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.
The Internet of People initiative was born when I approached DiEM25 with the idea to create a 7th pillar for their Progressive Agenda for Europe. DiEM25 is a pan-European progressive movement founded by Yanis Varoufakis and Srećko Horvat and it has immense potential to democratise Europe. At the time, I mentioned the inextricable link between the topology of 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. They agreed. This is why the Internet of People initiative is now a core pillar of DiEM25’s Progressive Agenda for Europe.
It has became clear in time, however, that developing the policies for the Internet of People could be best done outside of any single political movement and in a manner that is open and accessible to any progressive political movement. This is why the initiative is now an independent one, being developed as part of the Indienet Institute, with close relations and input with DiEM25 as well as reaching out to other progressive movements like the Pirates and the Greens.
We are also in the process of formalising an advisory panel of respected experts in ethical technology to help us draft our policies.
For more information, here are a couple of quick resources:
Here’s to moving beyond the digital imperialism of Silicon Valley and demonstrating constructive disobedience by building a progressive and democractic Internet of People starting here in Europe.