Non-Market Co-Creation

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Chris Lawer:

"there is also a form of co-creation that is largely independent of markets, where individuals willingly come together to create and share self-generated information, knowledge and content independent of any mechanisms of market exchange. In The Wealth of Networks, Yochai Benkler explores the dimensions and potential of such non-market co-creation / collaboration in some depth.

Making the distinction between the two types of co-creation primarily depends on how we define a market… Put simply, i would suggest that a market is where there is some kind of economic mechanism or price for the value exchanged between two parties and where the value is proprietary, that is, it is produced and owned by one party who expects some value in return for its exchange.

But in a non-market context, there is no economic mechanism or price for exchange and no ownership of information or goods. In a co-creation sense, such environments are characterised by the collaborative creation and sharing of knowledge and information by individuals in decentralised communities. The “value” derived by individuals in such communities is not moderated by an economic price but by social factors, experiential elements, meaning, learning, attention and shared values. Importantly, the co-creation that occurs here is independent of any market mechanism or desire for ownership by any party. We can see these forms of co-creation in open source software, media, journalism, blogging, entertainment, gaming and other digital environments. e.g Wikipedia.." (


Michel Bauwens on the difference between the market and peer production:

"Markets do not function according to the criteria of collective intelligence and holoptism, but rather, in the form of insect-like swarming intelligence. Yes, there are autonomous agents in a distributed environment, but each individual only sees his own immediate benefit.

Markets are based on 'neutral' cooperation, and not on synergestic cooperation: no reciprocity is created.

Markets operate for the exchange value and profit, not directly for the use value.


Whereas P2P aims at full participation, markets only fulfill the needs of those with purchasing power."