Michel Bauwens (born 21 March 1958) is a Belgian Peer-to-Peer theorist and an active writer, researcher and conference speaker on the subject of technology, culture and business innovation. Michel Bauwens is a theorist in the emerging field of P2P theory and director and founder of the P2P Foundation, a global organization of researchers working in collaboration in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. He has authored a number of essays, including his seminal thesis The Political Economy of Peer Production.
Bauwens regularly lectures internationally on P2P theory, the Commons and their potential for social change. In September 2014 he gave a keynote at the Degrowth#Conferences in Leipzig, Germany on "The Transition to a Sustainable Commons Society in Ecuador and beyond".
In the first semester of 2014 Bauwens was research director with the FLOK (Free Libre Open Knowledge) Society at IAEN, the National Institute of Advanced Studies of Ecuador.The FLOK Society developed a first of its kind Commons Transition Plan for the Ecuadorian government. Over fifteen policy papers the plan outlines policy proposals for transitioning Ecuador to what is described as a social knowledge economy based on the creation and support of open knowledge commons. One version of the plan is available online.
In 2012 Bauwens co-authored a report for Orange Labs titled "A Synthetic Overview of the Collaborative Economy". That same year he was nominated and included on the Post Growth Institute Enrich List – a parody of the Forbes List of Billionaires that aims to highlight influential post growth thinkers "whose collective contributions enrich paths to sustainable futures".
Bauwens was an external expert at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (2008, 2012).
With Frank Theys, Bauwens is the co-creator of the 2006 documentary TechnoCalyps, an examination of transhumanism and the 'metaphysics of technology'.
Bauwens has written for Open Democracy and Al Jazeera and has been mentioned by the New York Times, De Morgen, and Living Green Magazine. He currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand.