The Political Economy of Hacking – Accelerate, Augment, or Abolish the Markets?
Appropriating science and technology for societal change


Theme of the symposium. Technology disrupt markets. It is open to debate, however, what this implies for the future of the market economy. Some hackers look forward to the day when technological progress has abolished the need for market exchanges. For instance, self-acclaimed pirates strive to make intellectual property unenforceable with file sharing protocols. Hobby-engineers develop self-reproducing 3D printers under the slogan “wealth-without-money”. The digital currency Faircoin has been launched as a more equitable alternative to the existing monetary system. Peer production, exemplified in free software development, is showcased as a non-coercive model for organizing work. Towering above these initiatives is basic income as a redistributive principle suited for the age of full automation.

The post-capitalist vision endorsed by some hackers contrasts with the “accelerationist” vision of other hackers. According to the latter, it is not markets but incumbent monopolies, guild privileges, and state regulations that is unsettled by technological breakthroughs. Virtual reality paves the way for “augmented property”, block-chain technology unlocks new areas of life to just-in-time monetary flows, and computerization allows work to be parceled up in ever finer tasks and micropayments. Whose utopia will carry the day – you are invited to take part in the discussion!

Relevant themes for presentations may include, but is not limited to, the following questions:

Is peer production still on the agenda after the rise of the “sharing economy”?
Is basic income the answer to automation and jobless growth?
What are the identities of future workers: employees, turkers, makers?
How is wealth distribution affected by platform capitalism?
What avenues of marketization will be opened-up with block-chain technology?
Can alternative currencies be designed to fix the monetary system?
Historical perspectives on the rise of the platform capitalism/sharing economy
Theoretical work at the intersection of hacker technology, markets and labour.

Format of the presentation. We wish to facilitate debates and therefore encourage free oral presentation over reading a paper. A presentation should aim for 20-30 min., leaving time for discussions.

You can offer to present a text (own writing or a published text) which has been distributed beforehand to the participants. The text should not exceed 25 pages. The presentation must give a short introduction of the argumentation allowing participants to engage in discussion.

Submission. Submit via email. Deadline, May 1, 2017:

  1. A written proposal (ca 350 words)with a title, its format its duration.
  2. A short bio (ca 100 words).

Submit to Johan Söderberg and Gustav Eek

If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting, please email a short bio. Participants with presentations will be given priority. Preliminary program will be announced on May 15 on the Nordic Summer University website. Late submissions will continued to be considered, until the maximum number of participants is reached.

Application process and registration. The application process has two steps

  1. Application to coordinators for acceptance of presentation or participation without presentation.
  2. After you have been accepted, the next step is registration and payments, which closes on 1stof June. All registration and payment will be done electronically.

Note if you apply for participating late, payment must still be completed June 1.

Keynote speakers at NSU.
Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir, professor of philosophy at the University of Iceland.
Cecilia Malmström Olsson, freelance dance researcher, writer, lecturer.

Cost and accommodation. Please note that the regular participation fee has been changed since the first edition of the call. The summer session will take place at Munchhausen Hotel. Total cost per adult person ranges from 200- 550 € depending on the accommodation of choice. NSU subsidizes participants that are willing to share a double room.

Single room 550 €
Double room 300 €
Triple room 200 €
Adult not participating in the NSU program (bed in double room) 350 €
Children 5 – 18 years 150 €
Children 2 – 4 years 50 €
Children less than 2 years free

Grant and scholarship holders will be given a place in caravans. Cost for grant holders is 60 € and for scholarship holders 40 €. See further on combination of categories and prices will soon be updated in the online shop There are also 3 accessible rooms available. Families with children should get in touch with Arrkom to find the best solution on arrkom at nsuweb dot org