Topic outline

  • Description of the content

    The seminar will introduce participants to the principles of P2P Governance and Peer-learning. The seminar is structured through presentations, practical examples, participants’ active research on the web and discussions. The seminar was given live on the 13th of December at 17.00 – 20.00 CET



    The purpose of this seminar is to give participants an introduction to the basic processes that commons-based peer to peer initiatives use in order to self-create, self-govern and self-manage their processes and resources as well as to investigate in which ways this valuable knowledge may be utilized in learning.

    Learning outcomes:

    After attending the seminar participants can:

    o             identify the governance structures of commons-based initiatives,

    o             identify the technological infrastructure of digital and physical commons initiatives,

    o             understand the functionality of educational platforms of the commons, elaborate on ways of integration of commons-based tools, from governance mechanisms to community functions, into education and learning.

     Further Reading:

    The chapter "The Grammar of Peer Production" of Vasilis Kostakis and Michel Bauwens that was published in The Handbook of Peer Production, Wiley, Hoboken, pp. 21-32 (978-1-119-53710-6).


    Arvidsson, A., Caliandro, A., Cossu, A., Deka, M., Gandini, A., Luise, V., Orria, B., &Anselmi, G. (2017). Commons Based Peer Production in the Information Economy.

    Bauwens, M., Kostakis, V., Troncoso, S., Utratel A.M. & Martínez, E. The Commons Transition Primer,

    Bauwens, M., Kostakis, V. and Pazaitis, A. (2019). Peer to Peer: the Commons Manifesto. London: University of Westminster Press. Accessed July 8, 2020.

    Benkler, Y. (2016). Peer Production and Cooperation. In J. M. Bauer & M. Latzer (Eds.), Handbook on the economics of the Internet, (91–119). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

    Bollier, D. (2014). Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers

    Bollier, D., & Helfrich, S. (2019). Free, Fair and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.

    Kostakis, V. (2010). Identifying and understanding the problems of Wikipedia’s peer governance. First Monday, 15(3). ;

    Kostakis, V., & Bauwens, M. (2020). The Grammar of Peer Production. In M. O’Neil, C. Pentzold, & S. Toupin (Eds.), The Handbook of Peer Production. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

    • Peer to Peer Governance and Peer-learning

      The commons do not emerge naturally, spontaneously, but are products of the commoning process. In addition, there is no commoning without peer governance (Kostakis, 2010), through which people co-decide, set limits by setting specific rules and co-manage conflicts that arise both within a commons and between different commons. In a world of peer governance (commonsverse, see Bollier& Helfrich, 2019), people, although they have different personalities and abilities or skills, perceive other members of the group or network as peers, that is, people with similar status, that is, with equal social and political power within a group or a network. In this context, peers have the same rights and obligations and are considered equally capable of contributing to a collaborative project and deciding in which direction this will go or how it will evolve. From a commons angle, therefore, people are not enemies with each other who compete to siege the control of a circumstance and a group of people, but are peers or commoners with the same opportunity to participate in a collective process. Peer governance is enacted by the people themselves and through the people, and thus is radically different from other dominant forms of governance for the people and with the people (Kioupkiolis, 2019, Pechtelidis &Kioupkiolis, 2020). In the SMOOTH project, ‘peer research’ will be utilized. Peer research is a form of research by children and youth in our case, in which not only children and youth do they participate alongside adults as co-researchers or collaborators, but also, they play some part in the decisions pertain the research project. In this context, the children and youth will be engaged with data collection (children and youth interview their peer group, pedagogical documentation), data interpretation and in some cases, they can serve as research advisors or consultants while leaving the rest to professional researchers (Spyrou, 2018). The challenge of this form of research is the collaboration between children and adults in order to create a common space that allows for knowledge co-production that is alternative (Cheney, 2011) and provides contemporary ways of thinking about children as interdependent beings as well as intragenerational and intergenerational relations that matter (Spyrou, 2018). By that, it is becoming clear that both sides are responsible allies and they help each other. Children offer their knowledge as insiders while adults provide more of their technical research expertise such as how to design interviews, collection, and interpretation of data techniques.