Published October 6, 2023 | Version v2
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Exploring the public interest in media infrastructures through the lenses of geopolitics, standards, and the environment: Workshop report October 6th 2023

  • 1. critical infrastructure lab


Professed values of the early internet, such as “decentralisation”, “openness”, “freedom”, and “security” are falling short in light of contemporary geopolitical, economic, and environmental challenges.  Current reconfigurations of information networks are aimed at the extraction of control and revenue from data streams, without considering planetary boundaries or social justice.  Like others, we have come to the conclusion that the internet imaginary has run out of steam. 

The critical infrastructure lab interrogates media and control infrastructures that are critical to societies.  It does so through a critical analysis of power, regimes, and conflicts in infrastructure governance.  To develop new infrastructural imaginaries that centre people and planet over profit and capital, the critical infrastructure lab, the Green Web Foundation, and Share Foundation organised an in-person workshop at a monastery in Perast, ^[The Franciscan monastery is dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua.] Montenegro in July 2023.  The retreat looked at shifting power in media infrastructures through three lenses: standards, environment, and geopolitics.  In this essay, we reflect on the conversation and insights we gained at the workshop.

The term “we” here is meant to reflect the conversations that happened in Perast.  However, only the lab members are responsible for the mistakes found herein.  Even though we do not attribute remarks, findings, or opinions to individual participants, we do very much recognise the labour, experience, and expertise that were needed to produce them.  We share these insights produced collaboratively in the spirit of “learning in the open”, which is a guiding principle of work in the lab.



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