Stage 8
19:45 - 20:45
Commons-based Communities: Viable Alternatives to Digital Capitalism?


Amazon, Facebook, Google, Uber – an increasing part of our digital infrastructure is controlled by a small number of companies. Are there alternatives to these companies who make profits from our data and our willingness to share?



The history of the digital society is shaped by continuous struggles between large monopolistic corporations and small groups of hackers and innovators inspired by a culture of sharing  and open innovation and a vision of a more democratic and fair society. Nowadays digital capitalism exploits the culture of sharing by exploiting the voluntary contributions of users and low-paid work of independent contractors. Profit-driven digital platforms monopolize the infrastructure of our common digital future.

However, new alternatives emerge to challenge these monopolistic platforms. The session will discuss some of these alternatives, in particular platform cooperatives and biohacker communities. How can these efforts challenge the power of the big players? How can they create fairer and more democratic labour relations?