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  • Our economy prospers when the Internet is equally open to every good idea. Our democracy flourishes when all ideas can get an equal hearing. Our culture is enriched when anyone can create a song, a movie, a book, or manifesto.

- David Weinberger [1]

  • The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them

- Albert Einstein [2]

* Please watch: Screencast with an Overview of the Transformative Proposals of the P2P Foundation

  • Key article by Hilary Wainwright:
  1. Co-Creative Labor, Productive Democracy and the Partner State; a very important text to reset government policies for the p2p age. The 3 parts cover: 1 A value revolution in labor; 2 Re-constituting industrial strategies based on co-creative labor; 3 The Co-Creative Economy needs a Partner State

Introduction by James Quilligan: Beyond State Capitalism: The Commons Economy in our Lifetimes. [4]

  1. Establishing Global Common Goods and a Commons Reserve Currency
  2. The Co-Governance and Co-Production of the Commons through Commons Trusts on the basis of Social Charters
  3. Replacing the scarcity-engineering of neoliberal markets by the abundance engineering of the commons, see the Abundance - Typology and the Wealth Typology
  4. The context for policy change: Four Future Scenarios for the Global System, from: GLOBAL MEGACRISIS. A Survey of Four Scenarios on a Pessimism-Optimism Axis. By William Halal and Michael Marien.
  5. Mark Whitaker's book, Toward a Bioregional State, proposes a global Bioregional Democracy based on Civic Democratic Institutions and a Commodity Ecology


This category focuses on proposals to promote the P2P, Open/Free, and Commons-related agenda, in the existing political and institutional systems.

The P2P Foundation is sympathetic to the proposals of the Pirate Party as well as the Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web. Amongst our favourite policy organizations are the Open Spectrum Foundation.

These pages will also include records on activist campaigns.

In the related pages on Standards we define the technical requirements for an open and free internet.

Some of the key questions are:

  1. What are the Policy Implications of an Open Design World?
  2. What should be done [5]: 1) contain the advances of the proponents of a closed proprietary culture; 2) explain to the public the benefits of openness; 3) create new tools, organizational models and forms of social life that are superior to what exists

Our Endorsements

  • Our preferred policy framework for socio-economic change is Otto Scharmer's 7-fold approach.

- Respect for the entire Sacred Web of Life: "All human beings, all species, all flora and fauna, and the Earth, its elements and minerals, are required for survival and prosperity. The laws of cause and effect, energy, biodiversity and interspecies ethics have taught us to recognize and legitimate the essential rights of all of Earth’s life forms. To this end, we declare our rights to the sustainability and security of this Global Commons, encompassing local, national, regional and global stability and the environmental and economic threats to our survival as societies, groups, and individuals. We have no need to petition government for entitlements or businesses for permissions to these rights – we claim them in partnership as our legal and moral birthrights and our responsibilities as Sovereign Beings on Earth."

Key Concepts

The key concept we propose is that of the Partner State

Help us develop the following concepts:

(background: The Public - Commons Partnership and the Commonification of that which is Public. By Tommaso Fattori.)

Framing the discussion in the contect of P2P-driven global governance

Poor Richard:

"Can a hollowed-out, privatized government to effectively cope with the increasing complexity of social and environmental crises such as global warming.

I agree that the failure of government regulation to curb the destructive activity of large corporations is only likely to worsen with the increasing privatization of government and the increasing complexity of global problems. So what can p2p culture do about this?

1. Establish powerful, confederated P2P Guilds and Leagues based on various global commons of knowledge and expertise so that mitigations, adaptations, and other interventions can be crowd-sourced by massively distributed, parallel, and open networks of peers.

2. Establish many strong, self-reliant economies at the local geopolitical (or Eco-political) level by forming partnerships between the P2P guilds and progressive local communities. These partnerships would maximize economies of scope via peer production and would also be strongly confederated with their peers bio-regionally, nationally, and globally.

3. One more maneuver that may be necessary to assist this process I will dub “castling”, a term borrowed from the game of chess. What I mean by this is a shifting of local populations between adjacent local geopolitical jurisdictions (such as cities and counties in the US) so as to create political, social, and economic majorities of p2p culture in the targeted locations.

The resulting strongly confederated p2p cultural strongholds might stand the best chance of competing with the large corporate entities, excluding them from the “castled” commons, and limiting the scope of their environmental destruction." (

Transitional Proposals for creating a global commons movement

We propose this global commons scenario, in order to create a global counter-economy as basis of global civic power.

In bullet points, essentially, what we are striving for is:

  • citizens are contributing to commons; we encourage the creation of commons-based productive communities based on open input, participatory governance, and commons-oriented output
  • citizen-workers are organizing their work in not-for-profit entities that are aligned with their commons work (cooperative accumulation to create a closed circle and livelyhoods in the sphere of the commons); we encourage the creation of 'open cooperative entities', i.e. they must 1) be not-for-profit oriented and integrate the common good in their statutes; 2) they must involve all stakeholders in their management (multi-stakeholder governance); 3) they must actively co-produce commons
  • these ethical enterpreneurial coalitions are bound by social charters and commons-based reciprocity licenses to protect the common work from for-profit enclosures
  • the members of the open coalition uses open book accounting and open suppy chains so that the already existing stigmergic coordination (already working today as a mutual coordination mechanism for immaterial production), can move to physical coordination as well ; creation of material productive commons through commons funds in which every commoner participates

- local production coops are globally united in phyles (global ethical business eco-systems that sustains communities and their commons) to create material counter-power to MNO's

- the combined initiative of local chambers of the commons (economic) and alliances of the commons (civic), creating social charters are used to re-organize political and social movements around the commons ethic (pluralistic support for those that support the protection and expansion of the commons)

- though we believe that commons-based peer production will be the core, we advocate pluralistic commonwealths that simultaneous transform the state (democratic polis, liquid democracy, commonification of public services), the market (ethical enterpreneurial coalitions organized around the open commons that they produce), and civil society (contributory provisioning of social needs)

Key P2P Foundation Documents

  • The Commons Transition Plan offers a detailed strategy for moving to a society that is driven by open access to shared knowledge pools in every area of human activity. Our companion site, contains also a well designed ebook version of it.

Key Articles

On the overall framework of a Commons and Civil Society oriented global policy and governance framework that insures sustainability:

  1. Article: James Bernard Quilligan. People Sharing Resources. Toward a New Multilateralism of the Global Commons.

Published in Kosmos Journal, Fall | Winter 2009

These are also important philosophical approaches:

  1. Roberto Verzola on Undermining vs. Developing Abundance
  2. Jeff Vail on the need for Scale-Free Design
  3. James Quilligan on Multilateralism 2.0 and the Role of the State in the Commons

Main articles:

  1. Gilberto Gil on Brazil's Peeracy Policy
  2. Markets are inefficient for non-rival goods. Josh Farley
  3. Infrastructure Commons in Economic Perspective. Brett M. Frischmann.
  4. In peer production, the interests of capitalists and entrepreneurs are no longer aligned
  5. What policy makers should know about Information Economics
  6. Dale Carrico: Principles of Taxation
  7. Robert Reich on post-meltdown recovery: Why the U.S. Government should invest in the Commons


  1. On IP, the US is out of step with the world]. Michael Geist
  2. Al Gore on the Internet and Democracy
  3. Seven thesis on cosmopolitanism as an alternative strategy to the global power of capital. Ulrich Beck.

Generic Policy Articles

Towards a Partner State

Main articles:

  1. Five Principles of Openness and Transparency in Politics
  2. Jennifer Bell: Three Strategies for Achieving Open Government
  3. The User-Generated State: Public Services 2.0. By Charles Leadbeater and Hilary Cotham.
  4. David Bollier on a Policy for the Commons: a fourfold strategy for supporting value-creation by the Commons
  5. Complementing the Welfare State with a Partner State. Peter Fleissner.
  6. Elizabeth Tunstall: Towards DIY policy design
  7. James Crabtree: on the need for Civic Hacking funds


  1. Anthony D. Williams on Participatory Regulation
  2. Ten practical online steps for government support of democracy. Steven Clift.
  1. Using Wiki's in Government: 5 case studies from the US by


3 reports by Nef/NESTA in the UK:

  1. Towards the Co-Production of Public Services: The British National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) in partnership with nef (the new economics foundation), has published an important new report, The Challenge of Co-production: published in December 2009 [7], explained what co-production is and why it offers the possibility of more effective and efficient public services.
  2. Public Services Inside Out. New Economics Foundation, 2010. "documents the many ways in which citizens are engaging with public service professionals, in health and social care, housing, childcare, education and criminal justice, to design and deliver activities that meet their needs and deliver better results." [8]
  3. The discussion paper Right here, right now – Taking co-production into the mainstream (pdf) is the last of three reports ow is the right time to move co-production out of the margins and into the mainstream. The report provides the basis for a better understanding of how to make this happen.


  1. Anthony Barnett: Government Policy Using the Internet. March 2008.
  2. Charles Leadbeater and Hillary Cottam: Open Welfare: designs on the public good, Design Council, London, UK.
  3. Transforming Welfare. the new economics foundation, 2010. "it makes sense to plan for minimal growth or none at all. In that case, what will become of the welfare state? Deep cuts are already planned by the Labour government and by the Tories - and neither party has yet contemplated a future without growth. What should be saved and what thrown overboard? More important, how could and should the welfare system be restructured?"
  4. The 2008 Demos report,Making the most of collaboration focuses on the design stage of public service provision - where collaborative design principles are taking hold.
  5. Power in People's Hands. The Strategy Unit, UK Cabinet Office, 2009: presents the findings of a Strategy Unit study of leading edge innovations in world-wide public services, which involved interviewing 50 academics, public servants and other experts from around the world. The report highlights more than 30 case studies from 15 countries. It emphasises that innovation and productivity come from forging stronger relationships with citizens
  6. Making Good Society. Geoff Mulgan et al. Commission of Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society. Carnegie UK Trust, 2010: recommendations to strengthen Civil Society [9]
  7. The Ownership State. Phillip Blond. ResPublica, 2009 : an expression of the Red Toryism that influenced the Big Society proprosals of the UK conservatives under David Cameron. [10]


  1. The Collaborative State. Demos, 2007: essays by leading thinkers and practitioners assesses how far we have already come towards a more collaborative style of government and sets out international case studies of some of the most interesting initiatives to date.
  2. Wiki Government. How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. Beth Noveck. Brookings Institution Press, 2009: on the emergence of Collaborative Democracy,i.e. soliciting expertise from self-selected peers working together in groups in open networks
  3. Book: A Democratic Architecture for the Welfare State. By Victor Pestoff. Routledge, 2008: to promote a greater role for the third sector and full-range citizen participation or even empowerment in public policy making and service provision


  1. The Rise and Demise of the New Public Management. By Wolfgang Drechsler [11]: a fundamental critique of the neoliberal approaches to the state.


From [12]:

  1. The e-Citizen Charter, The Netherlands: gives citizens the right to choose the channel through which they interact with services.
  2. Democratisation of Government Data, Washington: Data streams from the city Government’s agencies have been opened up to citizens for use online as part of the Government’s transparency agenda.
  3., USA: An online portal enables users to find, download and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government.
  4. The Cyber Policy Forum, Seoul, Korea: Online discussions engage citizens in the policy-making process by providing an opportunity for dialogue between expert, members of the public and policymakers.
  5. Participatory Budgeting, Germany: Citizens are empowered to participate in planning the budget by submitting online proposals and voting on these.

Global Commons and Participatory International Systems

  1. Global Commons and Common Sense. Jorge Buzaglo. real-world economics review, issue no. 51 [13] : policy proposals for a global governance of planetary commons
  2. Four Principles and Corollaries of Network Society and the New International Governance. By by Alexander Schellong, Philipp Mueller. [14]
  3. Hilary Cottam on Participatory Global Governance Systems: Winter 2010 (Vol.XXXI. No 4) edition of the Harvard International Review. [15]
  4. Philipp Mueller on Planetary Public Policy‎ and Open Statecraft
  5. Steve Waddell on Global Action Networks
  6. Developing the Meta Services for the Eco-Social Economy: on developing a framework for an eco-social economy - includings its arrangements to manage natural commons. Text proposed by Feasta, Ireland. By Brian Davey with the assistance of John Jopling.
  7. In his book, Occupy World Street, Ross Jackson proposes the creation of a Gaian League.

Institutional Proposals for Global Governance

Alex Evans

  1. Shooting the Rapids: "argues that the key challenge is to join up the dots between the institutions, processes and actors that we have now. Part of this task involves expanding the scope of multilateralism to engage much more intensively with non-state actors"
  2. Multilateralism for an Age of Scarcity: paper uses the shared operating system / shared awareness / shared platforms framework (follow-up of Shooting the Rapids)

James Greyson

See: Seven Policy Switches for strategic change on a planetary level

James Quilligan

  1. Toward a Commons-based Framework for Global Negotiations
  2. People Sharing Resources. Toward a New Multilateralism of the Global Commons. James Bernard Quilligan Kosmos Journal, Fall | Winter 2009: this article frames what a global commons-based policy and governance structure should be.

Partner Cities and Partner Regions

  1. Policies for a Shareable City: the series initiated by Neal Gorenflo of Shareable magazine will cover 20 policy areas to inspire discussion among citizens and city leaders.
  2. Open Commons Region Linz

Towards Open Civil Societies

  • Nora McKeon: Civil Society and the United Nations: Legitimating Global Governance-Whose Voice. (Zed 2009).

Commons-oriented social charters:

  1. The for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge from the Free Culture Forum
  2. Global Labour Charter Movement [16]
  3. Pirate Party program [17]
  4. Bill of rights for users of the social web [18]
  5. The Declaration of Respect for Life and Human Security across the Global Commons [19]
  6. APC Internet Rights Charter,]
  7. Universal Declaration of All Beings, i.e. Peoples Declaration
  8. Manchester Manifesto Group (science)[20]: "identifies various issues and problems with the current system of ownership and management of science and innovation, highlighting elements that hinder or obstruct achievement of these goals.

Other Languages:

  1. Manifest: Gemeingüter stärken. Jetzt! [21]; (in spanish:
  2. Déclaration des Droits Fondamentaux Numériques version 2 [22]: an initiative of the French Minister of Defense, Herve Morin

Towards Open Markets

Most importantly:

  1. Here are the key Four Rules against the False Abundance of the Eternal Growth Economy


  1. We need Sincere Choices in order to create open, anti-monopolistic marketplaces: this requires 1) Open Standards; 2) Choice Through Interoperability; 3) Competition by Merit; 4) Research Availability; 5) Range of Copyright Policies; 6) Freedom to Set Policy
  2. Towards Policies in Support of Collaborative Production. By Mark Cooper.
  3. Government Policies in Support of Open Innovation. Eric von Hippel and Carliss Baldwin.
  4. How Should the Economy be Regulated? Richard Rosen [23]
  5. The Open Market Sustainability approach, by Paul Doherty.

Corporate Reform

  1. Using Corporate Governance Law to Benefit All Stakeholders. Kent Greenfield [24]
  2. Internal Transformation of Corporations. Michael Thomas and Bill Veltrop [25]
  3. Revisiting Corporate Charters. Charles Cray [26]
  4. Emergence of New Corporate Forms. Susan Mac Cormac. [27]
  5. Action Agenda for Corporate Redesign. Deborah Doane [28]

Short Citations

Why not treat policy challenges like open source software programs. Create a policyforge (modeled after sourceforge) where the policy can reside and where the module policy owner, can foster a community and accept its ideas, opinions and edits.

- David Eaves [29]

Meliorism treats salvation as neither inevitable nor impossible. It treats it as a possibility, which becomes more and more of a probability the more numerous the actual conditions of salvation become.

- William James [30]

Competitive market based allocation may be appropriate for rival resources that can be exclusively owned, but are inappropriate for non-rival resources or those that cannot be exclusively owned.

- Josh Farley [31]

The basic argument of copyright abolitionists is that people should be free to share when sharing does not result in any diminution of supply.

- Karl Fogel [32]

The future will reward those who collaborate, and that collaboration may even save the asses of those who don't.

- Cliff Figallo [33]

The single most fundamental impact from all of these new capabilities may be felt in connection with the way in which we form the middle tier of the social fabric — organized, persistent, collaborating (non–governmental) groups.

- David Johnson [34]

Fair Use Worth More to Economy Than Copyright: Fair use exceptions to U.S. copyright laws account for more than $4.5 trillion in annual revenue for the United States

- CCIA [35]

"Rather than pitting “free markets” against the “heavy hand” of top down government regulation, a trust approach offers a third alternative, one that creates a “context of trust” whereby conditions of transparency, mutuality and accountability trigger innate self-organizing social exchange processes that in turn catalyze Fukuyama’s spontaneous sociability."

- John Clippinger [36]

"The closer the economy approaches the scale of the whole Earth the more it will have to conform to the physical behavior mode of the Earth. That behavior mode is a steady state—a system that permits qualitative development but not aggregate quantitative growth. Growth is more of the same stuff; development is the same amount of better stuff (or at least different stuff)."

- Herman Daly [37]

Long Citations

Marvin Brown on why we need Civic Design for Civilizing the Economy

"When people say, ”We have seen the problem and the problem is us,” they deceive themselves. We are not the problem. The problem is one of design. Our current design of how we live together in unjust and unsustainable, and it is still controlled by commercial conversations without any moral foundation. Those who control financial markets are sovereign. If we expand and protect civic conversations we may, in time, participate in the solution—an economy based on civic norms making provisions for this and future generations." (

James Quilligan on the new Global Common Wealth


"Imagine a world ... where businesses thrive. Governments evolve power upward to an international trusteeship for the commons, giving up a portion of their sovereignty through new global standards of cooperation, trust and shared values. Government authority also shifts downward to citizens and their commons organizations through social charters. Local commons trusts organize and affiliate with each other across the world, providing independent checks and balances on the power of global corporations, sovereign governments and multilateral institutions. Global co-governance creates the means for a systematic redistribution of global common goods. Cultural and social production preserves resources and generates new wealth, alongside — but independent of—the private production of wealth. A commons reserve currency available through co-credits enables humanity to base its economic transactions directly on the sustainability and resilience of the global commons. And world society creates a dynamic equilibrium between (private) property rights, (public) sovereign rights, and (commons) sustainability rights through a new multilateral system of co-governance and co-production, transcending the dichotomies of state capitalism and transforming life across the planet." (


"Whether these commons are traditional (rivers, forests, indigenous cultures) or emerging (energy, intellectual property, internet), communities are successfully managing them through collaboration and collective action. This growing movement has also begun to create social charters and commons trusts — formal instruments which define the incentives, rights and responsibilities of stakeholders for the supervision and protection of common resources. Ironically, by organizing to protect their commons through decentralized decision-making, the democratic principles of freedom and equality are being realized more fully in these resource communities than through the enterprises and policies of the Market State.

These evolving dynamics — the decommodification of common goods through co-governance and the deterritorialization of value through co-production — are shattering the liberal assumptions which underlie state capitalism. The emergence of this new kind of management and valuation for the preservation of natural and social assets is posing a momentous crisis for the Market State, imperiling the functional legitimacy of state sovereignty, national currencies, domestic fiscal policy, international trade and finance, and the global monetary system." (

Turning the Public Services into a Commons

"Two elementary moves should be made towards renewing public services as material commons. A first condition is that public service workers have the dignity, time, the training and the rights of co-management to be able to collaborate meaningfully with service users; the second is a remaking of local government, so that, having become little more than a plethora of partnerships dependent on national funding streams and on complying with nationally imposed targets, it is transformed into a democratically elected body with strategic powers and a budget of its own that can be the subject of participatory power-sharing with local citizens. The first condition involves a rethinking and reasserting of labour as social, co-operative process and itself potentially a commons. (In the present capitalist economy, including the state sector, it could be called a ‘hidden commons’ whereby the co-operative nature of labour is distorted by pressures to maximise profit – or in the state sector by the legacy of hierarchical, military forms of administration). The second requires reflection on the kind of political institutions and forms of democracy that create the conditions for democratic self-management and common access to public resources to flourish." (

Alexander Schellong: Complexity requires Participation

"Hierarchical government structures are the dominant model for public service delivery and meeting public policies. Although desired outcomes are mostly realized, this set-up turns out to have various downsides. Results are a silo like, inward-looking culture, slow decision making, change awareness or knowledge diffusion. While the latter also led to an institutionalized disconnect from citizens it can cause system failures when information and decision making transcends organizational and jurisdictional boundaries. Hurricane Katrina, the Avian Flu, various non-prevented terrorist attacks are such representative cases.

In addition, public administration has become continuously more complex. Economic, social, political and technological developments in the past decades have lead to a growth of the administrative apparatus, its size, power and obligations. Market-based reforms have optimized agency operations and privatized public services through contracting-out (i.e. Public Private Partnerships) or completely conferring them to the private sector. Hence, public managers and policy makers have to work within a sphere of multiple stakeholders and understand interdependent relationships for service provision, regulation and policy making. Knowing whom to hold accountable and a general understanding of this complex system is important for legislators as well as for citizen.

From: What Can Governments Do? 1. Access; 2. Dialogue; 3. Transparency; 4. Internal change" (

Kevin Werbach on Abundance as a Policy Goal:

“The cyber-solution to this governance dilemma is to fight the constraint that produces all the tensions: scarcity. Abundance trumps governance. There is no need to worry about resource allocation when there are more than enough resources to go around. And those who find their norms ill-served can choose a more suitable environment, because the costs of forming new groups and institutions are so low.

The good news is that cyberspace – if we let it – can be the greatest engine of abundance the world has ever known. From the billions of search clicks that Google pairs with targeted text ads to the millions of WiFi devices using shared wireless spectrum to the hundreds of thousands of books along’s long tail, abundance is the driving force of the Internet economy. It should be an abiding goal of Internet governance as well. Furthering the historical analogy, it was territorial expansion, to the Western edge of the continent and beyond, that channeled and checked the tensions of the nascent American constitutional republic.

If cyberspace is to be well-governed, therefore, it must grow. We must resist the temptation to look back nostalgically to the frontier homesteading days, when norms dominated because so many of them were shared. Let us, as David urges, embrace the Internet’s wondrous chaos. At the same time, though, let us sing the praises of its well-designed rules. The shared enemy is not structure, but exclusivity and other barriers to choice and connectivity.“ (

David Bollier: Competing 'on top' of the Commons

"One of the best ways to stimulate competition, innovation and lower prices is for participants in a market to honor the commons (a shared pool of resources, a minimal set of safety or performance standards) and then to compete "on top" of the commons. Instead of being able to reap easy profits from monopoly control over something everyone needs -- say, a computer operating system like Windows -- a company must work harder to "add value" in more specialized ways." (

More Citations

  1. Josef Stiglitz, on why drug patents are costing lives

Topical Policy Proposals

The political / policy priorities of the P2P Foundation:

• Sustainable democratic finance – Job creation and wealth distribution

• Co-operative and commons-based housing and land tenure – Affordable homes for all

• Mutually owned Renewable energy – Affordable and sustainable energy

• Local and sustainable food systems – Food security and the elimination of hunger

• User-controlled health and social care – Dependable and humane care

• Commons-based open knowledge technology – ICT and open knowledge for the common good.

Policy Frameworks


Ways to organize P2P-Commons oriented proposals in a coherent whole:

  1. The Five Capitals Model
  2. Seven Acupuncture Points for Shifting to Capitalism 3.0. Otto Scharmer.
  3. David Korten: Seven Global Sources of Dysfunction and their Corresponding Corrective Actions
  4. Christian Arnsperger: Six Framework Conditions for Global Systemic Change
  5. The New Economy Working Group, with David Korten, Nine Action Clusters and Three Defining System Conditions
  6. 11 Structural Problems of the Current World System


  1. Key demands for a free communication infrastructure that enables productive collaboration. Proposed by Mark Cooper.
  2. Infrastructure and Content Need to be Separated. David Weinberger.
  3. What should we want? The Theses for Technology Policy 2008 proposed for the US by Yale's Information Society Project is applicable everywhere.
  4. A typology for managing common resources: Wolfgang Hoeschele on Contributory Resource Use
  5. Gar Alperovitz: Ten Ways to Democratize Our Broken Economy


  1. What Can Governments Do? Alexander Schellong.
  2. Charles Leadbeater on Three Key Policy Reforms for Mass-based Innovation
  3. Capabilities in the information age. Philippe Aigrain
  4. Challenges of the Global Information Society. Pekka Himanen.
  5. Howard Gardner proposes a Cap on Inequality
  6. Josef Stiglitz warns No Country should enter into a Trade Agreement with the US
  7. Ed Felten proposes a Three-pronged Strategy for Openness
  8. Mellisa O'Young: Five Ways Government Can Help Collaborative Consumption


  1. The Collaborative State, a Demos report by Simon Parker et al., on How working together can transform public services
  2. The Co-Production of Services. Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  3. Making It Personal. Demos report by Charles Leadbeater et al. on Self-directed Public Services
  4. Report: Blogging in the Public Sector

Agriculture/Food/Natural Resources/Energy

  1. Six Key Policy Principles for Scaling Up Sustainable Agriculture
  2. Five Principles of the New Agro-Ecological Paradigm‎‎

See also:

  1. Measures for Relocalization and Reruralization, 2 times four essential policy principles, as proposed by Mariarosa Dalla Costa
  2. From Depletion to Regenerative Agriculture. Open Market Sustainability policy proposals by Patrick Doherty. [39]
  3. Policy propositions for sustaining food & farming systems, for Victoria, Australia
  4. Six Proposed Policy Principles for Scaling Up Agroecology. By Olivier De Schutter, Gaëtan Vanloqueren
  5. Grain: Five key steps towards a food system that can address climate change and the food crisis
  6. Essential Food Policy Proposals. By MARK BITTMAN
  7. The Sky Charter: the Global Commons of the atmosphere, our shared sky, is a critical context for an enduring and comprehensive solution to global warming.
  8. Introduction: Energy from the Perspective of the Commons ; Jeff Vail’s Call for a Scale-Free Energy Policy
  9. George Papanikolaou – Peer to Peer Energy Production and the Social Conflicts in the Era of Green Development; with Vasilis Kostakis, see the P2P Energy Manifesto
  10. Cap & Share: simple is beautiful
  11. The Declaration on Seed Freedom. By Dr. Vandana Shiva.


  1. Report: “Our Water Commons, Towards a New Freshwater Narrative” by Maude Barlow [40]
  2. Report: Who Owns Nature? Corporate Power and the Final Frontier in the Commodification of Life. ETC Group, 2008. [41]. Implications of commodifying Synthetic Biology


  • Book: The Future Control of Food. A Guide to International Negotiations and Rules on Intellectual Property, Biodiversity and Food Security. Edited By Geoff Tansey and Tasmin Rajotte. IDRC, 2010 [42] : “This book is the first wide-ranging guide to the key issues of intellectual property and ownership, genetics, biodiversity and food security."

Proposal for a Food Commons Policy, by Jose Luis Vivero Pol

Proposals for global distributed renewable energy

* Transforming the energy matrix: Transition Policies for the Development of the Distributed Energy Model. by George Dafermos, Panos Kotsampopoulos, et al. [44] ; General Principles for Policy Making for Distributed Energy

Via [45] :

a team of scientists from Stanford University led by Mark Jacobson published a study showing how New York State could switch to a 100 percent renewable energy infrastructure by 2030–a highly ambitious plan that would only wind, water solar energy to power not just electricity but all forms of energy consumption, including building heating and cooling and transportation. The plan is a follow up to a more general proposal that powers the entire world with renewable energy in less than two decades.


  • a team led by Vasilis Fthenakis, a senior research scientist at Columbia University’s department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, published a study showing how the entire United States could go renewable


  • in 2011 a World Wildlife Federation report (prepared by Ecofys Consulting) has laid out another path to 100 percent renewable energy.


Proposals for Global Distributed Manufacturing Policy

Jose Ramos: Policies for a Transnational Commons Economy



  1. Herman Daly's 10 Policy Principles for the Steady-State Economy ; Herman Daly: A Steady State Economy: A failed growth economy and a steady-state economy are not the same thing; they are the very different alternatives we face.
  2. Policy Proposals to Move from Quantitative to Qualitative Economic Growth. From Hazel Henderson and Fritjof Capra in their report on Qualitative Growth
  3. Sustainable Shrinkage: Envisioning a Smaller, Stronger Economy. By Ernest Callenbach. Volume 2 | Issue 4 | Page 10-15 | Aug 2011 [46]
  4. Bob Massie: Four Principles for a Just Transition to a Sustainable Economy

  • Heterodox economics for sustainability:
  1. Redefining Progress ;
  2. National Accounts of Well-Being ;
  3. About Earth's Ecological Economics ;
  4. Earth Economics;
  5. Post-Autistics Economics Network;
  6. Degrowth ;
  7. New Economics Foundation ;
  8. International Society for Ecological Economics ;
  9. Footprint Network ;
  10. Cambridge Trust for New Thinking in Economics ;

  • An integrated set of proposals from the New Economics Institute [47] (U.S.) for a Great Transition, inspired by the work of NEF in the UK.

The sections of the report include: the Great Revaluing, the Great Redistribution, the Great Rebalancing, the Great Localization and Engagement, the Great Reskilling, the Great Economic Irrigation, and the Great Interdependence.

  1. Great Re-Skilling [48]
  2. Great Localization [49]
  3. Great Rebalancing [50]
  4. Great Revaluing [51]
  5. Great Redistribution [52]

To read the full report go to:

Corporate Reform

  • Marjorie Kelly: Not Just For Profit: Emerging alternatives to the shareholder-centric model could help companies avoid ethical mishaps and contribute more to the world at large. Explores three new-style corporate designs: 1. stakeholder-owned companies; 2. mission-controlled companies; and 3. public-private hybrids.
  1. Using Corporate Governance Law to Benefit All Stakeholders. Kent Greenfield [53]
  2. Internal Transformation of Corporations. Michael Thomas and Bill Veltrop [54]


Green Issues and Climate Change

  • Enough is Enough "is the single most complete collection of policy initiatives, tools, and reforms for an economy that makes enough its goal instead of more."
  • Governance for the Global Commons: Recognizing Planetary Boundaries. Setting objective limits for economic and policy trade-offs.


  1. Towards a Green New Deal, from the Green New Deal Group‎ - UK
  2. James Quilligan on Cap and Rent for Climate Change, nor taxes, nor carbon markets, but commons specific solutions for protecting the atmosphere
  3. Understand the genius of the Cap and Share proposal through this five minute video introduction


  1. Carsharing Policy

Intellectual Property



  1. Knowledge as a Global Public Good. By Joseph Stiglitz.
  2. Why Patents Should Be Abolished: David Levine and Michele Boldrin.

Policy Proposals

  • Artistic Freedom Vouchers: a system of refundable tax credits to consumers that can be used to support the work of artists of their choice.

See also:

  1. 10 Proposals To Achieve a Open and Free World: A synthesis of the Barcelona Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge, proposed by the Free Knowledge Institute
  2. Ten Necessary and Urgent Measures to Protect the Knowledge Society: Exgae and friends
  3. Michael Geist in Canada: Seven Proposals for Copyright Reform
  4. Gerd Leonhard: Towards a Digital Music License, in the UK and the world (Open Letter to Peter Mandelson)
  5. Lawrence Lessig: Five Proposals for Copyright Reform (also: Five Internet Priorities for the U.S. Congress in 2007)
  6. Some Proposals for Patent Reform
  7. The Proposed WIPO Framework on Traditional Knowledge: Does it meet Indigenous People’s demands
  8. Alan Toner: Direct Payment Mechanisms as an Alternative to intellectual Property Rights
  9. Artists Want to Be Paid: The Blur Banff Proposal
  10. Jonathan Gray of the Open Knowledge Foundation: Three Proposals for a Public Domain Policy


Download via

  1. The Consumers International IP Watch List will identify countries whose IP policies and practices are harmful to consumers. Draft
  2. The Threat of Technological Protection Measures to a Development Oriented Information Society: overview of the threat of DRM to the countries of the South
  3. Report: Creative Commons licensing for public sector information: Opportunities and pitfalls


  1. Documentary Filmmakers' Statement' on Fair Use Makes Decisive Impact : example of a successfull advocacy campaign with policy effects. By Pat Aufderheide/
  2. Open Access no danger to Peer Review. Association of Research Libraries.
  3. Brewster Kahle on What Is Wrong with Google's Book Digitization Programs

Local initiatives:

  1. European Greens oppose criminilization of filesharing: I Woudn't Steal project
  2. Swedish Moderate Party parliamentarians propose to Decriminalize Filesharing and follow-up
  3. Songwriters Association of Canada proposal to legalize and monetize filesharing.

Copyright Extension

  1. Open Rights summary against copyright extension in the UK
  2. Netherlands/Europe: Dutch Institute for Information Law (iVIR) study and conclusions against copyright extension in Europe
  3. Europe: The Sound Copyright campaign against copyright extension in Europe


  1. Campaign for Ethical Patents
  2. Economic Majority: coalition of SME's against Software Patents
  3. Alternatives to Pharmaceutical Patents

Book: Patent Failure. How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk. By James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer. Princeton University Press, March 2008 [56]: "books like Patent Failure provide hundreds of pages of incontrovertible evidence that the patent system there actually costs more money – in terms of litigation – than it generates for patent holders [57]


  1. The Capetown Open Education Declaration
  2. Critique by Stephen Downes; Response by David Wiley

Health, Pharma, Scientific Research

Open Science

  1. Policy Implications for the Evolving Phenomenon of User-Led Scientific Innovation. Victoria Stodden [58]

The Health Patents Issue

Patents are not just bad for research, they're not good for business either:

"Only six out of the 1800 biotechnology companies funded since 1980 have made more money than was cumulatively invested in them.” [59]

  1. Overview of the Drug Patents issue.
  2. Alternatives to Pharmaceutical Patents [60] ; and of an alternative Open_Licensing_for_Generic_Medecines scheme for distributing medicines.
  3. CEPR: Financing Drug Research: What are the Issues? This paper explores four alternatives to patent-financed prescription drug research and compares their efficiency.
  4. Marcia Angell: Excess in the pharmaceutical industry. "The excesses of the pharmaceutical industry are perhaps the clearest example of the folly of allowing health care expenditures and policies to be driven by largely unregulated market forces and the profit-making imperatives of investor-owned businesses."
  5. Report on the need for a Health Commons for Open Source Drug Discovery research, by John Wilbanks and Marty Tennenbaum at
  6. Philip Soos: Problems and solutions for pharma patents

Other Issues

  1. A Declaration of Health Data Rights


  1. The REDCo-creating Health Services. Charles Leadbeater, Hillary Cottam.
  2. THE RED Open Health report


  1. Study: US Pharma is spending twice as much on marketing than on research
  2. Report: Harnessing Openness to Transform American Health Care

Open Government, Open Government Data

Australian Senator Kate Lundy: The Three Pillars of Open Government


  1. Models of Public Sector Information via Trading Funds: UK govt-commissioned report confirms freeing data creates more economic value [61]
  2. The Power of Information: a practical look at the use and development of citizen and state-generated information in the UK
  3. Handbook for Citizen-centric eGovernment: report for the EU
  4. Putting Citizens First: Transforming Online Government. A White Paper Written for the 2008 – 2009 Presidential Transition Team by the Federal Web Managers Council. Update: Social Media and the Federal Government [62]
  5. How E-Government is Changing Society and Strengthen Democracy: report by the U.S. General Services Administration


  1. Robinson, David, Yu, Harlan, Zeller, William P and Felten, Edward W, “Government Data and the Invisible Hand” (2008). Yale Journal of Law & Technology, Vol. 11, 2008 [63]
  2. Brito, Jerry,Hack, Mash & Peer: Crowdsourcing Government Transparency(October 21, 2007). [64]

Appeals and Charters:

  1. Open Declaration on European Public Services: "A group of Web 2.0 enthusiasts launched an open collaborative effort to build an Open Declaration on European Public Services, which calls on European governments to embrace the values of transparency, participation and empowerment and so improve public services. The European Commission and the Swedish Presidency of the EU have accepted that we present the declaration in the official programme of the Ministerial Conference." [65]

Labor and Employment

[66] ; proposes 3 simple principles.

See our wiki sections on Labor and Commonfare

Technology Infrastructure

Free and Open Source Software

  1. Why Software Should Not Have Owners, by Richard Stallman.
  2. Free Software for the Whole World, by Hipatia.
  3. Reasons why Developing Countries should switch to Free Software
  4. Why the use of Free Software by public authorities is a moral obligation. By Open E-Gov.
  5. Software policy: open standards promote democracy and competition: policy framework for Norway but which is useful for every government and country


  1. Principles for e-Government and Government-Funded Research Software Development. Bruce Perens.
  2. The Cuzco Declaration on development and the use of Free Software


  1. New Perspectives on Public Goods Production: Policy Implications of Open Source Software. By Jyh-An Lee: when two systems are equally suitable, governments may reasonably choose OSS over proprietary software
  2. Information Policies and Open Source Software in Developing Countries. By Gilberto Câmara, Frederico Fonseca: the use of OSS needs to be more than just adopting Linux as the standard for operating systems


  1. Free Software in Government]: global overview, maintained by Open E-Gov
  2. FOSS: Government Policy, written by Kenneth Wong
  3. Study on the Economic Impact of Open Source software on Innovation and the Competitiveness in Europe

Local Initiatives:

  1. UK: Open Source Academy: aims to encourage the use of Open Source software by local authorities throughout the UK, by demonstrating its benefits
  2. Canada: Open Source Business Resource, from the Ontario Talent First Network]


Other Proposals:

  1. Broadband Policy: Beyond privatization, competition and independent regulation. by Larry Press. First Monday, Volume 14, Number 4 - 6 April 2009 [68]
  2. Economic Benefits of Broadband Paul Brogan on the U.S. situation. "A very good comprehensive analysis of economic benefits of broadband." [69]
  3. Beyond Digital Inclusion: a 10 point plan for digital excellence
  4. Report: Policy Options for the Ubiquitous Internet Society. RAND, 2009 [70]

Key essays:

What kind of information infrastructures do we need for more widespread collaborative production to occur, and how do we achieve such policies? This essay has also remarkable good explanations of the various types of property and goods that we are dealing with.


  1. Why Municipal WiFi failed: and what can be done about it
  2. Information Infrastructure as a Public Good Mark Cooper.
  3. Open Architecture as Communications Policy. Book edited by Mark Cooper.
  4. Open Communications Platforms

Network Neutrality

  1. Guidelines for Network Neutrality. Text compiled in Norway (by the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority - NPT) [71]
  2. Making Net Neutrality Sustainable: David Isenberg argues that infrastructure and content ownership should be unbundled.

Open Spectrum

  1. John Wilson on the need for a synthetic approach to Spectrum Reform
  2. Robert Horvitz on the Rationale for Spectrum Reform
  3. Governing the Spectrum Commons. Mark Cooper.

User Rights

Without broad access none of the below can be used by the average citizen, so check out the:

  1. Ten Necessary and Urgent Measures to Protect the Knowledge Society: Exgae and friends
  2. Six Principles for a Open and Free Internet
  3. Lawrence Lessig: Five Proposals for Copyright Reform
  4. More radical: Seven Solutions In Favour of a Free Culture of Citizens Who Share
  5. Consumers International IP Watch List 2009: what countries offend P2P Consumer Rights (access to knowledge) the most

See also:

  1. Policy Recommendations for a Safe Usage of Social Network Sites
  2. Towards Reputation Rights

Drug Patent Reform

  1. Dean Baker on the Inefficiencies of the Current Drug Patents Regime

Monetary and Fiscal Reform

  1. David Korten on Monetary Reform
  2. Chris Cook on P2P Taxation Reform
  3. Steve Keen: Why We Need to Tackle Debt Pushing, not Money Creation


  1. Financial Reform Proposals (for the U.S.), by the New Economy Working Group

Two key essays/proposals by Bernard Lietaer et al:

  1. Is Our Monetary Structure a Systemic Cause for Financial Instability? Evidence and Remedies from Nature. By Bernard Lietaer, Robert E. Ulanowicz, Sally J. Goerner, and Nadia McLaren. Accepted for publication in Journal of Futures Studies Special Issue on the Financial Crisis (February-March 2010)
  2. Options for Managing a Systemic Bank Crisis. Bernard Lietaer, Dr. Robert Ulanowicz, and Dr. Sally Goerner. Sapiens-journal Volume 2, number 1, March 2009

"The sustainability of any complex flow system can be measured with a single metric as an emergent property of its structural diversity and interconnectivity; it requires a balance in emphasis between efficiency and resilience. The urgent message for economics from nature is that the monoculture of national currencies, justified on the basis of market efficiency, generates structural instability in our global financial system. Economic sustainability therefore requires diversification in types of currencies, specifically through complementary currencies."


  • As a eBook "Guide": Policies for Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Policy Primer for Urban Leaders. Shareable and Sustainable Economies Law Center, 2013. 40 pages. [73]

Everything Else

  1. Chris Cook: Co-ownership: A new approach to housing

Regional Policy Developments

Territorial Policy 'in general'

  • Policy Paper: “Territories of Commons” in Europe: pivotal for food production, nature stewardship, heritage maintenance and climate mitigation. By Jose Luis Vivero Pol et al. Conference Paper for the European Commons Assembly, in Brussels, November 2016


Local 'Best of Class' Benchmark Examples

  1. The Manchester One DIGS inclusive digitally-enableld green sustainability policy: Presentation
  2. Sustainable South Bronx Fab Lab
  3. Future Melbourne: transparent, wiki-based city planning
  4. Wiki Brest: cultural value creation through integrated online and offline participation
  5. IDEA Communities: allows UK local government officials to share knowledge in Communities of Practice


  1. John Thackara and Sunil Abraham: The Participatory Design of Cities

The Americas

  1. The Five most anti-tech organizations in America. Explained by Mark Sullivan.
  2. The following sites and resources are “insanely useful Web sites” for Government Transparency in the USA.


  1. Re-imagining Government: Recommendations for the New Zealand public authorities: "government must become a democratic partner in people’s lives, helping individuals and communities to solve problems and realise their ambitions." [75]
  2. New Zealand's Guide to Online Participation


  1. Study on the Economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in the EU; Summary of European Policies to Support Open Source Innovation
  2. The Open Society Institute on User Rights, Copyright and DRM in the EU
  3. Libre software policies at the European level. Philippe Aigrain.
  4. The IpTegrity blog monitors European digital rights developments


  1. The Open Spectrum Foundation fights for Open Spectrum in European countries.
  2. The Free Software Foundation Europe


  1. Understanding User-Driven Innovation. Nordic Council of Ministers.
  2. Danish Government Recommendations on User Innovation Policy and the Danish User-centered Innovation Lab

The UK:

  1. UK Civil Service Code for Participation Online


Add yourself to our List of European Policy Consultants


  1. Salvador Declaration of Open Access for Developing Countries
  2. Open Access for Developing Countries
  3. Towards a Digital Agenda for Developing countries
  4. Development Agenda Implementation Discussed Before WIPO Assemblies. September 2007.
  5. The Cuzco Declaration on development and Free Software

Selected Policy Resources

Policy Blogs


  1. Alliance for Public Technology


  1. Cisco High Tech Policy blog
  2. Google Public Policy blog

Policy Wikis

Political wiki initiatives that accommodate people with diverse political views:

  1. Debatepedia,
  2. Campaigns Wikia,
  3. Open Politics Canada,

Support for Social Innovation projects

Digital Pioneers, Netherlands

The Netculture Labs of the OS Alliance, Austria

Activist Campaigns and Organizations

  1. Bad Vista Campaign
  2. Defective by Design, the global anti-DRM campaign of the Free Software Foundation
  3. Free Our Data: UK Open Data campaign by the Guardian for open access to government data
  4. No OOXML
  5. Save The Internet against the threats for Network Neutrality
  6. For Sound Copyright in the EU


  1. Center for Democracy and Technology, USA
  2. GOSLING Canada: Getting Open Source Logic INto Governments
  3. Internet for Everyone, USA


  1. Cape Town Declaration on Open Education
  2. Budapest Open Access Initiative
  3. Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities
  4. Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing
  5. Salvador Declaration: Commitment to Equity
  6. UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries

Full Policy Encyclopedia and Directory

Pages in category "Policy"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 2,051 total.

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