Generative Interoperability

Designing new ecosystems, based on the interoperability principle

At the launch of this activity, we asked ourselves what role can the principle of interoperability play in modern online ecosystems. Can a rule that was foundational for the early internet today help shift the balance of power in the platform ecosystem?

In recent years, interoperability has been proposed as a policy measure for shifting power away from dominant commercial platforms. In Europe, it is a key part of the Digital Markets Act proposal. If adopted, it will open to some extent the “closed gardens” that are the dominant online platforms.

Through our research on generative interoperability, we want to shift focus away from approaches that treat interoperability mainly as a competitiveness measure. We are interested in defining generative interoperability policies – an approach that treats interoperability as a principle enabling an alternative, decentralized public civic ecosystem. One that creates opportunities for new actors and in particular public institutions and civic initiatives.

We are conducting this study together with the Commons Network, with the support of a grant from the Next Generation Internet Policy Experimentation Fund. This activity ties with two of our core topics: the Future of Open and the Digital Public Space.

We investigated the role of generative interoperability in our interim research report, “Mandated and generative interoperability“, which has been the basis of the report “Generative Interoperability. Building public and civic spaces online”, further exploring the role that interoperability can play in a transformation of the digital environment so that public and civic spaces are more prominent online.

 

Read the report


 

Posts

Re-opening the internet DMA proposal mandates interoperability of messaging services

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 Tracking policy files to advance openness and contribute to a digital public space

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.

Interoperability in current policy files A key design principle of the European data economy

March 11, 2022 by: Francesco Vogelezang
This research note provides a closer look at the EU legislative initiatives implementing data interoperability within the European Strategy for Data.

If you want to give people a seat, you need a table first Jan-Hendrik Passoth on Interoperability

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.

Don’t Call It Alternative, Call It Normal Aik van Eemeren on Interoperability

January 13, 2022 by: Open Future
Aik van Eemeren on Interoperability for Digital Public Space. This is the sixth part of our series of interviews with experts on how to get to public-civic spaces and the role of interoperability in getting there.

Interoperability gives the potential of freedom Jaromil on Interoperability

December 7, 2021 by: Open Future
Jaromil on Interoperability for Digital Public Spaces. This is the fifth part of our series of interviews with experts on how to get to public-civic spaces and the role of interoperability in getting there.

Interoperable to whose benefit? natacha roussel on Interoperability

November 4, 2021 by: Open Future
natacha roussel on Interoperability for Digital Public Spaces. This is the fourth part of our series of interviews with experts on how to get to public-civic spaces and the role of interoperability in getting there.

If you want an interoperable Internet, start with how organizations work Mai Sutton on Interoperability

October 21, 2021 by: Open Future
Mai Sutton on Interoperability for Digital Public Spaces. This is the third part of our series of interviews with experts on how to get to public-civic spaces and the role of interoperability in getting there.

It’s not the technology, it’s the players Geert-Jan Bogaerts on Interoperability for Digital Public Spaces

October 11, 2021 by: Open Future
Geert-Jan Bogaerts on Interoperability for Digital Public Spaces. This is the second part of our series of interviews with experts on how to get to public-civic spaces and the role of interoperability in getting there.

Keep the internet public. The market will thank us later Nathan Schneider on Interoperability

September 27, 2021 by: Open Future
Nathan Schneider on Interoperability for Digital Public Space. This is the first part of our series of interviews with experts on how to get to public-civic spaces and the role of interoperability in getting there.

Interoperability with a Purpose

December 14, 2020 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
Interoperability is a key step to fix the internet and to build digital public infrastructures. Interoperability has arrived on the policy agenda, where it is widely expected that the European Union’s upcoming Digital Services Act contains at least some interoperability measures for so-called gatekeeper platforms.

Publications

Generative Interoperability Building public and civic spaces online

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.

Events

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.