About the organization

Join our coalition advocating a new internet that strengthens the public domain.

Our goal

PublicSpaces is a unique coalition of public organisations in public media, cultural heritage, festivals, museums and education. We are working together to reclaim the internet as a force for the common good and advocating a new internet that strengthens the public domain. With a select few large organizations that control much of the internet and make their money using our data, it has become increasingly urgent to develop alternatives. Read our manifesto to see the values we want to see at the core of our digital lives.

Our mission

The mission of the PublicSpaces Foundation is to support a digital public infrastructure – digital ecosystem that operates on civic values rather than on models of surveillance capitalism controlled by big tech.
This digital ecosystem is:
(i) decentralized and federated,
(ii) plural in purpose,
(iii) self-governing, and
(iv) compatible with and complementary to existing networks.

Our coalition

Over 35 public institutions have joined the coalition since its launch in 2018. PublicSpaces reaches more than 70% of the Dutch population. This critical mass is proving to be a major success factor in making systemic changes to the way the internet functions and, in effect, how information is shared with the public.

Our strategy

The strategy of PublicSpaces can be summarised as follows:

  • Raising awareness of public values in the design and fabric of the internet by means of campaigning, publishing, public affairs and event organizing;
  • Supporting public organisations to transition to an open software ‘stack‘  based on civic values and that provides users with alternatives to the commercial offerings;
  • Forging new alliances and nurturing the PublicSpaces coalition

Our Board of Advisors

  • Babette Aalberts — Media lawyer in Amsterdam
  • Ouke Arts — strategy consultant at Thaesis Consultancy
  • Marco Derksen — advisor on digital transformation (link in Dutch)
  • José van Dijck — Distinguished university professor at Utrecht University, specialized in media studies and digital societies
  • Bart Jacobs — professor of computer security at Radboud University in Nijmegen and chairman of the Privacy by Design Foundation
  • Eric Kluitenberg — theorist and writer on culture, media and technology
  • William Uricchio — professor of comparative media studies at MIT, founder & principal investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab
  • Ethan Zuckerman – Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and founder of the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure

Our Executive Board

  • Marleen Stikker — founder and director of Waag
  • Johan Oomen  (secretary and interim treasurer)— manager R&D at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
  • Geert-Jan Bogaerts  (chair)— initiator of PublicSpaces, head of Innovation & Digital Media at VPRO
  • Paul Keller – Co-Founder and Policy Director at Open Future
  • Oumaima Hajri – Researcher Responsible Applied AI | MSt AI Ethics & Society at Cambridge
  • Roel Dobbe – Assistant Professor at TU Delft | Technology, Policy and Management
  • Cristina Anca Fodor – Head Of Communications Fonds Podiumkunsten


PublicSpaces leads a pan-EU coordination effort between public broadcasters, academics and other stakeholders. This resulted in a European public ‘mapping‘ of organisations that share the goal of strengthening the public domain on the internet. The next step is to strengthen cooperation between European partners that can find opportunities for synergy and scale-up through this mapping effort.
Read more on the Shared Digital European Public Spaces (SDEPS)

Get in touch and JOIN US!