---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: J.C. DE MARTIN <demar...@polito.it>
Date: Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 9:47 AM
Subject: [nexa] Call for papers: "Decentralizing the Commons"
To: nexa <n...@server-nexa.polito.it>

Call for Papers: Decentralizing the Commons

We are witnessing today a steady growth in the impact of
user-generated content and peer-production on the so-called sharing or
collaborative economy. These emergent practices are an indicator of
radical changes in the mode of production in an age of ‘prosumerism’,
characterized by two main trends. On the one hand, corporations such
as Google, Uber or Facebook are capturing the value created by the
actors contributing to the collaborative economy, in a way that has
been described by some scholars as an exploitation of free labour. On
the other hand, projects such as Wikipedia or GNU/Linux are emblematic
of a new model of production that relies on the contribution of many
individuals collaborating to a collective project that is not owned by
any given entity but rather by the community as a whole (Commons-Based
Peer Production or CBPP). These individuals organise themselves
without relying on traditional hierarchical and mercantile
organisational structures, to produce a set of commons resources which
are made freely available to the public for use and reuse. In the last
few years, CBPP has expanded beyond the field of software and
encyclopedias to also cover the realms of  information (OpenStreetMap,
Wikihow), hardware (FabLabs, Open Source Ecology), accommodation
(Couchsurfing, BeWelcome) and currency (Bitcoin, Altcoins).

The concept of decentralisation is a key requisite for the protection
of thesecommons — from their governance system, including the
allocation  of power and functions in the organisation of labour; to
the characteristics of the socio-technical means  of collaboration, in
terms of both the underlying technical infrastructure and the
ownership structure of such infrastructure. Despite the original
design of the Internet as a decentralized network, with the advent of
the Web 2.0, centralized (and often proprietary) platforms — typically
driven by corporate interests —  have progressively taken over the
web. These centralized choke-points can be used by governments to
increase surveillance (as disclosed by the Snowden revelations), to
blackout the Internet (e.g. Egypt, Syria, or San Francisco’s BART), or
to restrict the activities of activist organizations (such as
Wikileaks). It has now become clear that it is not enough to develop
free/libre/open source (FLOSS)alternatives, if we do not as well
endeavor to re-decentralize the Internet. Newdecentralized software
tools may ultimately be useful to support the operation and the
long-term sustainability of CBPP communities.

In view of this, we organised the second FLOSS4P2P workshop (@Fablab
London, supported by P2Pvalue), gathering a wide spectrum of people
working ondecentralized FLOSS projects that could help or support the
activities of peer production communities. Given the success of the
workshop, we would like to prepare a book in collaboration with the
Institute of Network Cultures (on the model of the former MoneyLab
Reader) to explore the topic of decentralisation in thecommons sector.

We welcome proposals from academics, activists, researchers and
practitioners interested in exploring the topic from a wide set of
perspectives, ranging  from computer science, engineering, sociology,
philosophy, organisational theory, cultural studies, digital studies,
etc. Contributions can cover a variety of topics, including tools for
grassroots communities, commons-based peer production, both online and
offline wikis, maker culture, activism, hacktivism, free culture,
citizen science and hospitality exchange. Contributions can take a
variety of formats, e.g. a story, a sci-fi tale, a comicstrip, a
manifesto, a critical essay, an interview, a study, a poem, a
conversation, a debate, a combination of the former… we would like you
to experiment and surprise us!

We invite you to submit an initial abstract (max. 750w; count each
image as 200w, if any) explaining your idea by January 30, 2016.
Examples of possible topics are:

Dynamics of (de)centralization in CBPP communities

Decentralized software applications for online/offline communities

Decentralized solutions to tackle specific communities concerns

Guidelines for developers and/or researchers

Comparison of centralized/decentralized processes in CBPP (e.g.
decision-making, infrastructure ownership, value generation, value

Practical experiences around centralized/decentralized structures (in
the form of stories, research, interview, etc.)

The more compelling ideas will be selected to be included in the book.

Please upload your contribution using the following Easychair link:


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