* * *
On behalf of Renata and myself, I’d like to welcome you to newest pillar of DiEM25’s Progressive Agenda for Europe: an Internet of People.
Our goal with this initiative is to create a compelling counter-narrative to Silicon Valley’s surveillance capitalism. To that end, we are drafting a progressive technology policy aimed at achieving three key objectives:
- Combat institutional corruption and remove the influence of corporate finance in public policymaking, so that:
- We can regulate effectively to limit the abuses of Silicon Valley’s toxic business model of farming European citizens for data (“people farming”), while simultaneously working to
- Fund and create a decentralised, interoperable, free and open technology infrastructure to encourage individual sovereignty and a healthy commons.
When I approached DiEM25 with the idea for the 7th pillar, I mentioned the inextricable link between the topology of our technology and the topology of society: Namely, that the centralised technologies amplify and support centralised, non-democratic social structures and if we want to democratise Europe, we need decentralised technologies to amplify decentralised and democratic social structures. To paraphrase Audre Lorde, Silicon Valley’s tools will never dismantle neoliberalism’s house. That is why the Internet of People initiatve is a core pillar of our Progressive Agenda for Europe. And, beyond that, given the nature of technology as an amplifier, it is a cross-cutting concern across the other pillars.
If you’re only just hearing about it and would like to find out more and contribute, here are a couple of existing resources:
- The video I recorded initially to propose the idea to the Coordinating Collective.
- The text of our proposal to the Validating Council – describing the goals of the Internet of People initiative – that was approved with 95.65% of the vote.
I’m going to keep this initial post brief but I will posting additional resources and sharing with you the thoughts that we have been formulating so far and that I personally have been iterating over for the past four years during my work in this specific area at Ind.ie. I’m hugely excited and look forward to your participation, contributions, and feedback as we shape this crucial 7th pillar together in the coming days and weeks.
Also, an important part of our work here will involve implementing our policies and philosophies internally at DiEM25 to help us attain greater transparency, better (and more ethical) tools with which to communicate and work with on a daily basis, and to make DiEM25 itself an inspiring case study in the successful adoption and use of usable, convenient, and hopefully even delightful ethical technologies.
Here’s to moving beyond the digital imperialism of Silicon Valley and demonstrating exactly what we mean by constructive disobedience by building a progressive and democractic Internet of People starting here in Europe, and as one of the pillars of the democratic Europe that we all want to live in.