Michel Bauwens

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Michel Bauwens in 2013

Michel Bauwens (born 21 March 1958) is a Belgian Peer-to-Peer theorist and an active writer, researcher and conference speaker on the subject of technology, culture and business innovation.


Bauwens is one of the founders and primary activists 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 been an analyst for the United States Information Agency, knowledge manager for British Petroleum where he created one of the first virtual information centers, eBusiness Strategy Manager for Belgacom, as well as an internet entrepreneur in his home country of Belgium.

He is a former editor-in-chief of the first European digital convergence magazine, the Dutch language journal Wave.

With Frank Theys, Bauwens is the co-creator of a 3 hour documentary TechnoCalyps, an examination of the 'metaphysics of technology'. He taught and, with Salvino Salvaggio, co-edited a two-volume French language anthologies on the Anthropology of Digital Society.

He has taught courses on the anthropology of digital society to postgraduate students at ICHEC/St. Louis in Brussels, Belgium and related courses at Payap University and Chiang Mai University in Thailand.

Bauwens is the author of a number of on-line essays, including the seminal thesis Peer to Peer and Human Evolution, and The Political Economy of Peer Production. He was editor of the email Pluralities-Integration newsletter, until 2007, when it ceased production.

In 2008 he was external expert at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

He is currently[when?] Primavera Research Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and also coordinates a research group at the Ecuadorian National Advanced Studies Institute[1] called FLOK Society.

Bauwens currently[when?] lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In February 2009, he joined Dhurakij Pundit University's International College as Lecturer, assisting with the development of the Asian Foresight Institute.

P2P Theory[edit]

In The Political Economy of Peer Production Bauwens regards p2p phenomena as an emerging alternative to capitalist society, although he argues that "Peer production is highly dependent on the market for peer production produces use-value through mostly immaterial production, without directly providing an income for its producers."[2] However, Bauwens goes on to argue that the interdependence is mutual: the capitalist system and market economies are also dependent on p2p production, particularly on distributed networks of information processing and production. Consequently, p2p economy may be seen as extending or already existing outside the sphere of free/open source software production and other non-rival immaterial goods.

This idea is explored also in the essay "Peer to Peer and Human Evolution" that expands the P2P meme beyond computer technology. It argues that egalitarian networking is a new form of relationship that is emerging throughout society, and profoundly transforming the way in which society and human civilization is organised. [3] The essay argues that this new form of non-representational democracy is a crucial ingredient in finding the solutions to current global challenges; as well as a new and progressive ethos representing the highest aspirations of the new generations.


Peer-to-Peer Relationality by Michel Bauwens, 4 March 2012, published on blog.p2pfoundation.net


  1. ^ "Michel Bauwens colabora con el IAEN en proyecto estratégico" (in Spanish). Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales. 19 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Michel Bauwens (2005-01-12). "The Political Economy of Peer Production" (in English). CTheory. 
  3. ^ Michel Bauwens (2005-06-15). "Peer to Peer and Human Evolution" (in English). Institute of Network Cultures. [dead link]

External links[edit]