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The role of platforms, commons and fablabs


10:30 - 12:10


  • Emilija STOJMENOVA DUH: Researcher Ljubljana University, Manager of 4P Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia and Fablab Network Slovenia will contribute on how the digital commons could be translated by local production in fablabs and platform connectivity amongst citizens.

  •  @Michel Bauwens: Founder of P2P Foundation will contribute on the role of commons for 3D printing, sharing of data, protocols and software.Currently active for SMart.
  •  @Ivonne Jansen-Ding: Member of Code for NL will contribute on the role of platforms to match demand and supply of volunteers (and other relevant services) + links made between several European civil society initiatives.


As a result of our collection of best practices from Social Economy and civil society in the fight against the Corona virus, we decided to share some of them in a first on-line session.

These contributions were translated in some online insights on how the quick response solutions were locally deployed. We have selected 3 related topics and contributors.

Points of discussion

Discussion overviewRecording time slots


Short description of our activities, with links: 

  • Needs and Priorities of the Municipalities: An interactive tool to visualise the priorities on the Slovenian municipalities in terms of digitalisation. The tool is available at: Here it can be seen what areas of digitalisation are priorities for which municipalities, for example - energy, mobility, health, etc. The tool enables comparison between more municipalities, and also grouping by size of citizens. The project was funded by the Ministry of Public Administration. The tool will be used to prepare measures and policies to fund the digitalisation activities in the municipalities. To collect the data we have produced a questionnaire and would be happy to share it with anyone who is interested in. 

  • A web tool Pomoč na Dlani (Helping Hand): We developed a tool to connect people who need help, such as elderly people, who need food or pharmacies, or people, who need child care, with people and organisations who offer this help for free. We have developed this tool in collaboration with the Association of Municipalities of Slovenia, who offered contacts at Slovenian Municipalities. This way, if an elder person doesn’t know how to use web platform, can only call the contact, and the person on the other side, will enter the information in his/her favour. This is how we made one-stop-shop for all the help seekers and help givers.  The tool is available at:

  • Remote council meeting support: Together with the Association of Municipalities, we have developed a service - support the Municipalities and their public administrators in their remote meetings. We offer both digital, but also legal support. We have prepared a list of tools that can be used for remote collaboration. The list is available at: We are also organising webinars with Q&A sections:



Ivonne gave a crash introduction in the many open-source civic tech/tools that are developed and are under development in NL and beyond, mainly driven by Code for NL. Also the specific action taken up by Code for NL foundation and how it responded quickly to COVID19.

Some examples of platform development and community knowledge was shared, all collected via their slack channel. A community based online platform that designs solutions and acts trough open data management. Ivonne manages the volunteers and maps their skills to align them with certain projects. 99% of the projects are open source.


  • A corona status tool that collects data sources and management to visualise the development and predict evolution of the corona outbreak. This was developed with a worldwide community.
  • Reporting tool for health condition, potential illness and symptoms. Also Coronaconnect and covidradar were similar tools that are currently aligning the data via slack.
  • A platform to support business and entrepreneurs to cover loss of income financially (by the government) was not working well because every municipality had to build its own interface and platform. Currently a new version is designed by an open source firm and attempts are done to open it for all municipalities and have a mainstreamed version.
  • A coding community of volunteers is listed to code any application or interface. Individuals are mapped by competence, experience and time to offer
  • Start-up community works quite well and fast, as they have usually the private or commercial financial support. This seems to be harder for the open source community and tools used or applied by the goverment. This is where Codefor NL wants to help.
  • Tracker for local response in the Corona Crisis.

Other Links:


Michel highlighted some issues such as the huge defragmentation of many actions and initiatives and how to solve these issues.

The Peer2peer dynamics and digital platforms allow to scale collaboration globally.

  1. The open source community philosophy started some 10-15 years and is much growing.
  2. A second wave was the development of local initiatives (citizens' oriented and bottom-up) and usually urban.
  3. The third wave is local production of local products by globally shared sources, codes and manuals.

When seeing the several stages of community action are more and more and self-organised, for example trough the creation of open source foundation and management of infrastructure of cooperation (governance models are implemented), well known are the FLOSS foundations. A next step is the addition of entrepreneurial coalitions around these commons, for example hat are organised around shared resources (so no protected or patents), such as services and cooperative models. In 2011 it was estimated 1/6 of US GDP was created by such shared resources.

The merit of these type of communities is rapid mobilisation, the issues they usually have is difficult to consolidate and scaling as many of the commons are not well institutionalised. They exist rather 'remote online' and isolated from governments.

Since the Corona crisis these communities are starting to act and step in where institutions are failing (lack of supply chains, austerity in medical provisions, etc.). Michel collected many of them trough a guideThe Bologna regulation (250 cities have a protocol that allows any civil group to make a COVID19 proposal via a city lab or commons lab + a verification mechanism). A city organises now a "quintuple helix" multi stakeholder support structure (resources provided are: space, money, expert, time, media and communication etc). This is a key game-changer: for the first time there a commons approach is regulated and institutionalised.

The role of cities might be also crucial to avoid unnecessary duplication and where market players are integrated. Therefore the open source community should be aligned. The notion of 'protocol coops' is important; a coop (like gitlab) where all the protocols for one function come together. A city can put these together: 'public' 'private' 'commons' cooperation (see also the 4P DIH from Emilija), not only to act in crisis but also as a general local economic regeneration.

To prepare for a next crisis, this institutionalisation is key to further establish the role of a civic action and quick response locally to any shock. Michel highlights three tools that might help on global level:

  1. contributive accounting (
  2. Flow accounting: Resources, Events, Agents (ecosystem accounting), you cannot hide externalities. Blockchain is very helpful tool for this type of accounting.
  3. Reporting.3.0. that open-ups matter an energy: availabilities of resources.



Covid-19 Industrial Clusters Response Portal:

This webpage supports the efforts of industrial clusters to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemic in Europe. Over 1100 offers from companies were already channelled to the European Commission via clusters with the support from the European Cluster Alliance.

00:00 - 00:26

00:26 - 00:54

00:54 - end.

Links and contributions by participants 

Open Doc made by some participants to make notes and links

Next session: Tuesday 8/4 10:30. More info soon.