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Digital foundational economy

Calzada, Igor ORCID: 2022. Digital foundational economy. Presented at: WISERD Annual Conference 2022, Swansea, UK, 6-8 July 2022.

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This paper resonates with the ‘Foundational Economy’ and explores a novel approach as the ‘Digital’ Foundational Economy. According to Filippo Barbera and Ian Rees Jones, ‘the Foundational Economy encompasses those goods and services, together with the economic and social relationship that underpin them, that provide the everyday infrastructure of civilized life’ (2020, 1). Consequently, the ‘Digital’ Foundational Economy applies to the digital sphere principles of the Foundational Economy by asking whether it is possible to alter existing data governance extractivist models to incentivise the emergence of platform co-operatives and data co-operatives, thereby protecting pandemic citizens’ labour and digital rights (Calzada, 2021a). Never before has the crucial role that co-operative organisational forms – currently reignited and reinforced through updated reformist paradigms such as the ‘Foundational Economy’ paradigm – play in sustaining the social fabric of communities, and societies, and economies become so visible to a broad public, nor has the need for such organisational forms ever been more evident. In Wales, in the post-COVID-era, neighbourhoods, associations, co-operatives, and civic groups have self-organised to help guarantee access to life-saving resources such as food, health services, IT equipment, clothes, shelter, and psychological support to those in need. In the Welsh city-regional context, particularly being articulated from Cardiff, the ‘Digital Foundational Economy’ paradigm could be seen and adopted the form of a socio-economic response to neoliberal policies is a potential driver for nation-state rescaling by creating a new emerging regime called Metropolitan Citizenship regime (Calzada, 2021b). This emerging regime has transformed the policy context in the Cardiff City Region since the elections in May 2021 and is tied to proposals to establish Radical Federalism (Barbera & Jones, 2020; RF, 2020; Wyn Jones & Larner, 2020), which aims to empower city-regional communities by pushing ahead a metropolitan citizenship agenda from Cardiff as a counter-reaction to the side effects of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic (Johnston et al, 2018; Rodríguez-Pose, 2018). Briefly, Metropolitan Citizenship regime socio-economically re-empowers city-regional communities through a combination of foundational thinking, radical federalism, and growth in data co-operatives. In this context, and stemming directly from the ‘Digital Foundational Economy, data co-operatives, which might be shaped by those who need them most and grounded in the history and practices of local communities would be a potential vehicle to these changes in Cardiff and beyond within Wales. The paper will suggest two open research questions to spark a constructive debate around the ‘Digital Foundational Economy’ research and policy agendas stemming from the WP ‘New Emerging Citizenship Regimes’: 1.How can Metropolitan Citizenship in Cardiff nurture the creation of platform and data co-operatives (Calzada, 2020; Scholz & Calzada, 2020) to establish a socio-economic alternative (based on Digital Foundational Economy and driven by Radical Federalism) to the UK central government? 2.Can a Metropolitan Citizenship encourage city-regional dynamics based on data ecosystems grounded at the regional level and foster rescaling through an intensive digital-policy agenda empowering local communities through data donation and altruism (Welsh Government, 2021; CU, 2018; Wales Data Nation Accelerator, 2020)?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HS Societies secret benevolent etc
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 09:35

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