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June 5 @ 09:00 17:00

NGI Commons Workshop 2024: Co-Creating Digital Commons Priorities for Europe’s Digital Decade

Date: 5 June 2024 (before PublicSpaces Conference 2024)
Location: Tolhuistuin | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Have you ever thought in detail about what a more open Internet might look like? Have you wondered how governments might work more in the open alongside the rest of society? Or perhaps you’ve considered what it might look like to more intentionally co-create Europe’s digital future by developing shared, public interest digital resources and infrastructures?

If so, the NGI Commons project would like to invite you to join a unique one-day workshop in Amsterdam, in the lead up to the PublicSpaces Conference 2024. This exploratory workshop will inform participants about what digital commons are and their increasing relevance in the European digital policy landscape, as well as work with attendees to co-create priorities for digital commons policymaking during the rest of Europe’s digital decade. The event will also raise awareness around opportunities for funding for digital commons projects in the Next Generation Internet (NGI) ecosystem.

The workshop is an input into the research and policy work of the NGI Commons Initiative, with the outputs being summarized in a detailed policy report that will inform future activities of the initiative. In the morning, we will catch participants up to speed on digital commons policies, the Next Generation Internet (NGI) Initiative, and the state of the digital commons ecosystem through interactive presentations and seminars. In the afternoon, we will engage participants to brainstorm priorities, topics, and technologies that could be of relevance to future digital commons policymaking in the EU.

Throughout the day, we will consider questions like:

  1. Which ongoing initiatives are underway in Europe that seek to impact the policy landscape for digital commons?
  2. Which European values and principles are key to uphold through new policies around digital commons?
  3. What should the future of the digital commons landscape look like in Europe and how might that differ according to the needs of different groups (e.g., national governments, civil society, private sector, development partners, etc)?

This workshop will take place in-person at Tolhuistuin on 5 June from 09:00-17:00 in Amsterdam. We hope that participants will also take the opportunity to join us in Amsterdam at the PublicSpaces Conference 2024, which is happening in the two days after the workshop.


9:00-9:30 | Breakfast and Registration

9:30-9:40 | Event Opening and Introduction to NGI Commons
Presented by Monique Calisti, Martel Innovate, and Nicholas Gates, OpenForum Europe
The workshop will be opened by the consortium members of NGI Commons and feature an introduction from Monique Calisti, the CEO of Martel Innovate and Project Coordinator for NGI Commons. Monique will introduce the project to a broader audience and highlight its goals and outcomes, as well as preview what is to come from the workshop.

9:40-10:00 | Introduction from the European Commission
Presented by Jean-Luc Dorel, European Commission
This presentation will invite the European Commission, project sponsors for NGI Commons, to present their view on the goals and outcomes of the NGI Commons project, as well as discuss expectations and objectives for the project over its three year lifecycle. It will also situate NGI Commons in the broader context of the Next Generation Internet initiative and the broader ecosystem of NGI projects that the Commission supports.

10:00-10:15 | Introduction to the Digital Commons EDIC
Moderated by Lieke van Schouwenburg, Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties
This presentation will invite members of the European Digital Infrastructure Consortium (EDIC) to discuss the emerging opportunity for digital commons funding in Europe by presenting the view of the EDIC and its role in the broader digital commons ecosystem. In doing so, it will present the goals and outcomes of the EDIC over its project lifecycle and discuss the potential impact on members and beneficiaries.

10:15-10:45 | Introduction to the European Digital Commons Landscape
Presented by Jan Krewer and Paul Keller, Open Future Foundation
This presentation will be led by Open Future Foundation, consortium members of NGI Commons, and will briefly survey the history of digital commons policymaking in Europe, from earliest discussions in academic and policy circles all the way up to the recent attention provided by France’s EU Presidency in 2022 and the European Commission. It will discuss the consensus definition of digital commons put forth by the French Presidency and unpack how the understanding of digital commons differs across European Member States and public administrations, as well as survey what the role of businesses and civil society has been to date. It will conclude by presenting an initial taxonomy of digital commons policies and inviting brief reflections from the audience.

10:45-11:45 | Workshop #1: What Do We Mean When We Talk about Digital Commons?
Moderated by Valérian Guillier and Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay, CNRS
This workshop will be moderated by Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), consortium members of NGI Commons, to invite feedback on research to date. CNRS will present an overview of the work done to date on conceptualizing and operationalizing a definition of digital commons which is useful for evaluation. The session will unpack some of the common definitions of digital commons and present the emerging perspective of consortium partners, as well as overview the methodology and criteria for evaluation developed to date. It will also facilitate discussion with the audience, inviting perspectives on the technical, governance, and values-laden discussions inherent in defining digital commons

11:45-12:00 | Coffee Break

12:00-13:00 | Lightning Talks: European Digital Commons Initiatives
Moderated by Astor Nummelin Carlberg, OpenForum Europe
This session will be moderated by Astor Nummelin Carlberg of OpenForum Europe, consortium members of NGI Commons, and will invite attendees to present perspectives from their existing initiatives and communities doing work in this space. It will include 6x presentations of about 5-6 minutes each, with several minutes for Q&A from the audience. (NOTE: If you would like to present, please get in touch with Nicholas Gates at nicholas@openforumeurope.org.)

13:00-13:45 | Lunch Break

13:45-14:45 | Workshop #2: Discussion of Criteria for Evaluating Leverage Effect of NGI Funding
Moderated by Cailean Osborne, Linux Foundation Europe
This workshop will be moderated by Linux Foundation Europe, consortium members of NGI Commons, to invite feedback on research to date. LF Europe will present and discuss plans to research the “leverage effect” of NGI funding by providing a background on NGI funding, discussing the methodology currently being deployed, and presenting the selection criteria for choosing NGI funded projects. The session will gather input on refining the criteria, brainstorm/refine impact metrics, and highlight emerging use cases from the digital commons ecosystem. It will also facilitate discussion with the audience, gathering ideas for additional elements to include and determining next steps for moving the research forward.

14:45-15:00 | Coffee Break

15:00-16:15 | Brainstorming #1: Mapping Priorities for Digital and Internet Commons
Moderated by Nicholas Gates (OpenForum Europe), Jan Krewer (Open Future), Cailean Osborne (Linux Foundation Europe), Valérian Guillier (CNRS)
This session will be a facilitated brainstorming exercise which will invite participants to share their perspectives, beliefs, opinions, and priorities for digital commons policymaking in Europe. Participants will be broken into four groups.

16:15-16:45 | Brainstorming #2: Identifying Priorities for Digital and Internet Commons
Moderated by Nicholas Gates (OpenForum Europe), Jan Krewer (Open Future)
This session will be a synthesis exercise which will help bring the brainstorming outcomes together as part of a wrap-up exercise, mapping those priorities to different parts of the digital commons agenda. Participants will hear summarized findings from the moderators, as well be invited to provide additional clarifications and reflections

16:45-17:00 | Wrap-Up and Conclusion
Presented by Monique Calisti, Martel Innovate, Nicholas Gates and Astor Nummelin Carlberg, OpenForum Europe
This session will feature a final thank-you from OpenForum Europe on behalf of all the workshop facilitators, as well as invite final words from the European Commission and Project Coordinator Monique Calisti.

NGICommons Workshop 2024: 5 June