|Intro||Spanish/Lebanese activist and researcher specialized in decentralized collaboration|
|A.K.A.||Samer Hassan Collado|
|Is||Researcher Activist Computer scientist|
|Field||Academia Activism Technology Science|
Samer Hassan is a computer scientist, activist and researcher, focused on the use of decentralized technologies to support commons-based collaboration. He is Associate Professor at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) and Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He is the recipient of an ERC Grant of 1.5M€ with the P2P Models project, to research blockchain-based decentralized autonomous organizations for the collaborative economy.
Education & career
Samer Hassan is a scholar with an inter-disciplinary background, which combines computer sciences with social sciences and activism. He received a degree in Computer Science and MSc in Artificial Intelligence from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) in Spain. He also studied 3 years of Political Science at the distance learning university UNED. He has then undertaken a PhD in Social Simulation at the department of Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence of UCM, supervised by Juan Pavón and Millán Arroyo-Menéndez.
He has been researching in several institutions, funded by several scholarships and awards, most notably Harvard's Real Colegio Complutense, and the Spanish postdoctoral grants Juan de la Cierva and José Castillejo. Thus, he was a visiting researcher at the Centre for Research in Social Simulation at the University of Surrey in the UK, working under the supervision of Nigel Gilbert (2007-2008), and a lecturer at the American University of Science and Technology in Lebanon (2010-11). He was selected as Fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University (2015-2017) and is presently a Faculty Associate at the same structure.
Activism & social engagement
As an activist, Samer Hassan has been engaged in both offline (La Tabacalera de Lavapiés, Medialab-Prado) and online (Ourproject.org, Barrapunto, Wikipedia) initiatives. He was accredited as a grassroots facilitator by the Altekio Cooperative. He co-founded the Comunes Nonprofit in 2009 and the Move Commons webtool project in 2010. He has co-organized practitioner-oriented workshops on platform co-ops and free/open source decentralized tools for communities, and has presented his work in non-academic conferences of Mozilla, the Internet Archive, and others. As a privacy advocate, he co-created a course on cyber-ethics which has been teaching since 2013 (as of 2019). He was co-founder of the Sci-Fdi Spanish science-fiction magazine.
Samer Hassan's PhD thesis focused on the methodological challenges for building data-driven social simulation models. The main model built simulated the transition from modern values to postmodern values in Spain. His methodological work also explored the combination of different Artificial Intelligence technologies, i.e. software agents with fuzzy logic, data mining, natural language processing, and microsimulation.
Hassan's interdisciplinary research spans multiple fields, including online collaborative communities, decentralized technologies, blockchain-based decentralized autonomous organizations, free/libre/open source software, Commons-based peer production, agent-based social simulation, social movements & cyberethics. He has published more than 50 works in these fields, and is recently focused on experimenting with multiple software systems to facilitate commons-based peer production, e.g. semantic-web labelling for commons-based initiatives, distribution of value in peer production communities, agent-supported online assemblies, decentralized real-time collaborative software, decentralized blockchain based reputation, or blockchain-enabled commons governance.
Hassan was Principal Investigator of the UCM partner in the EU-funded P2Pvalue project on building decentralized web-tools for collaborative communities. As such, he led the team that created SwellRT, a federated backend-as-a-service focused to ease development of apps featuring real-time collaboration. Intellectual Property of this project was transferred to the Apache Software Foundation in 2017. As part of this research line, Hassan's team also develop two SwellRT-based apps, "Teem" for management of social collectives and Jetpad, a federated real time editor. He presented the innovations concerning these software at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center and Harvard's Center for Research on Computation and Society.
Other research lines offered outcomes beyond publications. "Wikichron" is a web tool to visualize MediaWiki community metrics, currently in production and available for third-parties. "Decentralized Science" is a framework to facilitate decentralized infrastructure and open peer review in the scientific publication process, which has been selected by the European Commission to receive funding as a spin-off social enterprise. His research on blockchain and crowdfunding models awarded him with a commission from Triple Canopy.
As part of his ERC project P2P Models, Samer Hassan and his team are investigating whether blockchain technology and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations could contribute to improving the governance of commons-oriented communities, both online and offline. Their work has been showcased for tackling the impact of blockchain on governance, proposing alternatives to the current sharing economy, emerging forms of Artificial Intelligence or giving relevance to gender issues in the field. Hassan was invited to present the project achievements in Harvard Kennedy School, MIT Media Lab, Harvard's Data Privacy Lab, Harvard's Center for Research on Computation and Society, and Harvard's SEAS EconCS. British MP and Opposition Leader Ed Miliband showcased his research and its potential impact on policy.
- Hassan, S., Pavón, J., Antunes, L., & Gilbert, N. (2010). Injecting data into agent-based simulation. In Simulating Interacting Agents and Social Phenomena (pp. 177-191). Springer, Tokyo.
- Hassan, S., Salgado, M., & Pavón, J. (2011). Friendship dynamics: modelling social relationships through a fuzzy agent-based simulation. Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society, 2011
- Hassan, S., Arroyo, J., Galán, J. M., Antunes, L., & Pavón, J. (2013). Asking the oracle: Introducing forecasting principles into agent-based modelling. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 16(3), 13
- De Filippi, P., & Hassan, S. (2016). Blockchain technology as a regulatory technology: From code is law to law is code. First Monday, 21(12). https://ojphi.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/7113/5657
- Rozas, D., Tenorio-Fornes, A., Diaz-Molina, S., Hassan, S. (2018). When Ostrom Meets Blockchain: Exploring the Potentials of Blockchain for Commons Governance. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3272329