Commons Collaborative Economy

The last days we celebrated the Commons Collaborative Economies conference in Barcelona, from 11-13 March 2016. An intense and fruitful experience, which the FKI helped co-organise as part of the Barcelona Col·labora working group with the City Council. Let's review briefly what we did and what the results are so far.

First about the organisers, "BarCola" is the node about Collaborative Economy and Commons Based Peer Production in Barcelona, which together with the City Council of BCN has prepared the event. The event was organised by the Department of Alternative Economies and Proximity of Barcelona Activa together with BarCola, the p2pvalue project and the Digital Commons research group Dimmons. The explicit purpose of it being the generation of policy proposals for the City of Barcelona and for other cities struggling to regulate the "collaborative economy". For the latter we had a series of European Commission officials who participated to convey the conclusions as inputs to the consultation process at the European level. Also we had several international speakers like Hillary Wainwright (TNI), Christian Ianone (Labgov), Núria del Río (MediaLab Prado), Stacco Troncoso (Foundation for P2P Alternatives) and several more.

During the conference we had sessions and cases from various perspectives on commons-based communities, social and solidarity economy, distributed and decentralised technologies (incl blockchain), circular economy and feminist perspectives of the economy.

Personally I was responsible for three sessions and actively participated in a fourth (and if I hadn't been recovering from a fever, I'd have parrticipated more, as there were so many interesting sessions, some of which were in parallel).

The event brought many old acquaintences together and made new connections. But maybe even more important, we collectively established a series of policy recommendations, of which the most important ones made it into the Declaration "Policies for Commons Collaborative Economies". Below follow the general recommendations, while you can consult the complete list here (PDF).

General principles:

  • Economic policy: To support SMEs following the logic of cooperative economy, socialsolidarity, and those companies with production and consumption patterns which take care of the environment and which are inclusive. Adapting the methods of business and the role of the citizen as a producer in the collaborative commons economy.
  • Technology policy: to support free and decentralised technologies.
  • Knowledge and innovation policy: to support free knowledge and insure that is funded with public funds is available under free licenses
  • Public policy (public administration / public services): to encourage the creation of partnerships between public administrations and the collaborative commons economy, with the strategy to move from privaisation to "commonification".

BTW part of the videos of the event can be viewed here, please note that the translation is in one channel while the original is in the other. Depending whether you master Spanish/Catalan or English you'll need to choose the left or the right balance.