Dis/agreement in participatory organizations. Digital Commons After the Internet

  • Wed 5 Apr 23

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Online

    join this seminar

  • Event speaker

    James Fox, University of Essex & Tiziana Terranova, University of Naples, “L’Orientale”

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Centre for Commons Organising, Values Equalities and Resilience (COVER) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Centre for Commons Organising Values Equalities and Resilience

  • Contact details

    COVER Research Centre

This session will feature a presentation by James Fox on his research into cybernetics and alternative organizational forms, with invited participation and response from people from the collaborators he has been working with, followed by a discussion with Tiziana Terranova on related themes in her new book After the Internet: Digital Networks between Capital and the Common .

Seminar summary

Dis/agreement in participatory organizations. 

James’ project explores the relationship between cybernetic theory and non-managerial forms of organization, consider in detail the implications of organizational cybernetics on non-hierarchical organizations. He argues that Alternative Organization Studies requires a more stable, scientific grounding; and that cybernetic theory is an appropriate language through which to understand these varied organizational structures. In particular James focuses on the work of Stafford Beer. Despite the fact that Beer’s work has deep theoretical resonances with non-hierarchical organizational ideas, his work does largely assume some role for managers and management, particularly in the meta-systemic control of large organizations. Can Beer’s theoretical work be understood and developed without the use (or at least presupposition) of mangers and management? Can it be used to develop an understanding of non-managerial, non-hierarchical cybernetic control in an organization as form of organizational democracy?

Digital Commons After the Internet

In After the Internet Tiziana explores the passage from the internet as an apparently open space to its transformation today into the Corporate Platform Complex. In the book Tiziana bears witness to this monstrous transformation. Mobilizing theories of cognitive capitalism, neo-monadology, and sympathetic cooperation, considering ideas such as the attention economy and its psychopathologies, and evoking the relation between algorithmic automation and the Common, she provides real-time takes on the mutations that have changed the technological, cultural, and economic ethos of the Internet. Mostly conceived, elaborated, and discussed in collective activist spaces, After the Internet is neither apocalyptic lamentation nor melancholic “rise and fall” story of betrayed great expectations. On the contrary, it looks within the folds of the recent past to unfold the potential futurities that the post-digital computational present still entails.


How to attend this seminar

We welcome you to join this seminar online on Wednesday 5 April 2023 at 12pm.

This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance.