Hello, welcome to our newsletter
Welcome to the first issue of the SDEPS monthly newsletter - thanks for signing up!
We are a European coalition of organizations and initiatives united in the desire to build a Shared Digital European Public Sphere – SDEPS. We share the belief that there is a need for public digital infrastructures based on democratic values providing alternatives to the existing commercially-driven Internet. We are committed to creating digital public spaces aligned with our shared values as Europeans by putting the Shared Digital European Public Sphere high on the EU policy agenda.
Through this monthly bulletin, we will share insights, update you on our activities and share our comments on policy developments. We look forward to also receiving your thoughts and feedback.
The time for Europe to invest in digital public infrastructure is now: the networks are in place, the prototypes are there, the ambition is clear. What we need now is the political will to create digital public spaces that offer a credible vision beyond narrow commercial interests.
We have a new website!
We have revamped the SDEPS website to better communicate our initiatives and actions to create digital public spaces. Built on Ghost, the website allows us to commit even more to a decentralized information ecosystem and to retain control on the content we publish - without relying on platform feeds and streams. It reports on SDEPS’ outputs, gives an overview of the coalition members, explains the reasons why we decided to build this coalition, and includes a library of some foundational documents.
We invite you to explore this new website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and we are also keen to hear your feedback - please get in touch!
Blog Series: Towards Online Public Spaces
The blog series on the role of Interoperability for Digital Public Space, co-produced by Commons Network and Open Future, just came to an end. The series investigated ways to create public-civic spaces online and transform the Internet into something less exploitative - and more social and generative. The blog was conceived as a series of dialogues with experts and activists: Nathan Schneider, Geert-Jan Bogaerts, Mai Sutton, natacha roussel, Jaromil, Aik van Eemeren and Jan-Hendrik Passoth.
EU’s steps towards Digital Public Spaces
Open Future has been tracking the policy developments around the possible creation of EU Digital Public Spaces. On one hand, Alek Tarkowski notes how the Declaration of Digital Principles, despite introducing the concept of “participation in the digital public space’, lacks bold societal objectives to build a Digital Public Space; on another hand, Paul Keller is very fond of France’s intention of use its presidency to propose a European Initiative for the Digital Commons to strengthen EU’s digital sovereignty.
EU Policy Forum: Initiative for EU Public Spaces
Back in November 2021, together with the European Cultural Foundation and NESTA, SDEPS co-hosted the EU Policy Forum: Initiative for EU Public Spaces in Brussels. The Forum put a spotlight on the digital public space gap in Europe and it served as a catalyst for discussing how to imagine and build a digital public space with EU policy makers, media and CSOs representatives while setting the ground for SDEPS developments. Kristina Petrasova (Beeld en Geluid) reports on the event here.
Ethical Dilemma Cafe
During the 2 days, the fully working cafe will contain workshops, talks and many interventions. All designed to help the public think about what they do every day online. Before entering the café, visitors will be confronted with a EULA warning them that their personal data to the 'café' will be swapped for free tea, coffee and more.