Samer Hassan: Towards a New Collaborative Economy: Decentralizing Power and Value with Blockchain


Monday, September 10, 2018, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Maxwell Dworkin 119

Towards a New Collaborative Economy: Decentralizing Power and Value with Blockchain

Today's Collaborative Economy relies on centralized hubs for data collection, where communities are disempowered, and economic profits are concentrated in the owners of the infrastructure. In this talk, Samer Hassan, researcher at Berkman Klein Center at Harvard and UCM in Madrid, will present P2P Models: an EU-funded 1.5M€ 5-year interdisciplinary research project to build Blockchain-powered organizations which are decentralized, democratic and economically sustainable, in order to boost a new type of Collaborative Economy. The project has three legs:

- Infrastructure: To provide a software framework to build decentralized infrastructure for Collaborative Economy organizations, providing building blocks to build agent-mediated "Decentralized Autonomous Organizations" (DAOs). The idea is to replace centralized platforms where a single owner of the infrastructure has absolute control.  

- Governance: To enable democratic-by-design models of governance for communities, whose rules are, at least partially, encoded in the software to ensure higher levels of equality and inclusion. We hope to facilitate the processes of commons-oriented communities, co-designing pilots with them. 

- Economics: To enable value distribution models which are not solely based on markets, exploring forms of improving the economic sustainability of both individual contributors and organizations.

Samer Hassan is an activist, researcher and teacher, Faculty Associate in the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and Associate Professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain. His background combines Computer Science, Social Sciences and Artificial Intelligence.

Hassan's focus is on decentralized collaboration. Specifically, he is passionate about how to build free/open source privacy-aware decentralized systems (e.g. blockchain) that may facilitate the sustainability of collaborative communities and social movements (from the Commons paradigm).