We’re imagining, studying, and building public spaces and public goods on the internet.

This One Weird Trick for a Changing Society with Gal Beckerman Reimagining the Internet

Why do social movements organizing online that spawn huge protests so rarely create radical change like movements of the past? Gal Beckerman argues that it's all about The Quiet Before, a sustained discourse where activists can organize and deliberate about how to enact the change they want to see. This week on Reimagining, Gal walks us through his new book, a history of radical movements.

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Reimagining the Internet.

Read the latest articles written by members of the Initiative team.

What is Digital Public Infrastructure?

The Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure studies, imagines and builds a new, more resilient Internet for the public good; an Internet guided by the values of users and their communities rather than those of corporations and investors.

What is Digital Public Infrastructure?
The Internet today consists of what could be described as accidental public infrastructure, including social media platforms like Facebook, advertising marketplaces like Google AdSense, or music distribution networks like Spotify. These infrastructures are only public insofar as they are open to the public and therefore host an increasing proportion of our civic life.They often exploit the private data of their users while restricting those users from contributing meaningfully to platform governance. 

At iDPI, we are building an internet full of spaces that are intentionally public, with economics and governance driven by their users. We aim to accomplish this by learning from successful examples of user-driven and user-governed online spaces as well as experimentations in building community-driven spaces at a small scale.

Can such spaces foster the accountability, safety, and stability needed to shape a healthy online public sphere? Can they connect users across divides of identity and ideology? Can they not only host communities that gather both online and offline, but help sustain those communities?

The ideas that animate iDPI have been outlined in a set of academic papers and articles in the popular press:

The Case for Digital Public Infrastructure
Building a More Honest Internet
What is Digital Public Infrastructure?

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