#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 a 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 launch of Threads is an opportunity for public institutions to embrace the fediverse

July 6, 2023 by: Paul Keller
Meta's entry into the space and the fact that they have chosen to be interoperable with the existing fediverse could be a good thing, as it paves the way for public institutions to enter the space and reduce their dependence on private communication platforms.

Civil Society Statement on Democratic Digital Infrastructure

June 5, 2023 by: Open Future
Today, together with more than 40 civil society organizations, we released a Statement on Democratic Digital Infrastructure. In the statement, we call on the EU and Member States to support alternatives to commercial digital infrastructure and promote interoperable, transparent digital spaces that respect privacy, democratic governance, and net neutrality by creating a European Public Digital Infrastructure Fund. 

Open Future joins EDRI as a full member

May 16, 2023 by: Open Future
Last weekend, EDRI's general assembly in Belgrade unanimously approved our application for EDRi membership. This membership is a crucial element of our strategy to forge connections between Digital Rights and Access to Knowledge movements

Small is beautiful, but can it scale?

April 20, 2023 by: Paul Keller
The Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure published the Three-Legged Stool manifesto, outlining three pillars for building digital public infrastructure.

The Path to the Digital Decade creates room for collaboration to build Digital Public Space

January 3, 2023 by: Zuzanna Warso
The 2030 Policy Programme 'Path to the Digital Decade' allows Member States to collaborate in developing the services and platforms that are essential building blocks of Digital Public Space.

Draft white paper on a European Public Digital Infrastructure Fund

December 16, 2022 by: Paul Keller
Today, as a request for comments, we publish a white paper proposing a European Public Digital Infrastructure Fund to build Digital Public Spaces in Europe.

Priorities to Make the Fediverse Sustainable

December 12, 2022 by: Open Future
The migration from Twitter to Mastodon offers a unique opportunity to build digital public space. In an article in Tech Policy Press, Alek Tarkowski points to the obstacles to materializing such an opportunity and proposes ways to overcome them.

Open Future Fellowship 2023

December 6, 2022 by: Open Future
We are looking for two Fellows to contribute to our work on advancing digital public space and designing the future of open. The application submission deadline is 31 December 2022.

A right to participation in the Digital Public Space?

December 2, 2022 by: Zuzanna Warso
The European Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles for the Digital Decade is a good starting point for directing the EU Digital Strategy's emphasis toward societal goals, but an action plan to fulfill these promises is still lacking, says Zuzanna Warso.

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.


Regulatory requirements for the European Public Digital Infrastructure Fund

September 21, 2023 by: Krzysztof Siewicz
In the paper, Krzysztof investigates the characteristics of initiatives the Fund should support to create a solid foundation for the operation of the digital public space(s). He also looks into existing funding sources and how they could be used to support public digital infrastructure.

The Limits of the Fair Share Debate

April 11, 2023 by: Zuzanna Warso
This policy brief contributes to the discussion about the importance of maintaining an open internet. It posits that the struggle to maintain an unfettered exchange of information online is taking place not just at the network level but also within the domain of internet platforms and in the space occupied by content and application providers.

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 20, 2023

Protocols, standards and ecosystems

June 22, 2023
Together with the critical infrastructure lab, we brought together 25 European experts working on interoperability, standards governance and identity protocols.
June 27, 2023

Public Spaces Conference 2023

June 19, 2023
The Public Spaces Conference 2023 is organized jointly by us, PublicSpaces, and Waag Futurelab. It will take place on 27 and 28 of June in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
April 13, 2023

Critical Infrastructure Lab launch: What should the next European Commission do?

April 14, 2023
At the Critical Infrastructure Lab launch event in Amsterdam, we hosted a workshop on “Imagining the future: what should the next European Commission do”.
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?