blog: Value-creation & the Commons

The section dedicated to these topics in the Economies of the Commons 3 conference, comprised speakers like Eric Kluitenberg, David Bollier, Tony Ageh, Felix Stalder and Paul Rutten. Their focus was toward the methods or routes of value creation in both the economic and public culture spheres. This text will concentrate on the use of new platforms on behalf of cultural heritage institutions for the creation of social value in the commons framework. In this light, it is chief to mention that all speakers put forward outlooks that must be considered for the sustaining of social (and political) relevance of cultural institutions dealing with content in the commons context.

First of all, Kluitenberg introduced the subject by emphasizing the importance of open information in the present commons circumstance; in fact he went on to stress that it must be considered as a pre- requisite to achieving a flourishing information economy. With that, Bollier stepped in to remark on the input a commons context gives to the valorisation process; namely that though monetary value is not as conventionally measurable as in other spheres of the market, it has definite long-term albeit subtle gains for the public. The resulting fluidity of the model is what makes it so interesting and beneficial in view of the growing interdependent social ecosystem developing today. Stalder then briefly mentioned the importance of presence, thus emphasizing the need for convergence of the commons as a third model and for the public sector to steadily give resources so as to guarantee a better learning experience to the user.

As for Tony Ageh, the great benefit of the commons scheme was in fact put forward also as the possibility of creating communal value through democratization and thus social justice, all stemmed from open access. Here we saw a big boost of the benefits of combining the ever-important public value with the economic markers so important for public-funding decisions. Rutten contributed to the discussion by identifying the end point as necessarily redefining culture as participatory and by further raising the question on the relevance of these considerations towards contemporary production.

Throughout the first afternoon session of the first day, the attendees were invited to reflect on the necessarily changing process of value creation. It was made clear that the transitions towards open frameworks and digitized content must be done considering the huge potential it has for generating and encouraging social public value and, as a result, also for the bettering of living standards and human creation. Notwithstanding that this tremendous feat comes with its own strong obstacles, the vision of the commons is one that can be built, in coordination and through fluid communication in the present and on towards a very near future. The particulars of the out coming model will, without a doubt, be addressed along the way.

by Elena Taylor

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