Michel Bauwens

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Short summary

"Michel Bauwens is the founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. He has co-produced the 3-hour TV documentary Technocalyps with Frank Theys, and co-edited the two-volume book on anthropology of digital society with Salvino Salvaggio. Michel is currently Primavera Research Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and external expert at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (2008, 2012). In Belgium, he published a best-selling interview transcript, with Jean Lievens, 'De Wereld Redden, met peer to peer naar een post-kapitalistische samenleving', which is nearing its third printing after a few weeks (February 2014).

Michel Bauwens is a member of the Board of the Union of International Associations (Brussels), advisor to Ouishare (Paris) and Shareable magazine (San Francisco), to Zumbara Time Bank (Istanbul) and ShareLex. He is also scientific advisor to the "Association Les Rencontres du Mont-Blanc, Forum International des Dirigeants de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire" (2013-) and in the Advisory Board for the 'Fourth International Conference on Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity'. He functioned as the Chair of the Technology/ICT working group, Hangwa Forum (Beijing, Sichuan), to develop economic policies for long-term resilience, including through distributed manufacturing. He writes editorials for Al Jazeera English [1]. He is listed at #82, on the Post-Carbon Institute (En)Rich list, http://enrichlist.org/the-list/ . Currently (2013), Michel Bauwens is research director of the transition project towards the social knowledge economy, an official project in Ecuador (see floksociety.org).

In the first semester of 2014, Michel Bauwens was research director of the floksociety.org research group, which produced the first integrated Commons Transition Plan for the government of Ecuador, in order to create a 'social knowledge economy', with fifteen associated policy papers. One version of the plan is available at http://en.wiki.floksociety.org/w/Research_Plan .

Michel currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, has taught at Payap University and Dhurakij Pandit University's International College, as well as IBICT, Rio de Janeiro. He is a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group, with Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, organizing major global conferences on the commons and its economics. In his first business career, Michel worked for USIA, British Petroleum, riverland Publications, Belgacom, and created two internet start-ups, respectively on intranet/extranets (E-Com) and interactive marketing (KyberCo), which were sold to Alcatel and Tagora Holdings."


For a summary of our P2P approach see here at http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/open-design-communities-entrepreneurial-coalitions-and-the-partner-state/2009/09/04

Michel Bauwens collaborates with a network of p2p researchers in academia, sharing their findings in the P2P Foundation Wiki, as well as co-organizing 7 conferences since 2006:

  • Special focus on research on open business models, collaborative innovation practices (co-creation, co-design) and commons-oriented economic models. Example, see our research on open business models in knowledge publishing, free software and open hardware at http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Business_Models

We focus on business models that are based on shared code or design, i.e. free software/open business models; on forms of innovation that are based on dialogue with user communities (open innovation, co-creation, co-design), and on business models deriving from user-generated content.

Our focus is on a new relationship between state, private sector and civil society, in which new forms of enterprise integrates externalities, and align themselves to communities that become the core of value creation, and new forms of practices for the state and public authorities which "enable and empowers the creation of value by civil society", i..e. a Partner State approach.

Detailed Biographical Material

Some Academic Qualifications

  1. Research Fellow, University of Amsterdam, Primavera program (Prof. Rik Maes)
  2. Outside expert for the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Rome 2008
  3. Maintainer of the Association for Peer to Peer Researchers.
  4. Co-editor of the Anthropology of Digital Society (Ichec St. Louis, Belgium)
  5. Past teaching positions at Ichec St. Louis, Payap University, Chiang Mai University
  6. Record of P2P lectures since 2007: http://delicious.com/mbauwens/Bauwens-Lectures
  7. Video recordings of presentations, interviews: http://delicious.com/mbauwens/Bauwens-Videos

Education and Training

  1. Master Degree (Licentiate) in Political Relations/International Relations, Free University of Brussels, Belgium, 1981
  2. Associate, Thai Cultural Studies, Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2003

Research and Professional Experience

  1. [1983-1990] Research Assistant and Information Analyst, United States Information Agency
  2. [1990-1993] Business Information Manager, BP Nutrition- agribusiness division of British Petroleum
  3. [1994] Editor-in-chief of Wave, the first European commercial newsstand magazine about digital convergence.
  4. [1995 – 1996] Founder and Managing Partner, Ecom, now under the name of the eCorporation, bought by Alcatel, a leading company in the production of intranets and extranets
  5. [1997-1998] Founder and Managing Partner, Kyber Co, one of the leading Internet marketing and website promotion companies in Belgium, now part of Virtuology
  6. [1997-1998]: TV documentary producer, the impact of ‘TransHuman Technologies’: TechnoCalyps, the metaphysics of technology and the end of man. The documentary was shown on Dutch (IKON) and Belgian-Flemish television. An updated version is currently doing the festival circuit.
  7. [1999-2000] Marketing Manager, USWeb/CKS Belgium, part of the largest Internet professional services company in the world. Practice Leader Branding and Advertising for client projects for leading industrial and consumer companies such as AltaVista, Shell Geostar, and Eurostar Diamond Trade (2nd largest diamond company after DeBeers), Bacob, and many others.
  8. [1998-2000] Postgraduate Teaching, European Master in Multimedia Program at ICHEC/Fac. St. Louis, a course created through the Leonardo program of the EU; ‘The Anthropology of Digital Society’
  9. [1998-2000] Professor, Multimedia Program at ICHEC/Fac. St. Louis, ‘Social and political economic implications of Information and Communication Technologies’ for 3rd year Communication students
  10. [2000-2002] eBusiness Strategy Manger, Digital Futures Initiative
  11. [2004-2005] Payap University and Chiang Mai University, Thailand, Globalization and Introduction to the Vocabulary of the Social Sciences
  12. [2002-present] Founder, Peer to Peer Alternatives Foundation

Awards and Honors:

• USIA Meritorious Honor Award, July 1990 • BP Information Star Prize for Innovative Applications of Information Technology: "For the concept and creation of a total electronic information environment for the provision of business intelligence to senior management", January 1993 • European Special Librarian of the Year award, "For outstanding role in redefining the profession in harmony with the advances in technology", December 1993

Collaborations and Affiliations

• Research Fellow for Primavera, (University of Amsterdam, with Prof. Rik Maes, 2007+) • Invited expert at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2008 - 2012 • Board Member of the Union of International Associations, 2007 –

  • Advisor to Shareable magazine, San Francisco, 2011-
  • Advisor to Zumbara Time Bank, Istanbul, 2012-
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of Hybrid Athens, 2013 conference
  • Comitê Editorial ; Revista P2P & Inovação IBICT, January 2014 -


  1. Bauwens, M. The Political Economy of Peer Production. CTheory, October 2, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=499 ; Re-published Post-Autistic Economics Review, issue 37. Retrieved from http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue37/Bauwens37.htm
  2. Bauwens, M. Passionate Production and the Happiness Surplus. International Conference On “Happiness and Public Policy”. United Nations Conference Center (UNCC) Bangkok, Thailand. 18-19 July 2007. Retrieved from http://ppdoconference.org/session_papers/session14/session14_michel.pdf ; (draft version at http://gnh-movement.org/papers/bauwens.pdf )
  3. Bauwens, M. P2P and Human Evolution. Institute for Network Cultures. March 2005. Retrieved from http://www.networkcultures.org/weblog/archives/2005/03/ ; alternative version at Integral Vision. Retrieved from http://integralvisioning.org/article.php?story=p2ptheory1


  1. Bauwens, M. Social Innovation and the Partner State as Emerging Models for the Developing World. Information Technology in Developing Countries Volume 17, No. 3. International Federation for Information Processing, November 2007. Retrieved from http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/egov/ifip/nov2007/michel-bauwens.htm
  2. Bauwens, M. P2P Foundation, Thailand . Developing a global Online presence through Wiki and blog. I4D Magazine, August 2008. Retrieved from http://i4donline.net/August08/998929018.pdf
  3. Bauwens, M. Social Innovation, Peer Production, Open Design: Implications for Policy. Center for the Experience Economy, November 11, 2007. Retrieved from http://www.experience-economy.com/2007/11/21/social-innovation-peer-production-open-design-implications-for-policy-by-michel-bauwens/
  4. Bauwens, M. From Social Innovation to Peer Production and Open Design. European Multimedia Forum, 2008. Retrieved from http://www.e-multimedia.org/articles/Michel%20Bauwens.html?eid=24355365
  5. Bauwens, M. The Peer to Peer Manifesto: The Emergence of P2P Civilization and Political Economy. Master New Media. Retrieved from http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2007/11/03/the_peer_to_peer_manifesto.htm
  6. Bauwens, M. Peer to Peer | The New Relational Dynamic. Kosmos Journal. Spring | Summer 2008. ToC retrieved from http://www.kosmosjournal.org/kjo/backissue/s2008/index.shtml
  7. Bauwens, M. The social web and its social contracts. Re-public, . Retrieved from http://www.re-public.gr/en/?p=261
  8. Bauwens, M. Business Models for Peer Production. Open Source Business Resource, January 2008Retrieved from http://www.osbr.ca/ojs/index.php/osbr/article/view/494/458
  9. Bauwens, M. Enterprise 2.0: Will Corporations Embrace the Social Media Revolution? Cutter IT Journal. Special Issue on Enterprise 2.0. 2008
  10. Bauwens, M. Peer production, peer governance, peer property. Re-public, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.re-public.gr/en/?p=87
  11. Bauwens, M. P2P Economics: A Design Vision For A Commons-Based Distributed Marketplace. Master New Media, March 6, 2006. Retrieved from http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2006/03/06/p2p_economics_a_design_vision.htm

Supporting Material

  1. Record of P2P lectures since 2007: http://www.diigo.com/user/mbauwens/Bauwens-Lectures [2]
  2. Video recordings of presentations, interviews: http://www.diigo.com/user/mbauwens/Bauwens-Videos [3]