Structure and Governance

The P2P Foundation infrastructure of production and governance currently consists of three different aspects:

  • Legal: A formal foundation registered in the Netherlands with 4 operational hubs dedicated to organizing, advocacy, research and the facilitation of a knowledge commons.
  • People: An expanding network of activists and researchers working at different levels of engagement; a global core team handling daily operations, organizational strategy, and long-term sustainability; and numerous supporters engaging with and contributing to our information commons, including our blog, public Wiki and Loomio groups.
  • Virtual: An ecosystem producing and sharing knowledge on the commons and P2P dynamics emerging throughout society. Our widely viewed and shared research wiki and blog are updated daily by our community.

Organizational Structure

As of March 2017, the P2P Foundation’s structure has been reorganized around four interdependent operational hubs: Vision, Advocacy, Research and Infrastructure.

The Vision Stream observes, interconnects, stimulates and theorizes on knowledge production around the emergence of a commons economy and society. This work is led by Michel Bauwens through outreach, lecturing, writing, publishing and online documentation.

The Advocacy Stream acts as the main communication and advocacy hub of the P2P Foundation. Through the leadership of Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel, it produces accessible documentation to effectively spread our commons-based and -oriented ideas and experiences, appealing to civil society actors and policy makers. Advocacy also currently handles networking with other groups and collectives, such as the European Commons Assembly, Greenpeace International, The Rules and many others in order to broaden these ideas into mainstream awareness.

The Research Stream is led by the P2P Lab. Operating as a concrete lab in northern Greece and as a global research network, the P2P Lab tracks academic peer-reviewed publications around P2P and the commons (including the works of our core collaborators), and obtain grants for research. Additionally, it coordinates and participates in research projects (such as the now completed P2Pvalue) which focus on free/open source technologies and commons-based practices. Currently this work is coordinated by Vasilis Niaros with the collaboration of a network of commons-oriented researchers.

The Infrastructure Stream deals with the legal, financial, and technical aspects of the Foundation. Coordinated by Ann Marie Utratel and with Javier Arturo Rodriguez as Technical Lead, Infrastructure oversees accounting, contracts, budgeting and payments; as well as system administration, backend and server maintenance and security for our knowledge commons.

P2P Governance

Our internal governance and structure follow certain P2P values, in an effort to support both the organization and the individuals working to support it in turn. Rather than a top-down hierarchy, we use the principles of heterarchy, holoptism and equipotentiality, which serve to distribute power away from any central figures and to allow individuals to develop their roles and contributions.

Our operational hubs are interdependent but autonomous in workflow, tools and goals. Internal work distribution is managed in small groups, and resources are pooled. For debates requiring decisionmaking, we use Loomio. We operate based on trust and autonomy, allowing each other to work independently, while also meeting regularly via video call. Measurable goals are set collectively per stream (Advocacy, Research, etc.), while each stream transparently self-manages its own progress and priorities. The Global Core Team meets twice yearly in person to review and share progress, set future goals and discuss opportunities. Updates from these bi-annual reviews are shared with our advisory board for their feedback, and we publish a year-end progress report.

To learn more about our recent achievements, read our 2016 review.