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SDEPS Newsletter #2

The second issue of SDEPS's newsletter, including updates from the past weeks and glimpses of what is happening in the upcoming ones
SDEPS Newsletter #2
Photo by Patrick Tomasso / Unsplash

Welcome to the second issue of our Newsletter, where we update you on what the SDEPS coalition has been up to in the past month - and what’s next. We will be attending different events in the upcoming weeks, and we hope to meet you there!


Towards Public Digital Infrastructure: A proposed governance model

On today’s internet, power is concentrated in the hands of a handful of actors who increasingly control what we read and what we see. The tendency tends to be towards ever more concentration, both within and across layers of the technology stack.

In her latest report Towards Public Digital Infrastructure: A proposed governance model, Katja Bego, principal investigator at NGI Forward, outlines how Europe should provide an alternative vision to these top-down approaches and support Public Digital Infrastructure by:

  1. Create an ecosystem of alternatives through collaborative interoperability and open protocols.
  2. Launch a Public Tech Fund.
  3. Support data commons and identity.

A conversation about generative interoperability

On 22 March, Sophie Bloemen (Commons Network) and Alek Tarkowski (Open Future) launched the co-authored report Generative Interoperability. Building online public and civic spaces in an online conversation with Amandine Le Pape (COO and co-founder of Element, co-founder and Guardian of the Matrix Foundation) and Ian Brown (visiting CyberBRICS Professor at FGV Law School). A key finding of the conversation was that interoperability should be a core principle for Europe’s Digital Decade. Not just as a market-fixing tool, but also as a principle that supports societal objectives. You can watch the recording of the conversation here.

Building Digital Spaces in the public interest at Mozfest

On 11 March, Leonieke Verhoog (PublicSpaces), Sander van der Waal (Waag), among others, held the session Building digital spaces in the public interest - Where we are and how to move forward at MozFest 2022. The session served to showcase some projects that work on (pieces of) digital public spaces and provided opportunities to build new connections in a way to make it possible to move forward more coherently and powerfully towards building digital spaces in the public interest.

Still at Mozfest 2022, Ian Forrester (aka Cubicgarden) hosted an open discussion about the public values of new technologies like the potential of a Metaverse, investigating whether they serve a greater purpose or only benefit the privileged few.


Ethical Dilemma Cafè

BBC R&D and Mozilla Foundation will be exploring data ethical dilemmas at a 2-day Cafe in Manchester on 26-27 April 2022.

During the 2 days, the fully working cafe will contain workshops, talks and many interventions. All designed to help the public think about what they do every day online. Before entering the café, visitors will be confronted with a EULA warning them that their personal data to the 'café' will be swapped for free tea, coffee and more.

The Ethical Dilemma Cafe concept is coming to other cities and countries in the world in the future!

PublicSpaces Conference

The second PublicSpaces Conference will take place on 17-18 May in Amsterdam! Many professionals, experts, politicians and policymakers from all over Europe will join forces to work on a digital ecosystem based on public values. The full program will be available soon, and you can register here.

CBA Labs & Conference

The Cultural Broadcasting Archive (CBA) is organizing a series of events running on 23-28 May in Linz, Austria, to explore and expand technology for community-based exchange and publication.

With collaborative hacking projects, CBA wants to push forward a common base for a European Cultural Backbone for community media and their surrounding media spheres.

The unconference-style event will feature sessions, workshops and co-creation labs.