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About us


NetHood is a nonprofit organization based in Zurich, Switzerland, founded in January 2015. Its current activities include: the facilitation of information exchanges and collaborations between researchers, practitioners, activists, and citizens around its objectives; the participation in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, education, and action projects; and the development of Do-It-Yourself tools and methodologies for empowering local actors to build networked localities that can support each other without suppressing their differences.

The vision of NetHood is to plant seeds of collective awareness, critical listening, long-term thinking, social learning and reflective action toward sustainable social life.

Currently we are active in these five areas of local action:
technology | community | economy | housing | food

Check also our core set of principles and objectives.

NetHood has been founded by Ileana, Panayotis, and Jens who have all a strong interest in localities, bringing together knoweledge from different fields: urban design and place making, computer science and interdisciplinary research, and complementary currencies.

Ileana Apostol (Ph.D. in Planning, University of Southern California, Los Angeles) is a researcher of spatial production in the Information Age, and co-founder of the nonprofit organization nethood.org. For devising policy agendas to provide citizens the right to the hybrid city, she engages with interdisciplinary teams, and proposes a dialectical take of urban research and design pedagogy that is inspired by Henri Lefebvre's theory of spatial production. Before undertaking research on a full-time basis, Ileana has taught Urban Planning and Design in the USA at the College of Environmental Design, California Polytechnic University, and at the University of Southern California, and in Romania at the University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest.

Panayotis Antoniadis has an interdisciplinary profile with background on the design and implementation of distributed systems (Computer Science Department, University of Crete), Ph.D. on the economics of peer-to-peer networks (Athens University of Economics and Business), post-doc on policies for the federation of shared virtualized infrastructures (UPMC Sorbonne Universités), and interdisciplinary research with urban planners on the role of ICTs for bridging the virtual with the physical space in cities (ETH Zurich). Panayotis is currently active in the organization of various interdisciplinary events that aim to bring together researchers, practitioners, and activists from various fields around the participatory design of hybrid urban space with a focus on wireless and peer-to-peer technology.

Jens Martignoni studied mechanical engineering at Technikum Winterthur and economy in Nonprofit-Management at the University of Fribourg/Switzerland. He is working for many years in research and development of new economy systems and community currencies. He was co-founder of the Flecü-currency, an innovative community currency approach between 1992-96 in Zurich and has a broad experience in developing civil-society and sustainable-living initiatives. He is now CEO and head of research of FleXibles - Association for the investigation of new-economy and Lecturer at the Swiss Distance University of Applied Science. His focus are systemic approaches and modelling of economical and currency phenomenas within communities or cooperative structures. His special interest applies to currencies for cooperatives and he developed the „Quartierwaehrung“ a currency for housing cooperatives and neighborhoods.


The project NetHood started in March 2008, when Panayotis gave a talk at the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California, invited by Ileana Apostol and Tridib Banerjee.

Ileana Apostol

Panayotis Antoniadis
Tridib Banerjee, Professor,
@University of Southern California

At that time Panayotis was working on the problem of building wireless mesh networks in the neighbourhood in a peer-to-peer manner, through the personal contributions and engagement by citizens. Unlike his previous work on economic incentives for P2P file sharing, he had the idea to rely on the local ties to provide more intrinsic, social, incentives for participation. But he soon realized that in modern cities such ties are rare. Perhaps the use of local hybrid communities run on top of community wireless networks, instead of global Internet-based platforms like Facebook, could help?

Ileana was pursuing her PhD research in the field of urban planning and more specifically on the production of public spaces within the globalization process. Her observation was that many social interactions in western cities take place in the virtual, digital, space.

So, they decided to combine their expertise and research interests to follow an interdisciplinary approach in designing the information and communication technologies that can bring closer those that live in proximity, instead of connecting people with common interests that are far away.

This decision gave birth to the NetHood project, which was for long time a parallel informal project, and we are very happy to see it now, after 7 years, taking shape and making its first steps.

We are also very happy to have on board Jens Martignoni, an expert on community projects with focus on complementary currencies. We hope that we will find creative ways to combine our complementary skills and experiences in the near future ...