Four predictions about change that will come in 2015, with a special focus on Europe and Mediterranean countries, technology, and political and social change.
- Bruce Sterling said back in 2002 that the new political movements that would reflect the social changes that were taking shape with the start of the century would have “passion for the vote.” In the English-speaking world, we had an advance this year with Loomio, and in our cultural surroundings, with the release of the code of Democracia OS. But things are already moving politically and socially with the founding of Podemos and the debates on how to create mass online participation.
Bet 1 2015 will be the year hundreds of municipalities start up the first systems of citizen co-government using the Internet.
- We began 2014 with mandatory single servings of olive oil, a law that sought transfer rents from small producers and restaurants to oil multinationals. The cherry on top of the electric reform was to make us pay big electric companies for the solar energy we produced ourselves, and we closed 2014 with the AEDE tax and the government saying that “the Government created the legislation just the way the editors of the mass media proposed it.” In 2015, things will be clear even to the most blind: the only future project Big Business is capable of in our day is trying to capture more and more rents through the State. Imagination is only useful for feeding a self-interested nationalism in which, at best, innovation means that multinationals get grants to compete against the young and the innovative.
Bet 2 With this narrative and this political collusion, Big Business will become even more unpopular in 2015. The startup narrative will go from an uninspiring media mantra to being denounced as pure and simple speculation in jobs.
- In contrast, the technological revolution is moving more than ever. If it doesn’t seem to fascinate the major media any more, that’s because what interests them and what they support are technologies that recentralize power, especially economic power. They give the cold shoulder, and sometimes bared fangs, to new technologies and social practices that redistribute power. But, even though there’s no hype, these things are unstoppable. With the pioneers of the direct economy maturing and opening factories in the middle of industrial desertification, the idea of crisis of scale will become part of social debate, and industrial policies driven by citizen participation will focus on new models of production.
- In an environment of alternative reflections and P2P movements, if in 2014 the rise of Syriza and Podemos served to show that a change of scene was starting to happen in Europe, 2015, with the forseeable electoral triumphs of “new Left,” will bring the focus back towards what that scenario allows. The P2P Foundation will go into greater depth with its “Open Coop” model with allies like the CICand its own interpretation of the phyle, initiatives born at the periphery of the Anglo-Saxon world like Enspiral and Sensorica wll turn platform models that serve as an interface between the market and hacker networks and SMEs into a “replicable system.” Meanwhile, our own, dear Anĉovoligo will continue growing and organizing networks and activities after its debut last October.
Bet 4 In 2015, the topic among activists and researchers of P2P and other alternative models will not be theoretical debate, but rather in the practical organization of networks and little transnational “clusters” of cooperatives and P2P collectives with a view to creating a space productive of their own, a phyle. We will likely see — and have — big slip-ups and many attempts that come to nothing, but also the first seeds of a new kind of networks that are able to “take care of” their members beyond sporadic solidarity.