Policy Brief: Towards a regenerative digital economy

The policy brief titled “Towards a Regenerative Digital Economy – Policy Recommendations to the European Union” highlights the need for fundamental reforms in economic structures and governance to fully leverage the potential of digital resources. The brief, authored by Demos Helsinki for the Horizon-funded project ATARCA, provides policy recommendations and a roadmap for the European Union (EU) to transition towards a regenerative digital economy.




The brief emphasises the importance of recognising the centrality of anti-rivalry in the digital economy, where resources gain value when used. It argues that current economic structures do not adequately support anti-rival resources, necessitating reforms to allocate digital goods efficiently and ensure equitable distribution of benefits.


The recommendations propose five domains for policy intervention:

  • regenerative economy agenda,
  • sociotechnical research and innovation investments,
  • anti-rival data governance,
  • value creation and business models, and
  • local commons experimentation.


We suggest incorporating anti-rivalry into the EU’s economic policies, extending the focus beyond blockchain technology, and supporting digital commons as a means of bridging economic activity and digitalisation. We also recommend promoting experimental policymaking to test solutions for the opportunities of the data and digital economy, as well as research and innovation investments to support inclusive sociotechnical approaches. Furthermore, the brief calls for data governance and regulation that incentivise and coordinate anti-rival resource sharing.


The policy recommendations are presented on a roadmap from 2023 to 2030, emphasising the holistic consideration of these recommendations as interconnected building blocks for a regenerative digital economy. Finally, we advocate for collaborative efforts between technical developers, social science experts, and economists to develop socially beneficial applications of distributed ledger technologies. We also emphasise the importance of inclusivity, community involvement, and the establishment of legal structures to support data commons and unions.


Overall, the policy brief provides a roadmap for the EU to reform its economic policies and leverage digitalisation for a regenerative digital economy, ensuring the just allocation of digital goods and the equitable distribution of their benefits.


You can visit the ATARCA website here.