[p2p-research] P2PU - Peer2PeerUniversity

Franz Nahrada f.nahrada at reflex.at
Sun Nov 22 11:29:31 CET 2009

Dear all,

I dont know if that was already subject here, but I did not find an entry
in the P2P resource wiki and if so we seem to have missed something really

I made an entry:


sorry if it was already covered. I could not find out because the current
search function in the P2PWiki is extremely limited.

Its very interesting that there is already a certain degree of support for
this endavour, from the UC at Irvine, the Shuttleworth foundation and
similar endavours.


I am not reading this list (p2p research) too often due to overwhelming
other stuff and lack of time, but I use the opportunity to give a short
report and account on whats happening here in Vienna. I can relate to the
Idea of P2PUniversity in manifold ways. One is that the current academic
system is in a deep crisis which has only been exposed by the Bologna
reforms. Its a historical coincidence that the wave of global student
protests has started here in Vienna, but this gave me a lot of
opportunities to get some reality check on this crisis. Together with
Andreas Exner and others I intervened with a joint workshop in the
Auditorium Maximum with the participation of about 100 students on a
"Solidarity Economy of the University". We are just at the beginning of a
process here discussing how academic structures can be broken up
(especially concerning breaking the wall to adult education) and turned
into a living element of social self-organisation and social self-support,
forming a joint blog at http://massenuni.blogsport.de (in German).

That said, I can also report that our own little "university" endavour is
also moving forward to a certain degree; we have lots of participation
interest in our small workshop on VideoBridging and the Virtual University
of the Villages.
http://www.dorfwiki.org/wiki.cgi?VideoBridge/GrundtvigWorkshop "Streaming,
Sharing and Learning (SSL) – The options for and the use of Interactive
Digital Video over long distances in adult education".  The selection
process is almost done. I never dared to dream that we would have such
demand. People sacrifice almost 2 weeks of their precious time for that,
We managed to pull together a dream team, a fantastic group. look here:
 (in progress)   We will most likely be able to arrange a distributed
stream on January the 25th 6 pm afternoon Vienna time so we can practicly
demonstrate what we are talking about. Help in all form is welcome; we
will ourselves create a learning community on NING, videobridge.ning.com
to capture the incredible wealth of informations and elements, patterns
and processes involved. The most important element of this will be our
coming together in the January Workshop which I hope will take the form of
a "sprint" producing a qunatum and quality leap of learning  materials.
Everyone who wants to join the external circle is very welcome.

I recently had an argument with a colleague who is a full-time academic
researcher and it led to bitter scision about the role of academic and
non-academic research. I dont go into details, but basically I see a
danger of the move towards the formal academic sector and its procedures
in the P2P-Oekonux world leaving out and structurally disregarding
goal-oriented, construction oriented research work. Lots of time is spent
on the construction of peer reviewed journals, on procedures of
recognition, favoring an individualistic monadic and feuilletonistic style
of publication and activity, whilst the construction and improvement of
joint knowledge sources is getting out of focus. I dont know if this is
really a healthy development, all I can say is that it has had a deep
impact on communication structures and intensities already. More than ever
before I begin to feel the truth of Marx eleventh theses on Feuerbach. 

The academic form of science was a limiting form for me personally which
made me drop out of academic life - just to discover that I went out of
the frying pan into the fire. To discover that without the proper
resources (and time is the most valuable one) any form of research is
doomed. This weeek we are going to have the 12th General assembly of GIVE,
the research association that I formed in 1998 as a "bootstrap community"
to explore, design and support the emergent new lifeforms that combine
physical proximity and embeddedness with global connection and
cooperation. GIVE was also meant to practically represent an alternative
to the dominant form of academic research, embedding research in practise
of activists and stakeholders of the village building process. In a way, I
think the idea is still  very good - whilst in reality I have not been
able to show very much of results other than Dorfwiki, a relatively
confusing and unreadable collection of some parallel efforts to pursue
isolated themes. So thats the downside of the process, which also led to
disappointments and dissolution of friendships. Its not primarily a
personal problem, its also a problem of funding and recognition, of time
and resources. The "deep process" of holding together an innovative and
exploring community of practise can paradoxically only be done by
theoreticians; but this paradox is in no way socially recognized - yet.

Anyway, I had these associations, but if we team up with P2P university I
think it would be a logical step.


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