Brown Bag on 'Can Blockchain Facilitate the Governance of Commons-oriented Communities?' -- with Samer Hassan


Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 3:00pm to 4:30pm


1 Brattle, 4th floor, suite 470, Harvard Kennedy School

Samer Hassan joins digital HKS for a brown bag entitled, Can Blockchain Facilitate the Governance of Commons-oriented Communities? In this talk, he will explore the potential of blockchain to facilitate governance and work of commons-oriented communities.

Samer Hassan (bio)
Faculty Associate, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society (Harvard University)
Associate Professor, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain)

Presentation title:
Can Blockchain Facilitate the Governance of Commons-oriented Communities?

Presentation summary:
Blockchain’s hype has brought up many narratives around its potentials — narratives which are typically techno-deterministic, market-driven and follow a Sillicon Valley perspective. However, what can blockchain bring to the commons-oriented communities, if anything? How the issues around algorithmic governance, infrastructure control, transparency, trust, or tokenization, may affect these communities? Can these blockchain features help — or hinder — the communities governance? In this talk, Samer Hassan will explore the potentials of blockchain to facilitate the work of these communities. He will explain Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom’s 8 Principles for Managing A Commons, and analyze how blockchain can contribute to each of them.

This is part of his team work in P2P Models, a EU-funded large project to build decentralized, democratic and economically sustainable organizations for the collaborative economy.

About Samer Hassan
Samer Hassan is an activist and researcher, Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society (Harvard University) and Associate Professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain).

Focused on decentralized collaboration, he received a 1.5M€ ERC grant to build blockchain-based democratic and economically sustainable organizations for the collaborative economy (“P2P Models” project). Coming from a multidisciplinary background in Computer Science and Social Sciences, he has 50+ publications in those fields. In the EU-funded P2Pvalue project, he coordinated building decentralized free/open source web-tools for collaborative communities and social movements, such as SwellRTand Jetpad. He’s an accredited grassroots facilitator and has experience in multiple communities and grassroots initiatives.

His research interests include the Collaborative Economy, Commons-based peer production, decentralized architectures, blockchain-based Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, online communities, grassroots social movements & cyberethics.

Follow Samer on Twitter: @samerP2P
Learn more about Samer's research: website

For more information please contact Vanessa Rhinesmith