New p2p Paradigm: If there is one must-read for 2007…

Following on the themes of technical development from Frauke and Stefan, I wanted to introduce a concept that opened my a year ago, at a conference on P2P.

The people at this event were all practitioners of some aspect of p2p, from working with ‚collective intelligence‘ concepts to ‚enabling p2p process technology developments‘. Most of us came to actually understand- what is this p2p thing? Prior to the event we were encouraged to read a certain 10-Page essay. In this last year I have seen many applications in my work and in society of the principles that I have gleaned from that one essay.

P2P does not just mean just Napster and file sharing. P2P as was indicated to me at this eventng ab, is beiout a paradigm shift as significant as when Marxism entered the political landscape. (wow, that caught my attention, and I listened on!)

One example of this shift is something that you may have noticed about how options/choices are screened within a group. In the old paradigm, within a community, new suggestions are first screened by some kind of small representative select group, and then only those selected suggestions will be put forward for voting/discussion to the wider community.

In a peer to peer paradigm, new suggestions are bubbling up all the time, and they are ’screened‘ by the collective only AFTER they have been put forward. It is almost impossible to know which ones will carry more ‚weight‘ with the community; which ones the community will select.

This has a HUGE impact for the way we govern, make decisions as a community, and for grassroots to have more powerful channels to be heard.

Introducing Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens has set up the Foundation for Peer 2 Peer Alternatives and was the keynote speaker at the conference last year. Aside from several years of research on this topic, Michel and his team have maintainted a blog, online resource centre and more.

see more at

Key Must-Read for 2007:

What I recommend you to read at some point during 2007 (no pressure!) is Michel’s foundational article. (Yes that 10-page essay was his). I am convinced every person in this network will have at least one ‚aha!‘ from this excellent piece of work.

This is not a lightweight article, it is in fact very comprehensive analysis. But persevere; because of the impact of this paradigm shift, I believe it will help you to be aware of one of the most significant shifts in our culture in this decade. It is an utterly fascinating read.

Link to article

Here is a link to the shorter (10 page) version of this article:


„The Political Economy of Peer to Peer Production.

Not since Marx identified the manufacturing plants of Manchester as the blueprint for the new capitalist society has there been a deeper transformation of the fundamentals of our social life. As political, economic, and social systems transform themselves into distributed networks, a new human dynamic is emerging: peer to peer (P2P). As P2P gives rise to the emergence of a third mode of production, a third mode of governance, and a third mode of property, it is poised to overhaul our political economy in unprecedented ways. This essay aims to develop a conceptual framework (‚P2P theory‘) capable of explaining these new social processes.“

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