Digital Commons

Digital Commons (DIMMONS)

The central research line is linked to commons, and more concretely commons as an organizational form of production (commons-based peer production, or CBPP). Other terms adopted on certain occasions to refer to CBPP are collaborative economy or social innovation. Commons are approached from two perspectives:

  • Commons economics: emergence and implications of commons-based peer production, economical innovation, digital social economy and the configuration of a new production model based on open knowledge.
  • Commons politics: political innovation in emerging areas of public policy, conflict and social mobilization associated with the regulations on commons economics, ICTs and the conditions of access and reuse of information and knowledge.
  • Commons future: governance dilemmas and commons potential scenarios linked to highly innovative frontiersopened up by technological development.

More information:

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Theoretical references

Yochai Benkler, Manuel Castells, Elinor Ostrom, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Bruce Bimber, Donatella della Porta, Siobhan O'Mahony, Richard Rogers, Carlo Formenti and Lev Manovich.

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Methodological approach

Commitment to rigour, front-line innovation & open access.

  • Methodological pluralism. Quantitative/qualitative multi-methods triangulation. Comparative perspective.
  • Experimentation with online/virtual methods, design thinking and lean research.
  • Action-participation. Research that informs about technological or/and social process design.
  • Prioritization of open-access publications and multi-channel dissemination.
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Strategic guidelines
  • Combining frontier innovation with rigour in research.
  • Multidisciplinary: backgrounds in political science, anthropology, philosophy, economy, computer science and the arts.
  • Multi-methods: methods triangulation combining qualitative and quantitative methods, experimenting with online/virtual methods, and action participation.
  • Prioritizing social utility and impact: problem-solving type of research connected to social challenges and ongoing processes; engaging with policy recommendations and host product/service piloting.
  • Glocal: maintaining local and international partnerships (such as the Berkman Center for Internet and Society (Harvard University), the MIT Center for Civic Media and Cosmos – Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy)).
  • Self-reflective; innovation in research: experimenting with lean/agile/scrum and design thinking to organize the research; putting the results of research into practice; high importance of communication in the research (“release soon & frequently”).
  • Open publication (open access) & delivery of research data (open data).
  • Networking with frontier experiences in the creation of open knowledge; collaborations with Wikimedia Foundation, Open Knowledge Foundation and CoKo Foundation; feeding and promoting the local hub/network of expertise (School of the Commons).
  • Gender analysis incorporated transversally into the research. Gender-plural group.
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