Our Work

Research, sense-making, and policy interventions to strengthen the Digital Commons

Open Future develops new, commons-driven approaches to openness that maximize the societal benefits of shared data, knowledge, and culture. Our work explores the challenges facing the digital world not only now but also in the years to come.

We do this to advance public policies and civil society strategies that address these challenges today. We build on our research, knowledge, and experience to work with the EU institutions and civil society and ensure that the principle of openness is reflected in the European Union’s digital policy framework.

The key pillars of our work are efforts to build and strengthen Digital Public Spaces and to cultivate Digital Commons. Our work is underpinned by a commitment to digital rights, safeguarding Europe’s digital sovereignty, and addressing the power imbalances that result from the Paradox of Open. Currently, this translates into research and policy interventions in the following areas:

AI and Creative Labor
Exploring the impact of generative AI on creative labor, copyright, and the Digital Commons.
AI and the Commons
Examining the field of AI development and governance mechanisms that respect open-sharing while accounting for power imbalances and safeguarding digital rights.
Open Movement
Making sense of the challenges faced by openness and defining new strategies for the movement.
Public Digital Infrastructure
Exploring the role and potential of Public Digital Infrastructure in supporting the Digital Public Space that contributes to the full realization of digital rights.

Completed activities

In addition to our current lines of work described above, we have previously worked on the following issues
This activity explored how AI training datasets and openly licensed works included in those datasets can be better governed and shared as a commons. The project has now been completed.
Generative Interoperability
Our research into Interoperable Public Civic Ecosystems explored the role that interoperability can play in supporting digital public spaces. The project has now been completed.
Exploring how interoperable services and open protocols can fulfill the vision of Digital Public Space.
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