The goal of 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 and the Internet of People initiative was adopted a core pillar of DiEM25’s Progressive Agenda for Europe.
I have since left DiEM25: https://ar.al/notes/farewell-not-goodbye
It has became clear 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, archived here and open to input by other progressive movements like the Pirates and the Greens.
For more information, here are a couple of quick resources:
The video I recorded initially to propose the idea to the Coordinating Collective.
The text of our proposal to the DiEM25 Validating Council – describing the goals of the Internet of People initiative – that was approved with 95.65% of the vote.
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.