Please note: this post is based on an extract of an earlier post by @ClaireOT, available here:

Peer-to-peer approach

A technique often used to work towards a Health Commons is a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) approach.

Michel Bauwens describes P2P

it’s a relational dynamic in which people exchange not with each other as individuals, but with a commons

Or, a way to develop a shared resource that is held by a group of widely distributed people. This is often facilitated by the use of digital technology.

Bauwens believes that

 (digital) P2P technology allows for a new form of socialization that is changing how people behave towards each other.

We could use non-hierarchical, peer-to-peer platforms and systems, which have developed in social movements who have used the net as a means to solve problems based within their communities. By using these ideas, we can respond to the crisis we face in health and social care funding, by working towards a health Commons, together.

Social activists such as Dan Mcquillan has captured how to use these principles within health and social care, and indeed more generally within the public sector.

In the presentation, Dan is arguing that the problems within the health and social sevices cannot be solved within the traditional hierarchical structures we have developed. He argues that in order to work together effectively, it has to be within new spaces where status and power are distributed equally between peers. This can be facilitated by the use of digital technology- as we may have experienced if we are users of social networks such as Twitter!

Digital Health Conference and Hack 2012

We aim to use a peer-to-peer approach at the Digital Health Conference and Hack, based in Leeds, 29th and 30th June 2012. At this event, we will be using peer-to-peer methodology to ensure that we use the benefit of the diversity of voices represented, and where everybody is valued for their contribution.

Please use #dhc12 to tag conversations about it, follow us on Twitter at @digihealthcon, and register early interest by emailing