Digital Commons and Public Infrastructures

Digital commons and public infrastructures offer a radically different approach to technology and data governance. In order to enjoy the opportunities provided for by technology, and move away from the dominance of several companies, we need to build public-civic ecosystems: democratic digital environments where citizens collaborate closely with strong public institutions, and where communities co-govern the technologies they use.

Digital Commons: Transition Collaboratory

Commons Network is working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the Digital Commons Transition Collaboratory in 2024. Here, we are collectively answering the questions: what are the digital commons and how can government relate to them? In the Digital Commons Transition Collaboratory we are developing ideas with partners, build bridges between research, society and policy, and work together towards a sustainable digital transition.

Joint Civil Society Statement on democratic digital infrastructures

A next step to democratise the digital transition is to create a European Public Digital Infrastructure Fund. Together with many other civil society organisations, we urge Member states and the European Commission to start exploring avenues towards such a Fund.

Collaboration on digital commons in Beyond Growth conference

Commons Network was a partner in the Beyond Growth conference and we were able to make digital commons part of the Beyond Growth agenda.

Human Stories of Digital Transformation

With Human Stories of Digital Transformation, we aim to further the idea of online spaces where citizens and communities take centre stage. We collected stories and experiences from people who are affected by digital transition on a daily basis, and present alternatives and policy proposals with a broad coalition.

Start collaboration Public-Civic Spaces Online

Commons Network becomes part of the core coordination group of Shared Digital European Public Space (SDEPS), a coalition of organisations and initiatives united in our belief for the need for public digital infrastructures. Our contribution builds upon our earlier work on Generative Interoperability, Public-Civic ecosystems and Digital Commons.


Publication: Generative interoperability: Building Online Public & Civic Spaces

This report builds upon our earlier publication from 2019 named Our Vision for a Shared Digital Europe and culminates the research supported by NESTA. In collaboration with Open Future.


Deep Dives with experts on Interoperable Digital Ecosystems

We interviewed a range of experts from academia, policy, activism, public broadcasting and programming on the role of interoperability for digital ecosystems where communities and citizens take center stage.  Together with our partner Open Future we published this series over the course of 6 months.

Exploring Digital Courage at Fearless Cities

Datafication, algorithms and AI are shaping how we live, reside, and work – and profoundly affect power relations in the city.  As part of the Cities for Change team, during Fearless Cities in Amsterdam, Commons Network explored the concept of digital courage: the courage of cities to choose and invest in technologies that benefit their citizens and communities in the long term.


Publication: Our Vision for a Shared Digital Europe

Our Vision for a Shared Digital Europe provides a policy framework that can guide policymakers and civil society organisations involved with digital policymaking in the direction of a more equitable and democratic digital environment, where basic liberties and rights are protected, where strong public institutions function in the public interest, and where people have a say in how their digital environment functions.

Publication: From Lab to Commons: Shifting to a Public Interest Biomedical System

This paper takes on the pharmaceutical system and presents real alternatives, based on open source research and the knowledge commons. Here, Commons Network proposes a new vision for the biomedical research system that safeguards universal access to affordable medicines and scientific advances.

Publication: Supporting the Commons: Opportunities in the EU policy landscape

Taking a commons approach to European policy, this paper analysis EU policy with regards to Urban Commons, Digital infrastructure & the Collaborative economy and Knowledge management.

Founding the European Alliance on Responsible R&D and Affordable Medicines

In order to have a strong joint voice and coordination among different actors advocating for access to medicines CN founds a civil society alliance together with Health Action International and other partners. The EU Alliance consists of more than 80 organisation from many different countries across Europe and focuses on EU policy.

Publication: The EU and Commons. A commons approach to European knowledge policy

The past two decades have seen unprecedented new forms of collaboration in the creation and sharing of knowledge.  This paper describes how the commons perspective, as a new framework for understanding knowledge, can contribute to some important, long-overdue EU policy discussions.

Publication: TTIP and the Big Pharma Wish List

A report by Commons Network and civil society partners shows that the pharmaceutical industry’s wish list for the TTIP is detrimental to public health, will increase the cost of medicines and undermine democratic processes.

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