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Transcript: Creating an Open Source Circular Economy with Michel Bauwens

Transcript: Creating an Open Source Circular Economy with Michel Bauwens

SEE THE SHOW NOTES AND LISTEN AT: Creating an Open Source Circular Economy with Michel Bauwens

Katie Whalen [00:00:02] Hey, Getting in the Loop listeners, wouldn't it be great if you could have more of a say about who I interview and the topics that we discuss? Well, now you can. I've created an easy way for you to tell me what you like and don't like about the Getting in the Loop podcast. Just head over to survey.gettinginthelooppodcast.com to take a quick survey about the Getting in the Loop podcast. Again, that survey.gettinginthelooppodcast.com, so you can shape the future of the Getting in the Loop Podcast. 

[00:00:36] Hi, I'm Katie Whalen and join me each week I talk with experts around the globe about Circular Economy. You'll find out what's being done to make it a reality and if it can really solve the problems it promises. It's time for Getting in the Loop. 

[00:00:57] Welcome back to the Getting in the Loop Podcast. I'm Katie. And our guest today is Michel Bauwens of the Peer to Peer Foundation. As the founder and director of the Peer to Peer Foundation, Michel works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance and property. He has published various books and reports, is a founding member of the Common Strategy Group and recently crafted a Commons transition plan for the city of Hunt in Belgium. In 2017. This episode is a crash course in the Commons economy. Michelle introduces me to the concept of peer to peer and how it can be used to create commons. We discuss how the concept of the commons can be used as a model for governance in the Circular economy. And you'll also hear why Michelle is cautious of the so-called sharing economy popularized by platforms such as Uber and Airbnb. Now onto today's show. 

[00:01:58] Well, Michel, I'm really excited to have you on the podcast today and to dive into what you have been working on and to just get us started. Could you give us a little bit of an idea of what is peer to peer? 

Michel Bauwens [00:02:16] Well, it's basically a what we call a relational dynamic. So just imagine in a small village, less than 150 people. Any problem you have, you can go to your neighbors and basically negotiate, discuss and solve it with with your peers, as it were. But it's something that didn't scale. So if you wanted to scale, we had to basically introduce hierarchy and keep down the costs of communication, coordination, et cetera. But now we have this network technology which allows small groups to form and to coordinate on a massive scale. So think about Linux as being this global complex free software project. But the average team is four people. So this is what is interesting to me is the scaling up of these peer to peer relationship at a very high level of social complexity. And so this is what peer to peer is about. And then what you do with peer to peer is you can create commons. You can not just communicate and organize yourself, but you can create shared value and you can organize economic activities that are trans local, trans national. And that is of high interest to the P2P foundation. 

Katie Whalen [00:03:32] Maybe you could say a little bit about the Peer to Peer foundation. What is it and your main aims and how you work. 

Michel Bauwens [00:03:39] Right. So basically we use this a bit strange phrase. We peer produce knowledge about peer production. So we kind of ourselves see ourselves as a commons-oriented group and we follow the same rules as open source communities. And we are basically, first of all, an observatory. So we we look at how this relational dynamic is changing. Politics, business, spirituality, anything that you can find in society will have some kind of effect of this new possibility. And so, you know, it's like an onion. We have maybe we have 13 people who are making a living today. So we have 10 researchers in a P2P lab, which is in northern Greece. We have a communications team and I'm kind of more like a nomadic existence. I spent six months of my time in Thailand with my family and six months. I'm on the road. And so I basically spent time talking to these communities, asking them how they work, visiting them and creating more and more connections in this world. So we observe, we connect, but we also analyze and we form theories, you know, to frame our understanding. 

Katie Whalen [00:04:53] And what you said earlier was that what you can do with peer to peer is to create a commons. And when I was going through the material that you sent ahead of time, a lot of is talking about a Commons economy. I don't know if I have the- is that the right terminology? 

Michel Bauwens [00:05:10] Yeah. Well, we talk about Commons economics, economy of the Commons. So, yes. So basically to understand that concept is that today, of course, we have a capitalistic economy which is sent around a particular form of the market and the state serves the markets. And civil society is a bit of a risk category. You know, it's what you do when you're tired and you come home after work. And so we believe that we can organise economics differently centered around the commons. Think about an open source project. So at the core, you have an open contributor of community where people can come in and out and produce free software code if they want to, but they have to make a living. 

[00:05:58] So, you know, after a few years, that creates what we call an entrepreneurial coalition around these shared resources. Think about Linux as free software. That's a commons built around it. You have a huge Linux economy and basically IBM is almost like a Linux consulting company nowadays. And then we have organizations. These organizations are a bit different from the traditional geos. So the Linux Foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Drupal Association, there are organizations that take care of the infrastructure of of cooperation, but they don't tell people what to do. OK, so this is a micro scale. And so what we do is we think this is also a new form of economy. So it's potentially a new system in the making where you have a civil society that is now has to be considered productive because its people are co creating these shared resources everywhere. You have a economy around it, which is preferably what we call a generative economy or an ethical economy. So an economy does not to extractive is a it is commons of nature and people. And then we have what we call partner state functions, which is basically ways in which cities and governments can facilitate and enable and power regulates these commons centric activities. I'll give you one example. So you really understand what I mean. So for example, in Bologna there is the bologna regulation for the care and regeneration of the urban commons. And so this is basically a protocol, administered administrative regulation that allows the city to work together with communities who want to do something in the city. And you know, the first year they had 30 projects and one hundred and thirty, maybe three hundred. And now 150 cities in Italy are using these protocols to basically enhance the autonomy of civil society and their capacity to solve problems collectively.

Katie Whalen [00:08:05] Okay. Fascinating. Could you give an example of a protocol? Like what kind of-What do these protocols look like? 

Michel Bauwens [00:08:14] Okay, I would give you a very silly example, but I think it's spoke to my imagination. So I'll share it with you. So there was this there is this common park in Ghent where I did a study. So in Ghent, they have 500 urban commons projects and with a tenfold increase in 10 years. And we have verified these figures. So they're true for Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Flanders, et cetera. So we have this enormous increase of urban commons projects since 2005 and they cover basically all provisioning systems, so shared mobility, shared housing, food provisioning, et cetera, et cetera. So here is a common park. So it means that it's not a private park and it's not a public park. It's a group of neighbors that took over an old factory and said, well, you know, it's been empty for 10 years. Why don't we use it so our children can play and our old people can sit in the park and create connections between neighbors. 

[00:09:11] And so after a few weeks, they had pigs. Now, if you are in the city and you see this, you say, well, this is you can't allow this. It's not a lot of people to have pics in the city, you know, out of animal welfare regulations. But what they did was they made a commons accord. OK, if you promises that you will take care of these pigs over time, we will allow you to have them and so we'll sign an accord. Right. So this is just a one time accord between a community and the city. So what the regulation does is it allows us to do that at scale. So that once you have this regulation in place, every citizen with with initiative or every group of citizens with initiative can know that they can go to the city lab. Explain their project, eventually get support, which doesn't have to be monetary support. Maybe you no change regulation or suspended for a while or have the city come with, you know, their gene control or whatever. So basically you make an agreement between the city and the commons projects. And in Italy, they talk about the quintuple governance methods where you have the city, the Chamber of Commerce, the research organizations of tradition and geos, and all four of them organize themselves to support the fifth group, which is these Commons projects sometimes called social innovation projects. But basically same thing. 

Katie Whalen [00:10:47] When you were talking, I was listening to the different types of stakeholders that you were mentioning and you talked about, you know, Chamber of Commerce, municipalities, citizens. One of the groups that I hear is seemingly sort of absent as like these is companies. So is this something that's not really related to companies or how do you how do companies fit into this idea? 

Michel Bauwens [00:11:11] They can. So so basically the companies would work to the Chamber of Commerce or some kind of association of that kind. Right. So it's because it's a governance model for the city. You can't privilege one company over another. So it has to be some kind of collective agency that represents the commercial sector. The police would work through the Chamber of Commerce and other situations, work through the city. And NGO, as you know, would work through this NGO kind of representation. And so they usually create these city labs. So we have a Commons lab in Antwerp. We have one in Sydney. So more and more cities are organizing these city labs or commons labs to do exactly that. So to regulate the relationships between the city. And so since you mentioned companies, what you have to see is that you have in the neoliberal system, we talk about public private partnerships. 

[00:12:13] And we are kind of critical of that because it actually excludes civil society. And here we have public commons or public social partnerships. But they can be extended. You can talk about public social private partnerships. Right. But I think it's better to have the civic forces integrated because. You know, to be honest, I think we have a state failure and a market failure in terms of climate change and planetary resources. And then you have all these projects bottom up. They have very limited means. But they actually achieving sometimes amazing things which companies cannot achieve. And I would like to give you an example. So if we're integrates, introduces, ride sharing the city, they actually increase the traffic. The reason they do that is because they put all the drivers in competition with one another. And so in order to be at the right place at the right time, you know, the drivers tend to just drive around to be in the right place. If you have a car sharing association and you know that most cars are only used 4 percent of the time. So if you have 10 percent cards for 1 and a percent people, you have a double doubling of the security margin. So you can guarantee full access to transport's. And you have. One car for 10 people. Right. So in terms of this is where it becomes interesting and related to the Circular economy, is that by by neutralizing these provisioning systems, for example, you have shared mobility. Every shared car in this system would replace nine to 13 private cars. So first of all, you have an enormous advantage. Nicole, logical terms like, you know, 80 percent reduction in thermodynamic usage. Secondly, you need 90 percent less cars is going gonna be much cheaper to do it. So it's socially inclusionary. So combining both these social advantages in the ecological advantages, I think is a very powerful mechanism to overcome our ecological crisis. 

Katie Whalen [00:14:29] Actually, you mentioned Circular economy and and of course, the man you gave gave Uber as the new car sharing example, maybe a bad or bad like the the negative consequences in the Manhattan did like environmental impacts of that. How do you how does the commons economy compare to circular economy and the sharing economy and in as sort of how it's been discussed recently? 

Michel Bauwens [00:14:59] And you're right, though, that the sharing economy is kind of a very confusing term because, you know, let's say you Uber or A, B and B, they call themselves sharing, but there's no sharing. It's a renting mechanism. Right. So this is not really sharing as people used to understand it. So I think the sheer economic myself is a lot has been overused as being, you know, like probably the circular economy and the sustainability, you know, all these terms can be hijacked basically by people want to profit from these terms without really doing what's necessary. Then you have the circular economy, which of course is, you know, the idea of zero waste and reusing all the output as an input for another process. But it's so this is more for me. The Circular economy is more a technical term and the commons economy is about governance. So a circular economy. Theoretically, it could take many forms. And one of the forms is that the circular economy. Could use the commons as a governance mechanism in order to achieve much more of these advantages. And I want to give you an example where you know how this is happening, maybe not to our satisfaction, but it's an interesting development. If you look at the block chain projects. They are open source. They are based on the contributors principle so people can come in and out of the ecosystem. So what you have in the block chain economy ideally is a shift from a system that's based purely on individual competition. To a vision of collaborative ecosystems, there's still very market oriented, there's still lots of design issues because it has a kind of libertarian philosophy. But you could commodify, as it were, where the block chain principle in silk instead of commodity currencies, we could use mutual credits and asset backed currencies instead of smart individual contracts. We could use collective Ostrom contracts, as we call them, so we could look at the principles behind the block chain and transform them into a more social direction. And then we would have an infrastructure that can be used to organize a circular economy. That's a potential scenario that we are working on. 

Katie Whalen [00:17:30] Yeah. Yeah. It makes me think of Kate Raworth. I'm gonna pronounce your name rebirth. 

Michel Bauwens [00:17:37] Yes, they were. Yeah. I think it's Raworth. Yes, I know her. She's a friend of mine. You know she actually wrote the foreword of our last report. 

Katie Whalen [00:17:46] Yes. I was going to say she wrote the foreword as I took a look at that. You guys met on the Eurostar just recently. 

Michel Bauwens [00:17:53] Yes. Amazing. So you have to imagine this, right? I'm waiting in line for my for the customs. And somebody ticks me on the you know, I'm see thousands of people waiting in line. Somebody is just behind me, you know, ticks me on the shoulder. So what are the odds of that? 

Katie Whalen [00:18:12] Yeah. 

Michel Bauwens [00:18:14] We had to meet.  

Katie Whalen [00:18:16] Change encounter, yeah. And I don't know if this is in her book or some, if it's based on a presentation that I saw her give via Ken Webster who was on the podcast on episode, I believe it's number four. But we had a little bit of this discussion about decentralized vs. the centralized circular economy. And I keep kind of finding this a bit fascinating because I would imagine that a more decentralized circular economy is sort of more in line with the Commons economy. 

Michel Bauwens [00:18:49] Yes, it is. Yeah, of course. So what what we say is it's not just decentralized. Basically, we could we talk about open contributed systems. So basically a system like free software, every coder who wants to. Can work on the Phenix code. And so this is now works for software, knowledge and design. And basically we would like is to bring this down to actual material production. So we have much more freedom and mutual coordination in the sphere of material production. So imagine an ecosystem to produce organic foods in which all farmers and all consumers could join in if they wanted to. This is kind of our ideal. So it's not controlled by any vertical company. It's a system that creates a corporation field for various companies, various collectives, various citizens, various consumers, and eventually with, you know, some regulatory role for local and national or even global institutions. 

[00:19:53] So the idea is I would like to describe to you the scenario of my last report. Is that okay for you? 

Katie Whalen [00:19:59] Yes. Yes. Sure, go ahead. 

Michel Bauwens [00:20:01] Yeah, yeah. So basically what we imagine is a tree level economy. So. In free software, we talk about stick virtually. It's a difficult world, but it's it's basically means coordination through signals. It's basically what bees do, right? They dance and then they tell their other bees where they should be going to find follow. So there's no queen telling all the bees. What they should do is the bees are always communicating with each other. Peer to peer. And this is what free software coders do when they work on Linux or the free software projects. They may work for IBM. They may work for Redhat. They may be freelance or they may just want to solve any issue on their own without even being paid. But they all work together in this meta system and they know what to do because they can see what everybody else is doing. So it's like playing a soccer match, but at a huge scale. Right. We talked about this in the beginning. So this is the third level in the more companies are willing to share logistics, supply chain information, to share distributed accounting systems. The more the economy can adapt to each other. So why should I make more shoes if I know there's already an overproduction of shoes, for example? My second level is what I call generative market. So markets that don't extract too much from the people creating the value, but actually make communities thrive and take into account material resources. And I give you one example. So fish going. Is a project for intelligent crypto that tells you how much fish can be taken out of the ocean without endangering their reproduction. So this is you know, people are free, but their money tells them something, right? Tell them that maybe they shouldn't they shouldn't buy more fish right now because they're in danger of going over the limits of the reproduction rate. 

[00:21:58] So the third level is basically kind of a level of regulation. So imagine that you have a global thresholds and allocations council. Basically, a group of scientists that would determine resource levels basically know how much copper can use cobalt. Can we use without exceeding planetary boundaries? And so this would be kind of a regulatory function. So it's not a top down mechanism whereby an authoritarian state tells you exactly what to do. The idea is more to have know kind of a planetary protection mechanism and then all the human entities would know through their shared logistics and shared accounting system what in their context is the sustainability effort they should be making. Right. So within that, you're completely free to produce and consume, but you need to take the action, basically the harm towards the planet. So this is in a way, kind of a synergy between mutual coordination, which is a commons way. Regenerative markets, so it includes the best of the market. An account of facilitating state function and institution for the common good. And so this in our last report, which is called P2P Accounting for planetary survival, we describe projects are actually already doing this, so we don't see it as a purely utopian vision. We see it as something that's already kind of available in seed form. But what do we do with the P2P foundations? Because we take this matter view, we can, you know, try to make the puzzle ourselves and say, well, if you do this and this and this and this together, you actually have a new logic and a new system. 

Katie Whalen [00:23:47] Could you share some of one or two examples from this report? I will link it in the show notes so that listeners can go in and read it, of course, but-

Michel Bauwens [00:23:59] Right. Yes. So that the the idea of a Global Thresholds and Allocation Council is from a project called Global Reporting 3.0.0.  So that's that's one of the project we discuss. What I really like is a project called Region Network. So I want to briefly explain, I think it's a very powerful model. So let's assume you want to achieve decarbonization in agriculture. So basically what you create is what they call an ecological state. Protocol is what a society, what the industry wants to achieve and needs to achieve. And then all citizen, all groups, all collectives, cooperatives, companies, everyone can really say, I did this. And you have a verification mechanism with this with, you know, like a block chain kind of distributed ledger. So this is a very patient verification mechanism. And then you have a tokenization and basically the tokens get funded by all the institutions and companies that profit from these positive ecological externality. And I think this is a very powerful way to improve on public procurement, which is always a winner take all system. What you often get is in order to win a contract, you know, you kind of externalize everything else so you can focus on being the cheapest in achieving one particular thing. But it basically precludes any holistic or integrated system thinking in solving problems. But in this system that we are proposing is by region network. What you have is a mechanism which can basically mobilize a whole society. And so can also fund everyone, and I think this is important, so we called a circle of finance. You know, inspired by Circular economy because. More regenerative economy activities people do know the more they get funded, and so that shows a very important problem that's generative activities are rarely funded in our system. 

Katie Whalen [00:26:07] And it's not just about individual actions, but also sort of how they link to the whole cause. I'm thinking because a lot of times in a circular economy and you're trying to get things back at, you know, after user at the end of life. And one of the difficulties that a lot of companies say is, well, we don't we don't see them. We don't see our products again. We don't see any of that. So why should we actually design things to be re manufacturer bowl? Because we're not the ones getting this make maybe sort of solves that a little bit. 

Michel Bauwens [00:26:40] Yes. Yes. And I was just reading about another project, which unfortunately is not in our report because it wasn't really operating when we wrote it. And that's the criterion for us. 

[00:26:52] But there's this project called Metro VM, which basically wants to, you know, to make intelligent consumer objects. Right. And once you get that, you would have actually a full system of logistics that integrates both production and consumption, because that's the weak point. I mean, you know, industry is very efficient. But then, as as your friends say, once it gets into the consumer hands, it's a black box. And I think, you know, so. So it's it's really an issue, I think, of, you know, puzzling intelligently together solutions that would reinforce each other. Right. And that together would make a whole new system. Individually, they're just part of the solution and they can be part of what's called a JEVON paradox, which is you make something more efficient like light bulbs, buddy, and actually you end up allowing more people to get light bulbs so you lose the advantage to the consumption. And so that's why we need to work. You know, what we call what we call integrally is to have always the whole system in my. 

Katie Whalen [00:28:03] Yes, I think that's the paradox is quite famous, I also find it in my research when looking at companies who are trying to incentivize second, second hand or take back and things. And a lot of the ways that they do it is they take back products with them, say, oh, here's a discount for buying a new product since you gave us your old one. Like that's not reducing. Is this reducing consumption? I don't think so. 

Michel Bauwens [00:28:26] So, yes, that happens quite often. And this really needs to be solved. Otherwise we are not making any progress. 

Katie Whalen [00:28:33] Yeah. So I was I was curious, what are sort of the typical responses to to the come the Commons economy? Because I imagine there might be some critiques if you're talking about do it. Well, anytime you try to do something in a different way, there's always people who are opposing you. So I'm curious what kind of what has is what is the response? 

Michel Bauwens [00:29:01] And well, it's often a question of language. You know, it's often a question of language and I don't know if you will believe me, but I already just talked about comments instead of others see words or s words. Is already going to solve a lot of reactions. Right, because, you know, people have an understandable fear of totalitarian systems. But here we were talking about voluntary cooperation and mutual coordination. So this kind of relaxes already. For example, a lot of people would be ideologically completely which to market solutions, right. So we're not saying abolish the market. We are saying we transform the market. And I think a lot of people in business actually know that that this is, you know, that they need to do this. Another critique we might get is that it's too techno centric. And this is kind of a critique that we reject because we always talk about social technical systems. So we always pay a lot of attention to the social sciences, not just the technology that will solve anything. It's basically a technology, but in the context of new social choices. I hope that makes sense. 

Katie Whalen [00:30:20] Yeah, yeah, I was. Yeah, I was also curious about that because a lot of the solutions that you mentioned are focused on on technology so, yeah.

Michel Bauwens [00:30:31] Yes, but my answer is that everything is technology that, you know, we are a technological species and we use you know, we use spares and sticks and from the very beginning of our humanity. So it's not a question for me of, you know, more technology or not. It's like, what technology? And it's the right level of technology and was the right level of complexity, etc. So I think it's a fake debate. If you say, you know, you're against technology because even if you're against it, you're just going to use another technology. Another critique I take a bit more seriously is an issue of inclusion, social inclusion, because, for example, when you look at urban commons and urban gardens, very often it's more like the cognitive class. You know, Thomas Piketty, Piketty speaks about the merchant rights, the bribing, the left and those who have neither. And so basically, you know, there's a lot of people now working in the cognitive economy. A lot of them are precarious, but they in high cultural capital. And so the level of self organization that's required, especially when technical systems are involved, is substantial and in a way privileges quote unquote. 

[00:31:51] You know, the people are more culturally rich in a certain sense. So you have to pay a lot of attention when you do economists to look at this issue of diversity and inclusion. But what I noticed when I studied in Ghent is that you also have another commons, which is an ethnic and religious commons. And so there is a paradox that the people with civic commons are in theory, your solicitor can open to everyone, end up having a kind of a more of an elite membership. And the people who are ideologically obviously close because it's a commons only for their ethnic group or their religious group in practice attract more white people. So this is kind of a contradiction or a paradox that I think it would be probably good to solve in some way to make these people collaborate more. And there is a French scholar. Whose name escapes me right now? Jennifer, Yes. That's all I remember. And she. She's trying to establish a convergence between Ostrom and me at the center. So basically she talks about comes of capabilities. And so there are eight rules that determine a commons that were established by Nora Ostrom. And she adds three more to identify whether a particular commons is inclusive or not basically. So I think there's there's work that can be done in that field. 

Katie Whalen [00:33:21] Yeah. Oh, that's fascinating. I'm going to have to look, look up. 

Michel Bauwens [00:33:27] [Foreign word] came back to me. 

Katie Whalen [00:33:29] Maybe  you can send the name to me, because I don't I don't think I'll be able to spell that properly. At least I will. Yeah. Thanks. When I was looking at the report of peer to peer accounting for planetary survival, one of the things that kind of stuck out a little bit when I was skimming it was about new forms of licensing and. Yeah, I was wondering if you could share a little bit more about this because maybe it's not so applicable, but I'm a little bit interested in this because right now I'm producing and selling a physical board game called In the Loop. So I recognize this is very much like old thinking, but I've been thinking about ways to potentially make it open to everyone, such as through white print and play. So I'm just curious to hear your thoughts about what kinds of licensing models do you see as promising going forward and maybe even particularly for the game? 

Michel Bauwens [00:34:31] Yes. So what we advocate is a kind of new type of license. So the two old licenses are in a way the capitalistic and communistic license. So copyright says, no, this is my property and without my permission and being me, you cannot use this. Right. And copy. That's just as the opposite. This is open for everyone. And these open licenses that worked very well for immaterial comments like free software, knowledge, Wikipedia, etc. and they work well because. In material goods are known the revival or anti arrival, which means that if. I use your software. You still have your software, right? Yeah. It's actually gains value the more it is used. But the problem with it is that it does favor the free software economy. It does favor big companies because big companies like IBM can come in and can then use the free software. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing because it gives you know, they give a lot of jobs to a lot of software developers. So in general, free software, though, are not unhappy with the state of things. But imagine you are a co-op and you're actually doing a design. For machinery or for products. It's a bit different because in this particular context, you're going to think, well, if I share this completely, some big company is going to take it. And they are going to have much more money to invest in their machinery than we have. And they're going to out compete us, out compete us, and we need to pay no raw material people place, et cetera, et cetera. So what we propose here is what's called reciprocity based licensing. And basically what you do is you separate the knowledge from the commerce. So what we say is. If you are using your knowledge to share the knowledge, that's fine. 

[00:36:35] But if you are using our knowledge to create a commercial strategy, then you need to show that you give something back to that commons. I can give you an example. Yeah, a very simple example. It's unfortunately it's not a product, but it's, you know, it's self. It's actually a paradox, it's a license. OK, because you can get the principle, it's called a fair shares association. It's an English association that comes out of these solidarity economy and that has created a new form of property that is based on four types of ownership founders, founders, workers and users. And I think is a very good initiative. But here's what they say. 

[00:37:21] If you want to share our knowledge, you can use Creative Commons noncommercial. But if you want to use it yourself in your company. Then you need to become a member of our association. You need to pay three dollars a year and you get a Creative Commons commercial license. So this interplay of these two is actually what we mean. It's that it's the mantra of reciprocity. Does that make sense? 

Katie Whalen [00:37:52] I hope so. Yeah, definitely. I was going to even use that the Creative Commons, like the share share alike and those kinds of things where it's like kind of like the reciprocity in terms of this. 

Michel Bauwens [00:38:05] But yeah. But the the the the problem with the normal free software licenses are the reciprocity is only on the knowledge. Right. So imagine you are indigenous community in Ecuador and you have these special herbs, right? 

[00:38:22] And these scientists come to help you and then in the worst case, you know, they do bio piracy, so they actually patent your knowledge. You have nothing. Yeah, but in the second in the second alternative, an open license, you still have nothing. Right. The indigenous people would still not get anything because it would be other people would use that open knowledge. And it's only if you have that third type of license where you say, well, if you use our knowledge, you have to give something back. This only in that case it would effectively get something. That would recompense their efforts. So that's the idea. 

Katie Whalen [00:39:03] Yeah. Do you see it being done for like actual physical things or as you said, a lot of it is about intangible material goods? 

Michel Bauwens [00:39:15] Yes, so far. I mean, there is one for mobility in France. I don't know too much about the details, but I keep a list of them. But so far, yes, it's not really yet. I haven't really seen any four machines or anything like that. For services.

Katie Whalen [00:39:33] Yeah, for services, okay. Yeah, maybe in the future. All it's giving me some food and food for thought. So yeah, I am conscious of the time. And before we go, I would love to ask you the question that I ask all of the interview guests who come on the podcast, which is about the game in the loop game that I created. So it's a board game and it's about the game, your manufacturing company. And you have to produce a product and you are trying to navigate your supply chain essentially. And it's a little bit difficult because there's different market conditions and the market conditions change the change in the game. And they're inspired by sometimes even by real world happenings. So what I ask the list, the interview is, is if they could create an event for the game, what kind of event would that be? And normally interview guests, link it to sort of their vision for the future. So I don't know if you have any ideas for what kind of what actually. 

Michel Bauwens [00:40:43] So it's the P2P foundation. We are moving from the Netherlands to Ghent, where our chairperson is called Evie Sweden and she does a time lab. Which is a very active cultural center in Ghent, and they have a School of the Commons there. So I think you should talk with Avie and organize some event in Ghent. 

Katie Whalen [00:41:06] Yeah. Okay. Yeah, that sounds that sounds like that sounds like a plan. We can we can do that. Where can listeners. Is there a way that my listeners can get involved with the peer to peer foundation? 

Michel Bauwens [00:41:19] Yes, we have a wiki, so that's wiki.P2PFoundation.Net, where we have a very extensive library of 22000 articles on all topics related to peer to in the Commons, like we have one of Commons economics. We have one on urban commons. We have one of the Commons policymaking. We have one on the Circular economy. We have one on sustainable manufacturing. We have one of what we call Cosmo local production. You know, you would be surprised. Most of you, your listeners wouldn't know that there are 400 peer to peer accounting projects ongoing. So lots of things are happening in a week, signals that are not reproduced in the press, in the mainstream press. And this is what we do, we we follow the things that other people don't follow. So we also have a blog. It's blog.P2Pfoundation. This is more like a newspaper, you know, two items per day. The most important things that we think you should know, I do a lot of curation on Facebook. It's called Urban P2P. And we have a Twitter account P2P foundation and also on call and balance. So we are we we are pretty good in the digital networking field and there isn't. So if you want to know anything about this topic, you'll find your way. 

Katie Whalen [00:42:47] Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode or show notes and links, go to our website at gettinginthepodcast.com. And while you're there, subscribe to our mailing list to have new episodes delivered to your inbox every Monday. See you next week. 


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About the Show

Getting In the Loop is a weekly podcast dedicated to exploring how to transform to a more circular society. Join host Katie Whalen as she examines the challenges facing our current resource use and discovers alternatives to the ‘take, make, dispose’ way of doing things. Each week she interviews circular economy experts about what they’re doing and learning. Together we'll uncover what circular economy means in practice and find out what's being done to keep our resources in a loop rather than sent to waste.

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