Born out of the 2008 Cape Town Open Education Declaration, P2PU has remained active at the forefront of open education ever since, establishing the first open badging standard with Mozilla, developing the tools that supported some of the first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and nurturing experimental online learning communities with a variety of audiences around the globe.
Since 2015, P2PU has worked with libraries and community-based organizations worldwide to realize our mission and vision through a methodology called learning circles: free, facilitated study groups for people who want to learn something together.
Underlying our work is the conviction that people develop expertise through their own life experiences, that learning happens whenever people share and connect with others, and that feedback is necessary in order to improve.
P2PU is a community-centered project, reflected in both what we do and how we do it. We believe that sustained learning communities are best created through grassroots collaboration, not hierarchical mandates.
Our commitment to open is predicated on the belief that we create value not by gatekeeping but by working together, sharing resources, and lowering barriers to entry. P2PU is built on open source technology, and everything we create is free to share, remix, and redistribute.
Equity is only possible when we recognize education as a social good rather than a commodity. Systemic injustice means that providing access alone is insufficient, and we must actively design for inclusion at every step of the way.
P2PU is led by a small, distributed staff who maintain the community, develop software tools, and create courses and resources that reinforce the learning circle methodology, all of which is made available to the public for free.
Dirk makes sure that just the right amount of tech is developed at P2PU. After travelling through South and Central America, he is now back home in South Africa and based in Cape Town. When he is not writing code, he is most likely hiking Table mountain, surfing the Atlantic or tinkering with a Raspberry Pi.
Grif joined P2PU in 2015 to help start the learning circle program. Since then, his role has grown with the project, and he does his best to make sure that folks around the world have the opportunity to keep on learning things they care about for free. A longtime resident of New England, he now lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Lydian (they/them) is a librarian committed to building community on- and offline and to making sure that learners and facilitators get their needs met. After work, you'll find them playing shows and making zines in Athens, Georgia.
Qumisha or Q, as you may call her, is a Detroit native, librarian, and a plant lady, but also appreciates food, travel and good music not necessarily in that order. Q is a contributor to P2PU’s community assisting with the development of resources, facilitation support and library staff training. Q is passionate about education, community building and demystifying technology.
Ryan oversees Financing and Accounting for P2PU. He is a vibrant and energetic person who has been with P2PU since 2012. He loves culture, innovative ideas, people and numbers. He is based in Cape Town, South Africa.
Board of Directors
President, Monterey Institute for Technology and Education
As a board member, Ahrash takes care of staying true to our original values, while pushing us to be more experimental. He is a wise man.
Executive Director, Aspiration
It is not without reason that Gunner is our workshop facilitator of choice. He is Executive Director at Aspiration, where he helps NGOs, activists, foundations and software developers make more effective use of technology for social change.
Assistant Vice President, MetLife
Carl joined P2PU as a team member soon after the organization was founded, providing incredible operational, legal, and project management support. He transitioned to the Board soon after he left the team and additionally serves as the Board Secretary.
Library Director, Saint Paul Public Library
Catherine serves as the Library Director at Saint Paul Public Library in Minnesota, where she oversees programs, serves, and community contributions across a 13 branch system. She brings an invaluable perspective to the work of P2PU.
National Copyright Director, NSW Department of Education and Training; Board Director, Creative Commons
As a board member, co-founder, and active community member, Delia makes sure things keep running smoothly at P2PU. Next to this she is involved in many of the legal aspects surrounding the organization.
Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine
June is a learning sciences and human-computer interaction researcher at UC Irvine. He bravely collaborated with P2PU on past research projects and now serves on the board to help think about strategic new directions for peer learning.
Director of Learning Innovation, MIT Media Lab (P2PU Board Chair)
Philipp co-founded P2PU in 2008 with support from a Shuttleworth Grant. Years later he is still cooking up learning experiences (and mustard) at the MIT Media Lab, and nurturing partnerships for future P2PU projects.
Head of Innovation and User Involvement, Aarhus Public Libraries, Denmark
Sidsel is a longtime friend of P2PU. We met her as she was leading the process of transforming the Main Library in Aarhus into Dokk1, the largest public library in Scandinavia. In her current role, she supports user involvement and special projects across Aarhus Public Libraries.
Many people have made P2PU what it is today. A special thanks to: Adam Bush, Alan Webb, Aleksander Stachurka, Alex Ruthmann, Alexander Kehayias, Alison Jean Cole, Andrew Rens, Beck Pitt, Carl Ruppin, Cathy Casserly, Chloe Varelidi, Chris Ewald, Code Rodeo, Dany Javier Bautista Montaña, Erika Pogorelc, Gary Matkin, Jane Park, Jessy Kate Schingler, Joel Thierstein, John Britton, Jose Flores, João Menezes, Juliana Muchai, Karen Fasimpaur, Karen Gabriels, Kate Lapinski, Katherine McConachie, Larry Cooperman, Laura Hilliger, Lila Bailey, Maria Droujkova, Mark Andersen, Mark Surman, Molly Kleinman, Nadeem Shabir, Neeru Paharia, Nico Koenig, Niels Sprong, Paul Osman, Pieter Kleymeer, Pippa Buchanan, Rebecca Kahn, Sharon Kennedy, Steve Carson, Stian Haklev, Vanessa Gennarelli, Zuzel Vera
We’d also like to thank these sponsors for their generous support:
Teams are organized learning circle communities, typically affiliated with library systems and community-based organizations. Start a team.