20 - Open Views - Michel Bauwens, Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives

Michel Bauwens This week's guest on Open Views is Michel Bauwens , founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives at P2PFoundation.net.

Peer-to-Peer (or P2P) is most often thought of in terms of the file-sharing computer networks that have been vilified by the recording and movie industry associations, for allegedly permitting (if not encouraging) rampant digital content "piracy". But Michel takes the concept of peer networks, to the realm of society. We're creating a new world, where peer production is taking on traditional societal models. The most obvious example is Wikipedia - an encyclopedia designed to be created by collaborators, and gaining sufficient momentum (and arguable credibility) to take on the likes of
Brittanica. The success of the Wikipedia project could be attributed to peer production - basically global collaboration amongst a like-minded group.

Peer production leads to a peer-based society, creating collaborative networks that can take on projects that formerly required huge capital investment. The cost has always come in due to the
perception of a certain kind of scarcity - whether it be with human resources or knowledge. But what happens when this "artificial scarcity" is taken out of the picture? You end up with nothing less than way to transform society and human civilization.