dhurakij Pandit University's International College, as well as IBICT, Rio de Janeiro. He is a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group, with Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, organizing major global conferences on the commons and its economics. In his first business career, Michel worked for USIA, British Petroleum, Riverland Publications, Belgacom, and created two internet start-ups, respectively on intranet/extranets (E-Com) and interactive marketing (KyberCo), which were sold to Alcatel and Tagora Holdings."

See also:

  1. Italian Bio of Michel Bauwens
  2. Spanish Bio of Michel Bauwens
  3. French Bio of Michel Bauwens

Short Bio

Michel Bauwens is the founder and director of the P2P Foundation and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production and commons-centric economics. Michel was also a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group. He has (co-)published various books and reports, such as ‘Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy’, and more recently, P2P, A Commons Manifesto (Westminster Un. Pr. 2019). In 2014, Michel crafted a Commons Transition Plan for government institutions in Ecuador, and in 2017, for the city of Ghent in Belgium. He is currently engaged in studying the impact of the acceleration of global catastrophic risks and its intersection with civilizational transitions, by focusing on the underestimated importance of commons-based institutions; and in a separate inquiry on the optimal forms of mutual coordination for translocal economic networks, and how these capacities intersect with market and state dynamics. From 2018 to 2022, he was also adviser to SMart.coop, a fast growing European labor mutual, looking in the types of welfare reform (commonfare), that can benefit the growing number of autonomous workers, including the 34 million digital nomads, and contributed to the commons strategy of the One Project NGO. His report, P2P Accounting for Planetary Survival, examines how the shared accounting systems developed by open source and blockchain-based Coordi-Nations, can contribute to the coordination of production within planetary boundaries. He studied the emergence of cosmo-local forms of productive organization, in the Cosmo-Local Reader. Post-Covid, Michel Bauwens is doing 'civilizational transition' research for the Civilization Research Institute, and functions as research coordinator for the Global Chinese Commons, a crypto-nomadic community.

Listed at #82, on the Post Growth Institute (En)Rich list, a list which includes Gandhi and Martin Luther King. http://enrichlist.org/the-list/. This list is meant to convey a selection of the people who have contributed to the world.

Alternative Short Bio

(not updated recently)

Michel Bauwens is the founder and director of the P2P Foundation and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. Bauwens travels extensively giving workshops and lectures on P2P and the Commons as emergent paradigms and the opportunities they present to move towards a post-capitalist world.

In the first semester of 2014, Bauwens was research director of the floksociety.org which produced the first integrated Commons Transition Plan for the government of Ecuador, in order to create policies for a 'social knowledge economy'.

In January 2015 CommonsTransition.org was launched. Commons Transition builds on the work of the FLOK Society and features newly revised and updated, non-region specific versions of these policy documents. Commons Transition aims toward a society of the Commons that would enable a more egalitarian, just, and environmentally stable world.

He is a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group, with Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, who have organised major global conferences on the commons and economics.

His recent book 'Save the world - Towards a Post Capitalist Society with P2P' is based on a series of interviews with Jean Lievens, originally published in Dutch in 2014 it has since been translated and published in French with an English language publication expected in the near future. [3]

In more academic work Michel co-authored with Vasilis Kostakis ‘Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy’ published by Palgrave Pivot in 2014. http://p2pfoundation.net/Network_Society_and_Future_Scenarios_for_a_Collaborative_Economy

He has also writen for Al Jazeera and Open Democracy.

He is listed at #82, on the Post Growth Institute (En)Rich list. http://enrichlist.org/the-list/

Michel currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


For a summary of our P2P approach see here at http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/open-design-communities-entrepreneurial-coalitions-and-the-partner-state/2009/09/04

Michel Bauwens collaborates with a network of p2p researchers in academia, sharing their findings in the P2P Foundation Wiki, as well as co-organizing 7 conferences since 2006:

  • Special focus on research on open business models, collaborative innovation practices (co-creation, co-design) and commons-oriented economic models. Example, see our research on open business models in knowledge publishing, free software and open hardware at http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Business_Models

We focus on business models that are based on shared code or design, i.e. free software/open business models; on forms of innovation that are based on dialogue with user communities (open innovation, co-creation, co-design), and on business models deriving from user-generated content.

Our focus is on a new relationship between state, private sector and civil society, in which new forms of enterprise integrates externalities, and align themselves to communities that become the core of value creation, and new forms of practices for the state and public authorities which "enable and empowers the creation of value by civil society", i..e. a Partner State approach.

Detailed Biographical Material

Some Academic Qualifications

  1. Research Fellow, University of Amsterdam, Primavera program (Prof. Rik Maes)
  2. Outside expert for the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Rome 2008
  3. Co-editor of the Anthropology of Digital Society (Ichec St. Louis, Belgium)
  4. Past teaching positions at Ichec St. Louis, Payap University, Chiang Mai University
  5. Record of P2P lectures since 2007: http://www.diigo.com/user/mbauwens/Bauwens-Lectures [4]
  6. Video recordings of presentations, interviews: http://www.diigo.com/user/mbauwens/Bauwens-Videos [5]

Education and Training

  1. Master Degree (Licentiate) in Political Relations/International Relations, Free University of Brussels, Belgium, 1981
  2. Associate, Thai Cultural Studies, Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2003

Research and Professional Experience

  1. [1983-1990] Research Assistant and Information Analyst, United States Information Agency
  2. [1990-1993] Business Information Manager, BP Nutrition- agribusiness division of British Petroleum
  3. [1994] Editor-in-chief of Wave, the first European commercial newsstand magazine about digital convergence.
  4. [1995 – 1996] Founder and Managing Partner, Ecom, now under the name of the eCorporation, bought by Alcatel, a leading company in the production of intranets and extranets
  5. [1997-1998] Founder and Managing Partner, Kyber Co, one of the leading Internet marketing and website promotion companies in Belgium, now part of Virtuology
  6. [1997-1998]: TV documentary producer, the impact of ‘TransHuman Technologies’: TechnoCalyps, the metaphysics of technology and the end of man. The documentary was shown on Dutch (IKON) and Belgian-Flemish television. An updated version is currently doing the festival circuit.
  7. [1999-2000] Marketing Manager, USWeb/CKS Belgium, part of the largest Internet professional services company in the world. Practice Leader Branding and Advertising for client projects for leading industrial and consumer companies such as AltaVista, Shell Geostar, and Eurostar Diamond Trade (2nd largest diamond company after DeBeers), Bacob, and many others.
  8. [1998-2000] Postgraduate Teaching, European Master in Multimedia Program at ICHEC/Fac. St. Louis, a course created through the Leonardo program of the EU; ‘The Anthropology of Digital Society’
  9. [1998-2000] Professor, Multimedia Program at ICHEC/Fac. St. Louis, ‘Social and political economic implications of Information and Communication Technologies’ for 3rd year Communication students
  10. [2000-2002] eBusiness Strategy Manger, Digital Futures Initiative
  11. [2004-2005] Payap University and Chiang Mai University, Thailand, Globalization and Introduction to the Vocabulary of the Social Sciences
  12. [2002-present] Founder, Peer to Peer Alternatives Foundation
  13. Partner/co-founder of the Commons Strategies Group
  14. 2014: Research director, of the 'Transition towards the social knowledge economy' project, flok.org, for 3 Ecuadorian governmental institutoins
  15. 2016: Collaboration with Erik Olin Wright, at the Sociology Dept. , University of Wisconson, on the Real Utopias project
  16. 2017: Author of the Commons Transition Plan for the city of Ghent, Belgium, on behalf of the City
  17. 2018- June 20: advisor to the CEO of the labour mutual SMart.coop, Belgium

Awards and Honors:

  • USIA Meritorious Honor Award, July 1990
  • BP Information Star Prize for Innovative Applications of Information Technology: "For the concept and creation of a total electronic information environment for the provision of business intelligence to senior management", January 1993
  • European Special Librarian of the Year award, "For outstanding role in redefining the profession in harmony with the advances in technology", December 1993

Collaborations and Affiliations

  • Research Fellow for Primavera, (University of Amsterdam, with Prof. Rik Maes, 2007+)
  • Invited expert at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2008 - 2012
  • Board Member of the Union of International Associations, 2007 –
  • Advisor to Shareable magazine, San Francisco, 2011-
  • Advisor to Zumbara Time Bank, Istanbul, 2012-
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of Hybrid Athens, 2013 conference
  • Comitê Editorial ; Revista P2P & Inovação IBICT, January 2014 -


  1. Bauwens, M. The Political Economy of Peer Production. CTheory, October 2, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=499 ; Re-published Post-Autistic Economics Review, issue 37. Retrieved from http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue37/Bauwens37.htm
  2. Bauwens, Michel and Vasilis Kostakis. 2014. “From the Communism of Capital to Capital for the Commons: Towards an Open Co-operativism”. Triple-C: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 12(1): 356-361. URL= http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/561
  3. Kostakis, Vasilis, Bauwens, Michel, and Vasilis Niaros. 2015 (Forthcoming). “Urban Reconfiguration After the Emergence of Peer-to-peer Infrastructures: Four Future Scenarios with an Impact on Smart Cities” in Araya, D. (Ed.). Smart Cities as Democratic Ecologies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  4. Bauwens, M. Passionate Production and the Happiness Surplus. International Conference On “Happiness and Public Policy”. United Nations Conference Center (UNCC) Bangkok, Thailand. 18-19 July 2007. Retrieved from http://ppdoconference.org/session_papers/session14/session14_michel.pdf ; (draft version at http://gnh-movement.org/papers/bauwens.pdf )
  5. Bauwens, M. P2P and Human Evolution. Institute for Network Cultures. March 2005. Retrieved from http://www.networkcultures.org/weblog/archives/2005/03/ ; alternative version at Integral Vision. Retrieved from http://integralvisioning.org/article.php?story=p2ptheory1
  6. Kostakis, Vasilis, and Michel Bauwens. 2014. Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  7. Ramos, Jose, Bauwens, Michel, and Kostakis, Vasilis. forthcoming. P2P and Planetary Futures. In R. Carslon (Ed.), Critical Posthumanism and Planetary Futures. Zurich: Springer.


  1. Bauwens, M. Social Innovation and the Partner State as Emerging Models for the Developing World. Information Technology in Developing Countries Volume 17, No. 3. International Federation for Information Processing, November 2007. Retrieved from http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/egov/ifip/nov2007/michel-bauwens.htm
  2. Bauwens, M. P2P Foundation, Thailand . Developing a global Online presence through Wiki and blog. I4D Magazine, August 2008. Retrieved from http://i4donline.net/August08/998929018.pdf
  3. Bauwens, M. Social Innovation, Peer Production, Open Design: Implications for Policy. Center for the Experience Economy, November 11, 2007. Retrieved from http://www.experience-economy.com/2007/11/21/social-innovation-peer-production-open-design-implications-for-policy-by-michel-bauwens/
  4. Bauwens, M. From Social Innovation to Peer Production and Open Design. European Multimedia Forum, 2008. Retrieved from http://www.e-multimedia.org/articles/Michel%20Bauwens.html?eid=24355365
  5. Bauwens, M. The Peer to Peer Manifesto: The Emergence of P2P Civilization and Political Economy. Master New Media. Retrieved from http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2007/11/03/the_peer_to_peer_manifesto.htm
  6. Bauwens, M. Peer to Peer | The New Relational Dynamic. Kosmos Journal. Spring | Summer 2008. ToC retrieved from http://www.kosmosjournal.org/kjo/backissue/s2008/index.shtml
  7. Bauwens, M. The social web and its social contracts. Re-public, . Retrieved from http://www.re-public.gr/en/?p=261
  8. Bauwens, M. Business Models for Peer Production. Open Source Business Resource, January 2008Retrieved from http://www.osbr.ca/ojs/index.php/osbr/article/view/494/458
  9. Bauwens, M. Enterprise 2.0: Will Corporations Embrace the Social Media Revolution? Cutter IT Journal. Special Issue on Enterprise 2.0. 2008
  10. Bauwens, M. Peer production, peer governance, peer property. Re-public, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.re-public.gr/en/?p=87
  11. Bauwens, M. P2P Economics: A Design Vision For A Commons-Based Distributed Marketplace. Master New Media, March 6, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2006/03/06/p2p_economics_a_design_vision.htm

Supporting Material

  1. Record of P2P lectures since 2007: http://www.diigo.com/user/mbauwens/Bauwens-Lectures [6]
  2. Video recordings of presentations, interviews: http://www.diigo.com/user/mbauwens/Bauwens-Videos [7]