#digital public space

Our goal is to advance policies that re-design the internet as a public space. Seeing it as a Digital Public Space can become the foundation for creating an online environment that is not driven purely by commercial logic.

The digital space is not just a marketplace, but our whole society, experiencing a digital transformation. It should not be reduced to a space where only market dynamics rule. Unfortunately, European digital policies are still based on this basic policy vision, introduced over a decade ago. Instead, we need to design an internet where we can exercise our rights as citizens.

Europe’s digital ambition must reach beyond the role of global regulator. It is not enough to aspire to regulate Big Tech, we must also actively build alternatives and design ecosystems that support them. A European Digital Public Space, built on democratic values and public digital infrastructures, can be the cornerstone of such an ecosystem.



The Data Commons are a key enabler of Europe’s digital transformation

October 14, 2022 by: Open Future
The Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) published a policy brief underpinning how a robust framework for B2G data sharing is a precondition for ensuring that public institutions and policymakers can fulfill their mandates.

The European Media Freedom Act fails to support public interest alternatives to platforms

October 6, 2022 by: Zuzanna Warso
The EC has proposed a new regulation to safeguard media independence and plurality in the EU. Unfortunately, the European Media Freedom Act fails to support public interest-driven alternatives to commercial platforms.

French Presidency report: Digital Commons are key to Europe’s digital sovereignty

July 7, 2022 by: Paul Keller
This new report "Towards a sovereign digital infrastructure of Commons" published by the French Council presidency makes a powerful argument for putting digital commons at the heart of efforts to build sovereign digital infrastructures.

Digital commons are a pillar of European digital sovereignty

June 21, 2022 by: Paul Keller
We have teamed up with a number of organizations working on building Digital Commons and published an op-ed encouraging French and European policy makers to put Digital Commons at the center of the EU’s digital strategy. 

Meet Zuzanna Warso, the new Director of Research

June 9, 2022 by: Open Future
Zuzanna Warso is the Director of Research at Open Future. In this role, she will manage all the research activities, including further developing our research agenda and our fellowship program.

Data Act impact assessment fails to grasp societal value of data

April 28, 2022 by: Alek Tarkowski
Alek finds that the impact of the proposed Data Act was assessed based solely on economic cost-benefit analysis. Important provisions on Business-to-Government (B2G) data sharing were evaluated without any methods for assessing societal value.

Truly public spaces are not for sale

April 15, 2022 by: Paul Keller
The problem with Elon Musk's bid to take over Twitter is not so much that he is turning a public company private, but that it illustrates that having public spaces run by companies is a bad idea no matter how the company is structured.

Re-opening the internet

March 25, 2022 by: Alek Tarkowski
The final DMA proposal mandates that messaging services meeting the definition of "large gatekeeper platforms" will need to become interoperable. As a result, these key types of services will shift from a collection of “walled gardens” controlled by their owners to a connected — more open — ecosystem.

Introducing our Policy Observatory

March 15, 2022 by: Open Future
We are launching a Policy Observatory to track the policy files that have the potential to advance openness and to contribute to a digital public space, maximizing the societal benefits of shared data, knowledge and culture.

Vive les biens communs numériques!

February 11, 2022 by: Paul Keller
France is promoting a very specific approach to digital sovereignty by stressing the importance of the Digital Commons as one of its building blocks and declaring the intention to use its presidency to propose a European Initiative for Digital Commons.

If you want to give people a seat, you need a table first

February 9, 2022 by: Open Future
Jan-Hendrik Passoth on Interoperability for Digital Public Space. This is the seventh part of our series of interviews with experts on how to get to public-civic spaces and the role of interoperability in getting there.


Generative Interoperability

March 11, 2022 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
The report "Generative Interoperability: Building public and civic spaces online" co-authored with Commons Network, proposes to treat interoperability as a policy principle that supports the creation of new public-civic digital spaces.

Digital Public Space – A missing policy frame for shaping Europe’s digital future

September 29, 2021 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
This article is Open Future's contribution to Building a European Digital Public Space - Strategies for taking back control from Big Tech platforms, a book edited by Aleksander Baratsits and Published by iRights Media in November 2021

A Vision for a Shared Digital Europe

April 12, 2019 by: Paul Keller et al.
The Vision for a Shared Digital Europe is a policy frame that can guide policymakers and civil society organisations involved with digital policymaking in the direction of a more equitable and democratic digital environment.


June 24, 2022

AI Infrastructures for Civil Society and the Arts

June 20, 2022
On Friday 24 June we participated in a Workshop on AI Infrastructures for Civil Society and the Arts organized by the Hardware Medienkunst Verein. Paul's intervention was centered on the possibility of Common Data Spaces that can nurture artistic practices and civil society activism. 
May 17, 2022

The EU digital strategy: how it started, how it’s going and what is missing

May 11, 2022
On 17 May 2022, at PublicSpace Conference #2, Open Future hosted a session on the state of affairs of EU digital policy-making halfway through the term of the current European Commission.
March 22, 2022

A conversation about Inter­operability and building digital public spaces

March 11, 2022
On 22 March at 15 CET Alek discussed with Sophie Bloemen, Amandine Le Pape and Ian Brown the role that interoperability can play in a transformation of the digital environment towards more public-civic spaces.
November 17, 2021

Policy Forum: Initiative for European Public Space

August 30, 2021
Public conversation: How can EU policy foster digital European public spaces?