Photo by Annet Neijmeijer

In a nutshell:

  • we build a software ecosystem that’s based on our values and that provides its users with alternatives to the Silicon Valley based apps and websites.
  • we build a platform for change, that strengthens awareness of public values in the use of the internet and supports the needs of the commons, without aiming for profit.

Currently, PublicSpaces is working on:

  1. Dialog – completely encrypted end-to-end dialog, based on Signal.
  2. Login and sign-on – based on IRMA.
  3. Commenting and discussion – based on ISSO.
  4. Content sharing multimedia-platform – based on Peertube.

The coalition does not do all that by itself. We engage as many interested parties as possible; we will work with the community of open source software developers. And as you can derive from the shopping-list above, we leverage existing alternatives that are already in use. These will be vetted against our values, and if found to be a good fit, we will breng them to our audience. In the Netherlands alone, we have a reach of 5 to 7 million people. And we’re hard at work to make this a European effort.

You can read about our roadmap for development here.

In the end, our goal is to solve the problem that we have made our online lives dependent on solutions that take care of shareholders instead of us, their users. The software ecosystem will provide, among others, alternative systems for user log in and sign-on, for content management, for the rating and reputation systems that we use online, for recommendations, and for the social interactions that we have.

As public organizations, we have a strong incentive to work on this problem: we have a legal obligation to reach as many people as possible, but to do that, we are forced to use Facebook and YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. Sometimes we need to share data with companies like Google or Amazon. This is impossible to realign with our main goal, which is to serve the public interest.

In the meantime, we will work tirelessly to get as many other people and organizations as possible on board. Our success depends on one thing only: can we build a movement strong enough to support our mission? Advocacy and awareness are crucial to this success.

Interested in joining us? Reach out to us!