In a great example of how digital connection brings people together in face-to-face meetings, Michel Bauwens saw my blog post saying that on my vacation I was going to pass through Chiang Mai in Thailand, where he lives. He sent me an email to suggest we get together, and we had lunch in a picturesque local restaurant. Michel is a dot-com and telco veteran who has decided life is better in North Thailand than Europe or North America. He has now established the P2P Foundation, which examines and supports the application of peer-to-peer concepts to all aspects of society. Michel has a compelling vision for how P2P can be applied to creating value, organizational design, social structure, and political structures. Some of his vision is already well visible:
“we have to posit the birth of a new capitalist class segment, the netarchists, based not on the control or ownership of information, but on the enabling and exploitation of the participatory networks themselves.”
At the P2P Foundation website and other sites such as Integral Visioning, Michel has provided substantial resources on the vision for applying peer to peer across society, notably his excellent essay Peer to Peer and Human Evolution, and his P2PFoundation blog. Michel is now looking to establish a for-profit organization that will provide services and implement business models around the P2P frame. I look forward to seeing this develop far further. The potential is certainly there for a global society based on peer to peer structures and thinking, though this may take decades to evolve. It is an immensely worthwhile vision.