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[ox-en] Re: P2P Foundation 2008 fundraising drive: please support our efforts

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Responses follow.... (I copy this to the oekonux list because I think it is
related to current discussions that I am involved in there)

On Sun, Jul 13, 2008 at 2:49 AM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004>

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your considered response.

But first, please, by all means, do forward our resources to as many people
as you can, as this is the primary motivation of what we are doing.

I guess one of the difficulties is this: between the research, focusing on
my lecture-centric business models (the only thing that works, though 'not
well enough'), and the intensive travelling, what is hardest, is to develop
a formal process for professional fundraising. The reason is that it
requires a lot of upfront work, without being sure of the results, and this
is the most difficult thing to do for me without assistance. I'm pretty sure
the geographical isolation of being here in Thailand also plays a role.

It seems like things stay in a stasis, because there is no one available who
can really scarifice themselves to do larger volumes of work that would need
to be done to formalize and solidify an organization that can support
multiple people, and become self-sustaining.

This makes me think that we can listen to what the conditions are telling
us, and think seriously about ways to do things, to work together that maybe
don't require the overhead and huge amounts of labor that no one is
available to do.

I think Clay Shirky is onto something with his idea of "organization-less
networks". Not that I think we should do away with the "foundation", but
that we could think about when an organization might be a benefit, and when
it might be a burden.

I think we could become more "agile" in terms of if and when some of us
actually might work together.

   - There is a lack of an application-oriented pattern language among some
   people in this network that leads to polarization at times.  I think there is at least some
   theoretical pattern language, but we lack a common shared understanding of
   application. Plus, we lack a shared understanding of one-another's
   world-views that also clouds our emerging theory-based pattern language. One
   example that I can give is that I have noticed many people in Europe
   frequently quote Marx, and Marxist theory as a theoretical basis for
   discussing p2p phenomenon as it relates to existing human conditions. While,
   many people that I converse with in the US tend to draw from American
   systems and complexity theorists of the past century as a theoretical
   reference (like Axelrod, John Holland, Stuart Kauffman, thinking from Santa
   Fe institute, media ecology thinkers like McLuhan and Neil Postman, You
   mostly see grounding references to Marx from political thinkers like
   Benkler, Stallman, etc) It's not that I think anyone is right or wrong, it
   is just that we lack a way to map our theoretical backgrounds into a shared
   understanding. So there ends up being a lot of dismissiveness of
   one-another's viewpoints, because there are not many existing ways to tune
   our transmitters to one another's receivers. Some of this is resolved just
   by meeting people face to face and getting to know them that way as more
   than a name on a screen. But some of it is also resolved by having a deeper
   understanding of one-another's theoretical
   background/world-view/Weltanschung/what ever you want to call it.

Franz was right about practices. If we are benefiting from the knowledge
commons of P2P foundation, and the network commons, let's try to sustain it.
One thing that might be helpful here is if we knew of others ways to sustain
the commons beyond money. Understood that money is needed, but what else is
needed? What else could help sustain the knowledge and network commons that
is P2P foundation? We need to think about ways to co-govern our commons, it
can't all fall upon the shoulders of one or a couple of people or they will
brak under the strain (and we'll suffer a "tragedy of the commons"
literally.) This person arguably knows more about this subject than anyone
else I've come across  many of us
who copy each other on these emails, and participate in this loose network
see the "game" of our network as "tit-for-tat", I believe. The first step is
to help everyone understand that they are playing the "tragedy of the
commons" game, and not the prisoner's dilemma. Robert Axelrod reported to a friend of mine that
only way that he could get his computer simulations to "win" the "tragedy of
the commons" game was if he gave them the logic to see that they were
playing the tragedy of the commons "game". Once they "knew" they would "win"
almost everytime. In this case they would "win" by not overgrazing the
"pasture", by cooperating make sure that they used the commons in a way that
assured everyone it would replenish itself. This is the "game" that we are
all playing. Not just in P2P foundation, but in general, in regards to any
commons. We need to identify what the "commons" are for p2p foundation (so
far it is a knowledge commons, and a social network commons).

Here is another quote from

Whenever a group of people depend on a resource that everybody uses but
nobody owns, and where one person's use effects another person's ability to
use the resource, either the population fails to provide the resource,
overconsumes and/or fails to replenish it, or they construct an institution
for undertaking and managing collective action. The common pool resource
(CPR) can be a fishery, a grazing ground, the Internet, the electromagnetic
spectrum, a park, the air, scientific knowledge. The institution can be a
body of informal norms that are disseminated by word of mouth, enforced by
gossip or religious stricture, and passed from one generation to another, or
a body of formal written laws that are enforced by state agencies, or a
marketplace that treats the resource as private property, or a mixture of
these forms. In the real world of fishing grounds and wireless competition,
CPR institutions that succeed are those that survive, and those that fail
sometimes cause the resource to disappear (e.g., salmon in the Pacific

This is kind of what we are talking about here, isn't it? There is more
danger for these commons to fail, and the resource to disappear of the
burden rests on one person, or a couple of people. What is the answer? I
think that is something that anyone who sees themselves as a stakeholder in
the shared resource should discuss.

And on that score, I have not received any of the necessary help which
would help me going. So the next best thing is what I'm doing now, even
though it is not perfect: continue to focus on producing value, focus on the
lecture tours which do bring in income, and try to get a fundraising process
going through experiments and drives such as this one.

That is what I am talking about above. I am calmly suggesting that the need
for you to do this, while definitely necassary in the short term, is a sign
that in the long term the "commons" is in possibly in danger of failing. And
that we should think about ways that will help stakeholders be more actively
involved in the sustaining of the commons we share here. Not just through
money, but maybe also seeing what they get out of it, and helping them make
it easier to contribute back into it, etc.

I'm pretty sure it is not too difficult to draw up a budget for the P2P
Foundation (my salary, some contributions for others, and the physical
infrastructure costs), but I would really benefit from someone taking it on
himself/herself to drive and organize that process,

In my opinion, this just adds to the overhead cost that a formal
organization tends to impose. I would like to humbly suggest that we can
explore options in ways that bypass applying formal organization, unless
formal organization really is the best solution.

Instead, I'd like to suggest that we think about organizing among commons
stakeholders in ways that are more agile, and save the utility of formal
organization for when it is needed (such as for legal reasons, etc). We are
already doing this to a degree, we just need to do it more.

For instance, we could come up with a process where we help each other
develop our individual projects to the point that they are able to attract
funding, and then the formal organization could helo with this, or be the
entity that seeks the funding. This is just one example. We could also
support one another in experiments and applications where people maybe are
not seeking funding, but are seeking participants, or resources, or
feedback. Often, structured feedback is as valuable as money, and so is the
time of people.

What I do want to avoid however, is a market-driven logic, whereby I would
have to work on projects for third parties. I'm not opposed to do consulting
on a adhoc basis, but do not want to make that the core of the activities,

I think it could be better if we have a stakeholder-driven logic, where
stakeholders realize they are taking from and contributing to a knowledge
and social commons, and we work together to create more positive
extenalities based around our combined expertise, and shared values of
wanting and desiring to make commons-based systems sustainable.


On Sun, Jul 13, 2008 at 1:58 AM, Steve Bosserman <
steve.bosserman> wrote:

 Hi Michel,

The value of the work done by the P2P Foundation is directly related to
the degree to which what is learned through the Foundation is experienced in
useful and beneficial applications.  This experience can be with the product
(content of the site), the process (working openly, in parallel, and
collaboratively), and the people (those who are members of the Foundation,
contributors to its body of knowledge, lurkers who use the knowledge).

There is not a project I have that does not in some way benefit from what
the P2P Foundation is doing, the way it is doing it, and who is doing
it.  As Sam mentioned, the Ohio Local Food Systems Collaborative (OLFSC) is
an example.  In just four short months, the OLFSC process is starting to
yield project proposals that are attracting resources, and receiving green
lights to proceed.  Participants in the OLFSC are beginning to see how they
can leverage the contacts, content, and process they collectively represent
to get the resources they need to carry out good work defined in
projects.  A percentage of these resources are put back into the OLFSC
structure and process to sustain it.

The P2P Foundation may be in a similar place.  If we know the annual
budget required to keep the P2P Foundation going, we can develop a prorated
plan to pay for it based on memberships, subscriptions, and special project
support.  When I have a project that gets funded I will kick some
percentage of the award into the P2P Foundation coffers to help defray
operating costs and have access to particular services of value in my
project.  Another possibility is that I forward information about the
Foundation to others so they too benefit from the three areas I mentioned in
the opening paragraph.  This spreads exposure about the Foundation, but does
not spread the wealth generated!

One of the tough lessons I have yet to learn is how to price my services
fairly for my customers, my colleagues, and myself.  I tend to underprice
myself even to the point of volunteering when I should be charging.  In like
manner, I don't think voluntary contributions will be sufficient to cover
expenses.  The P2P Foundation needs to be compensated more for the value it
brings.  My suggestion is that a resource pool be formed of those P2Pers who
are willing to share their expertise and contract on paid projects wherein
some percentage of the compensation goes to the Foundation.  Also,
consideration might be given to establishing membership categories that
correspond to different user groups--more use / specialized use, higher
membership fee.  Lastly, consider submitting proposals for funding that
focus on the value of the Foundation's products, processes, and
people--there are a number of agencies and institutions whose funding
missions are in alignment with those of the Foundation.

So that's my take for now.  Thanks, Michel, for the awesome work you and
the Foundation are doing!  I'll keep looking for ways to kick in support as
will the others, I'm sure.

Warm regards,

Steve B.
*From:* Samuel Rose [samuel.rose]
*Sent:* Saturday, July 12, 2008 12:24 PM
*To:* Michel Bauwens
*Cc:* james burke; Valentin Spirik; Kris ROOSE; Mauro Bieg; Natalie Pang;
Athina Karatzogianni; Marcin Jakubowski; Steve Bosserman; Franz Nahrada
*Subject:* Re: P2P Foundation 2008 fundraising drive: please support our


If you had planned to offer some of the funds you receive  to me, I would
like please to request that my portion be put into the resource pool that we
have yet to establish. Also, for all of the people copied on this email, we
might actually get more interest out of them if we were to invite them to
participate in a money/donation-based resource pool (because I know a lot of
them are also struggling to try and raise funds, like Marcin, for instance)

This could be one reason why some people are not reacting, because they
could be thinking "hey, I am in the same boat as you!"

Maybe this is as good time a time as any to explore the creation of a
money, and non-money  resource pool among interested members in our network?

I think we should start simple, though. Simple transparent rules, and
voting (possibly instant runoff voting). A share goes towards P2P
foundation, and participants may make proposals for either donation, or
for-profit investment. Perhaps more, but always we should keep it simple as
far as rules and structure goes. Let it be community-driven. I still want to
do this. We're approaching doing a version of this with which is sponsered by Ohio State
Universtity and some money and time kicked in by Steve Bosserman.

In the meantime, I hope that you do receive enough of a response to help
you in the current drive. I know you are depending on this to continue to do
the work you are doing. I just donated a small amount (unfortunately I
cannot afford much) to make the donation thermometer move up a little :-).

On Sat, Jul 12, 2008 at 3:01 AM, Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004>

Dear friends,

During the last 2 years, I have done, out of necessity and survival,
personal fundraising drives which brought me a few thousand EURO's of
support and allowed me to survive with my family and do the work on the p2p

We thought it was quite normal to 'collectivize' the effort, and to
support also the other people who are doing great work for the p2pfoundation
(I'm thinking of people like James Burke and Sam Rose and others).

However, this first 'official drive' is getting no response at all.

So, we are trying to find out way.

Have you forwarded this letter as requested? Have you thought about
contributing through tipit as suggested?

If not, please do tell us what we are doing wrong, or why we have no
reactions. There are of course no obligations, but please allow us to learn
from this experiment,


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004>
Date: Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 11:13 AM
Subject: P2P Foundation 2008 fundraing drive: please support our efforts
To: james burke <lifesized>, Samuel Rose <
samuel.rose>, Valentin Spirik <valentin.spirik>,
Kris ROOSE <kroose>, Mauro Bieg <mauro.bieg>,
Natalie Pang <nataliep>, Athina Karatzogianni <athina.k>,
Marcin Jakubowski <joseph.dolittle>, Steve Bosserman <
steve.bosserman>, Franz Nahrada <f.nahrada>

Dear friends,

We are today launcing our 2008 funding drive. As we promised last year,
it is no longer a personal appeal, but an collective/organizational appeal
destined to benefit the whole community effort.

We have written an explanation below, but we hope that you can help
spread the word. We are hoping that each of you sends this out to 10 people
of your own choice that would also be willing to support us. Thanks also for
eventual mention in your blogs or mailing lists.

Please be generous in support what I believe is the great work that the
P2P Foundation community has been doing!!

Many thanks for our support,


Payment details are the following:

Via the blog:

Click on the "Donate Now" button on the right hand side of our english
language blog at to make a


*Via email: *

click on this link <>
( this is the url attached )

Dear friends,

Help us build a better more humane and sustainable society through the
research and promotion of peer to peer alternatives. Help us build and
strengthen the infrastructure of cooperation of the P2P Foundation!!

As you know, we believe that the current economic model is not
sustainable, because it treats nature as infinite, while it attempts to
render free cooperation more difficult through the creation of artificial
scarcity in the field of culture of knowledge. While there is now a thriving
sustainability movement, the achievement of an open environment for the
global and local sharing of knowledge is just as important, as this is where
the solutions for sustainability need to be generated.

The P2P Foundation focuses on creating a knowledge base and
internetworking platform for peer production, governance, and property, and
for open/free, participatory, and commons-oriented social practices, in
every field of human activity: politics and the economy, the scientific and
the spiritual.

We want go "get better at working together" by studying what works and
what doesn't work in the emerging new social forms enabled by peer to peer
technologies. We want to help people to have more fulfilling lives by
supporting approaches and policies for meaningful constructive work so that
social innovation can thrive.

*Our Achievements so far
About two and a half years ago, we started building an ecology of online
resources to serve that purpose:

- A Wiki ( to build the knowledge base as well
as well as a directory of initiatives. Franz Nahrada has called it the
largest collection of free modes available on the planet. We have nearly
6,000 pages of documentation which have been viewed almost 3.5 million
times. As an example, where else could we find an overview as well as
details of the many emerging open design communities that aim to assist in
the making of physical products? See for these pages, one amongst
many sections.

- A blog ( which keeps track of current
initiatives and offers current thinking on p2p developments. Our blog has
now about 700 readers daily and is growing at a constant rate.

- An interconnected network of social bookmarking sites, where our
sympathizers exchange their finds on a continous basis

- A community center ( where people can
discuss issues and get to know each other

- A series of mailing list, such as the Peer to Peer Research list

The people who work with us are often active in their own fields, and
this leads to a cross-fertilization and co-learning of different

In the last 18 months, as the founder of the P2P Foundation, I have also
undertaken intensive lecture tours in academia, business and policy
communities and institutions.

These achievements, the result of voluntary contributions by myself and a
core group of active supporters, also come at a cost, and we could do much
more with your active support, which would enable more consistent efforts.

We have created a non-profit structure in the Netherlands to achieve a
next level of organization.

*Contribute funding to our infrastructure of cooperation!!
We are at a stage where funding would be instrumental in growing our
activities and reach.

We need funding of our physical infrastructure, which is now paid by
individual volunteers.

We need funding to provide a less insecure financial environment for some
of our full-time volunteers.

We need funding to formalize the knowledge base, to give it an extra
level of presentation and synthesis so that it can appeal to new
communities. Such synthetic reports are difficult to achieve on the basis of
volunteering alone.

The funding would allow us to stimulate mini-projects that are proposed
by some of our sympathizers, who would not have the opportunity to carry
them out without some form of compensation.

Here is how we propose the money would be allocated:

- 3,333 EUR (one third) to fund a small annual stipend to assist one
full-time worker with developing and growing the P2P Foundation

- 3,333 EUR to fund the physical infrastructure of cooperation: this
includes servers/publications in print and in new media formats

- 3,333 EUR to fund proposed community projects that enhance the
knowledge base of the P2P Foundation (new research as well as synthetic

*How to Assist Us:
Here are the modalities of payment, in order to support our activities:


*How to donate:*


*Via our blog*


Click on the "Donate Now" button on the right hand side of our english
language blog at to make a

*Via email: *

*Via email:


click on this link <>
( this is the url attached )

Any difficulties doing this? Don't hesitate to let us know.


To achieve our goal of EUR 10,000 we need

= 100 contributions of 100 EUR

= 200 contributions of 50 EUR

= 400 contributions of 25 EUR

Help us achieve this by spreading this message amongst your contacts. We
would appreciate if each recipient can send this through to 10 others, and
feel free to adapt the style of the appeal, or to add a cover letter in your
own words.

I believe we have achieved quite a bit in a short term, but so much more
is needed, for which your support is crucial.

Michel Bauwens

The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at; Blog, at; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at; interview at

KEEP UP TO DATE through our Delicious tags at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at; Blog, at; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at; interview at

KEEP UP TO DATE through our Delicious tags at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Tel:+1(517) 639-1552
Cel: +1-(517)-974-6451
AIM: Str9960
Linkedin Profile:
skype: samuelrose
email: samuel.rose

Related Sites/Blogs/Projects:
Information Filtering:

The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at; Blog, at; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at; interview at

KEEP UP TO DATE through our Delicious tags at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by SHIFTN,

Sam Rose
Social Synergy
Tel:+1(517) 639-1552
Cel: +1-(517)-974-6451
AIM: Str9960
Linkedin Profile:
skype: samuelrose
email: samuel.rose

Related Sites/Blogs/Projects:
Information Filtering:

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