Welcome to the web-blog of Mayo Fuster Morell postdoctoral fellow at the Berkman center for Internet & Society (Harvard University) and the Institute of Goverment and Public Policies (Autonomous University of Barcelona), and promotor of Building Digital Commons (www.digital-commons.net). Here you can find my CV, my research works and blog posts on issues such as common-base peer production, online communities governance, techno-political tools, social movements, and on my social justice and digital rights activism. I hope you find it useful!.

Sesión Think Commons sobre Procomun Digital

El 5 de Junio tuve el placer de participar en una sesión de Think Commons. Tal como se define en la web, Think Commons es “una plataforma de pensamiento en red. Un entorno transmedia que promueve el debate y genera conocimiento sobre procomún, creación colectiva, colaboración, cultura libre y open government. Think Commons es un Ambient Intelligence Network, es decir un entorno social que reproduce las condiciones necesarias para construir una comunidad de personas que interactúan y se reconocen como actores de la misma. Un transmedia que sirve de entorno híbrido, que se mueve de un medio a otro y supera la dicotomía entre lo físico y lo digital para crear una nueva dimensión de conexión glocal entre personas, con el intercambio de opiniones sobre temas concretos como base. Se estructura entorno a sistemas abiertos y ligeros que encuentran en la construcción de redes de personas su recurso más valioso (Network Thinking)”. Think Commons lo dinamiza – muy sabiamente – Dominico Di Siena @urbanohumano Continue reading

Which context might feed more the increase of the commons, countries with a state presence or those of limited statehood?

I recently met Steven Livingston (Professor School of Media and Public Affairs; The George Washington University) and his work brought me to think common-based peer production (CBPP) from a perspective that I found interesting.

Steven Livingston addressed the question of Digitally Enabled Collective Action in Areas of Limited Statehood. One of the contribution of his work is to do a critique of the focus of scholars analyzing Digitally Enabled Collective Action only in countries of the North where the state is “strong” (even if in crisis); instead he suggests to take attention to the cases in which there is a limited statehood. Which is actually – the lack of State coverage but expanding ICT adoption – the condition in which live a large part of the population in the world. Here you could find a presentation of him.

What this brought me to think is the context of CBPP. To my understanding there has been a limited analysis of the context in CBPP. Most of the research has focused on “how” CBPP works from the perspective of “internal” organizational (and many times micro) aspects, while not considering the macro contextual variables. Yes, there is a sense that the crisis of the state might feed the raise of CBPP, but to my knowledge, there has not been done empirical research which actually has look and “test” the effect of the context in CBPP. For example, if Wikipedias or FLOSS grown more in countries with particular state modalities. Which is a type of question that has been addressed in social movement research.

If we think in terms of level of statehood and CBPP. One could think;
1) that – perhaps surprisingly – CBPP might emerge more in contexts of limited statehood (where there is a lack or weak state) and strong ICT adoption (such as mobile phones in certain African countries), than in context of strong statehood.
In terms of social movements organizing, this would explain the “surprise” of the Arab Spring, a place where it was not easy to expect that was going to be the place in which a global wave of mobilization was going to start.

2) Or that CBPP might emerge both in contexts of limited and strong statehood, but that the raising of the CBPP in these diverse contexts might be feed by diverse causes/processes. In other words, an “strong” statehood might favor CBPP as well as a limited statehood but for divers forces.

Of course, there is also the discussion not on the “level” but the type of State – that supporting the commons (such as some cases in Latino-America) or that basically an instrument for corporate interest. In any case, this perspective could provide some insights in the debate of the triangle State-commons-market.

In sum, my intuition is that to keep an eye in CBPP in context of limited statehood might result in some surprises. However, in these context, CBPP might raise in other modalities (for example, with the case of Ushahidi mapping) different than the “traditional” cases such as Wikipedia and FLOSS, which might make them more difficult to be identified, but also contribute to move the discussion on CBPP beyond these classic examples.

Mayo

Leónidas Martín Saura Lecture Monday April 1st @Harvard on Political art, communication tech & fun

reflectantes

Those enjoying artivism – new technologies & political art – are very lucky. Next week Leònidas Martin Saura – key exponent of the social movements artistic hacking scene in Spain (with actions such as Pret a Revolter, New Kids on the Black Block, V de Vivienda, YoMango, Reflectantes) – will give a ADPD Lecture at the Graduate School of Design (Harvard University).

Details:
Monday, April 01 – 12:00pm – 02:00pm
Stubbins (Room 112), Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA
Event website: http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/#/events/adpd-lecture-le-nidas-martin-saura.html

More about Leo: http://leodecerca.net

I can assure it is going to be politically very savvy & a super fun experience!

Mayo

PD: Yes, I am one of the amazing Reflectantes at the event picture.

… some days later

The presentation went great! And I enjoyed a lot seeing my friend Leo.

Here some lessons from the experiences he presented:

The less you do the better

Creativity can turn around any situation

Make public your private thoughts

Don’t be afraid. Courage word include “cor”, meaning heard

Use your super powers to reflect back

Make visible the invisible

Transform your anger into fun

If you can act it out, it’s real