Dr Paolo Dini

Dr Paolo Dini

Senior Visiting Research Fellow

Department of Media and Communications

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Key Expertise
Complementary currencies; the political economy of sustainable development

About me

Dr Paolo Dini is Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications. He recently worked on the EINS (European Internet Science) Network of Excellence (funded by DG-CNECT), the OpenLaws.eu STREP (funded by DG-JUSTICE), and on the ERC project Heteropolitics (PI Alexandros Kioupkiolis, University of Thessaloniki).

Dr Dini received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State University in 1990. He taught undergraduate physics at Carleton College and St Olaf College, Minnesota, while consulting and researching in wind turbine aerodynamics, 1992-97. In 1997 he started working as a Senior Scientist for a wearable computer company and continued working in hardware R&D; at Philips Research Laboratories, in Redhill UK, until 2001. He was then a research group leader at the MIT Media Lab Europe in Dublin, 2001-03. In 2003 he joined the Department of Media and Communications, working as Scientific Coordinator of the DBE EU Integrated Project. He currently divides his time between LSE, where he pursues mainly social science research topics, and the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire, where he pursues mainly mathematical and theoretical computer science research topics.

In social science, Dr Dini is interested in studying social theory, economic theory, monetary theory, and political theory and how they apply to bottom-up socio-economic phenomena such as complementary currencies, which can be seen as 'laboratories of institutional learning'. He is also interested in the study of epistemology and interdisciplinarity, in the social construction of technology, and in how all of the above relate to media in theory and in practice.

Expertise Details

Complementary currencies; the political economy of sustainable development


Past Project:

Digital Business Ecosystem


EU FP6 Integrated Project, 2003-2007

Coordinated by IBM Business Consulting

Original Proposal Abstract

The two overarching objectives of the DBE project are to provide Europe with a recognised advantage in innovative software application development by its small and medium-sized enterprises (software producer SMEs) and to achieve greater information and communication technology (ICT) adoption by SMEs in general. The DBE will achieve these objectives by adopting a multi-disciplinary approach based on biology, physics, business and social sciences mechanisms and models to develop an open-source distributed environment that can support the spontaneous evolution and composition of (not necessarily open-source) software services, components, and applications. DBE transposes mechanisms from living organisms like evolution, adaptation, autonomy, viability, introspection, knowledge sharing, and self-organisation, to arrive at novel architectures and technologies, business processes, and knowledge, thus creating a digital business ecosystem for SMEs and software providers to improve their value networks and foster local economic development. Four areas of research encompassed by the DBE project are: 1) ICT transfer and adoption, training, ethnography, etc.; 2) business modelling; 3) fundamental models (Maths, Physics, Biology, AI); and 4) Computer Science, Software Engineering and enabling technologies (web services, software agents, distributed architectures, ontologies, etc). The DBE will change the way SMEs and EU software providers use and distribute their products and services. It will allow SMEs to link enterprise-wide external resources and value networks, and to allocate them based on their business goals and priorities. The DBE is based on the key finding that with such an evolutionary and self-organising system Europe could harness the complexity of software production and its SME software industry could regain competitiveness in the market.

Public Deliverables (Reports)


Past Project:

Open Philosophies for Associative Autopoietic Digital Ecosystems



EU FP6 Network of Excellence, 2006-2010

Coordinated by LSE

Original Proposal Abstract

Digital Ecosystems are emerging as a novel approach for the catalysis of sustainable regional development driven by SMEs. The two overarching aims of the OPAALS NoE are to build an interdisciplinary research community in the emerging area of Digital Ecosystems, and to develop an integrated theoretical foundation for Digital Ecosystems research spanning three widely different disciplinary domains: social science, computer science, and natural science. The main claim that OPAALS makes is that in order to achieve sustainable digital business ecosystems of SMEs and software components we need to understand in depth the collaborative processes and ICTs that underpin the continuous creation, formalisation, and sharing of knowledge in the form of business models, software infrastructure for e-Business transactions, and new formal and semi-formal languages. Our strategy is based on the development of an Open Knowledge Space. Because this process must be sustainable and scalable it must be recursive and self-reinforcing. It follows that OPAALS is the first step in a recursive, reflexive, and self-reinforcing community building process that will culminate at the end of the project with an Open Knowledge community of research and innovation potentially inclusive of all the stakeholders of digital ecosystems but mainly of academic institutions and SMEs. We will integrate the research outputs in automatic code generation, autopoietic P2P networks, and distributed accountability, identity and trust into the existing infrastructure from the DBE Integrated Project. These technical and scientific research activities will be balanced by research in the role of formal and semi-formal languages in epistemic communities and in new Open Source models emerging in public and commercial projects. Finally, we will develop a unifying evolutionary framework for language in order to base the evolutionary and adaptation characteristics of the digital ecosystems on the main medium of social constructivism: language. 


Deliverable Dependency Diagrams

(created with Niall Brennan)



1 / 9


  • DDD9_Socio-Economic_Models
  • DDD8_Regional_Development
  • DDD6_Communications_Dissemination
  • DDD7_OKS
  • DDD4_Accountability_Identity_Trust
  • DDD5_Language
  • DDD3_Architecture
  • DDD1_Theoretical_Interdisciplinary_Integration
  • DDD2_BML


Public Deliverables (Reports)


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Fleischman, T and Dini, P (2021). Mathematical Foundations for Balancing the Payment System in the Trade Credit Market, Journal of Risk and Financial Management. 14(9):452. Read here

Simmons R, Dini P, Culkin N, and Littera G (2021). Crisis and the Role of Money in the Real and Financial Economies—An Innovative Approach to Monetary Stimulus. Journal of Risk and Financial Management. 14(3):129. Read here.

Fleischman T, Dini P, and Littera G (2020). Liquidity-Saving through Obligation-Clearing and Mutual Credit: An Effective Monetary Innovation for SMEs in Times of Crisis. Journal of Risk and Financial Management. 13(12):295. Read here.

Dini, P and Kioupkiolis, A (2019). The alter-politics of complementary currencies: The case of Sardex, Cogent Social Sciences, 5:1, DOI: 10.1080/23311886.2019.1646625.

Motta, W, Dini, P and Sartori, L (2017). Self-Funded Social Impact Investment: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Sardex Mutual Credit System, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Vol 8, No 2, pp. 149-164. LSE e-prints

Littera, G, Sartori, L, Dini, P and Antoniadis, P (2017). From an Idea to a Scalable Working Model: Merging Economic Benefits with Social Value in Sardex. International Journal of Community Currency Research. Vol 21, pp 6-21. IJCCR link

Gomez, G and Dini, P (2016). Making sense of a crank case: monetary diversity in Argentina (2000-2002), Cambridge Journal of Economics, Special Issue:  ‘Cranks’ and ‘brave heretics’: Rethinking money and banking after the Great Financial Crisis, Vol 40, N. 5, pp. 1421-1437.

Sartori, L and Dini, P (2016). Sardex, from complementary currency to institution. A micro-macro case study. Stato e Mercato, 107, pp 273-304. LSE e-prints.

Passani, A, Monacciani, F, van der Graaf, S, Spagnoli, F, Bellini, F, Debicki, M and Dini, P (2014). SEQUOIA: A Methodology for the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of Software-as-a-Service and Internet of Services Research Projects, Research Evaluation,Vol 23, No 2, pp 133-149. LSE e-prints.

Dini, P, Iqani, M, and Mansell, RE (2011). The (Im)Possibility of Interdisciplinarity: Lessons from Constructing a Theoretical Framework for Digital Ecosystems, Journal of Culture, Theory and Critique52(1), 3-27. LSE e-prints

Breitstein, L and Dini, P (2011). A Social Constructivist Analysis of the 2007 Banking Crisis: Building Trust and Transparency through Community Currencies, Journal of Banking Regulation13(1), 36-62. LSE e-prints

Dini, P, Lombardo, G, Mansell, RE, Razavi, A, Moschoyiannis, S, Krause, P, Nicolai, A and Rivera-Leon, L (2008). Beyond interoperability to digital ecosystems: regional innovation and socio-economic development led by SMEs, International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Vol 1, No 3. LSE e-prints

Darking, ML, Whitley, EA, and Dini, P (2008). Governing Diversity in the Digital Ecosystem, Communications of the ACM, Vol 51, No 10, pp 137-140.


Articles in Books

Barile, M and Dini, P (2016). European Intellectuals Follow Charlie Brown! In: Green, R and Robison-Green R, Eds., Peanuts and Philosophy: You Are a Wise Man, Charlie Brown! Popular Culture and Philosophy Series, Chicago: Open Court, pp. 179-188.

Rivera-Leòn, Lorena; Kataishi, Rodrigo and Dini, Paolo (2014). The Socio-Economics of Digital Ecosystems Research: Policy Analysis and Methodological Tools from an Argentinean Case Study. In: Anderson, M, Edgar, D, Grant, K, Halcro, K, Rodriguez Devis, J M and Genskowsky, L G, Eds., Innovation Support in Latin America and Europe: Theory, Practice and Policy in Innovation and Innovation Systems, Ashgate, pp 129-170.

Dini, P and Krause, P (2008-16). P2P Networking, entry in the International Encyclopedia of Communications, Blackwell, Vol 8, Wolfgang Donsbach Ed, pp 3487-3489.


Conference Papers

Dini, P, Motta, W and Sartori, L (2016), Self-Funded Social Impact Investment: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Sardex Mutual Credit System, ISIRC 2016 (Interdisciplinary Social Innovation Research Conference), Glasgow, 5-7 September. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/67622/

Dini, P and Sartori, L (2013). Science as social construction: an inter-epistemological dialogue between two internet scientists on the inter-epistemological structure of internet science, part 1. In: International Conference on Internet science, Brussels, April 9-11, 2013: conference proceedings. The FP7 European Network of Excellence in Internet Science, pp. 42-51. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/49832/


Articles in Computer Science, Physics, and Engineering

Konkoli, Z, Stepney, S, Broesma, H, Dini, P, Nehaniv, C and Nichele, S (2018). Philosophy of Computation, in Stepney S, Rasmussen, S and Amos, M, Eds. Computational Matter, Springer, pp. 153-184.

Dini, P (2017). Computational Properties of Cell Regulatory Pathways through Petri Nets. In: Adamatzky, A, Ed., Advances in Unconventional Computing. Springer, pp 609-660.

Nehaniv, C L, Rhodes, J L, Egri-Nagy, A, Dini, P, Rothstein, E M, Horvàth, G, Karimi, F, Schreckling, D and Schilstra, M J (2015). Symmetry Structure in Discrete Models of Biochemical Systems: Natural Subsystems and the Weak Control Hierarchy in a New Model of Computation Driven by Interactions, Philosphical Transactions of the Royal Society A, Special Issue on Heterotic Computing, Kendon, V and Stepney S, Eds. Online: 15 June 2015, DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2014.0223, Open Access:  http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/373/2046/20140223

Dini, P, Nehaniv, CL, Egri-Nagy, A, Schilstra, MJ (2013). Exploring the Concept of Interaction Computing through the Discrete Algebraic Analysis of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction, BioSystems, Vol 112, pp 145-162.

Cipra, B, Dini, P, Kennedy, S, and Kolan, A (1999). Stability of One-Dimensional Inelastic Collision Sequences of Four Balls, Physica D, Vol 125, pp. 183-200.

Dini, P, and Maughmer, M D (1994). Locally Interactive Laminar Separation Bubble Model, Journal of Aircraft, Vol 31, No 4, July-August, pp. 802-810.

Dini, P, Selig, M S, and Maughmer, M D (1992). Simplified Linear Stability Transition Prediction Method for Separated Boundary Layers, AIAA Journal, Vol 30, No 8, August, pp. 1953-1961.


Socio-Economic Impact Assessment for Research Projects


EU FP7 Support/Coordination Action, 2010-2012

Coordinated by LSE

Original Proposal Abstract

SEQUOIA will perform an assessment of the socio-economic impact of research projects in the area of Software as a Service and Internet of Services. At the same time, it will capture and document this process in order to develop a self-assessment methodology that on-going and future research projects will be able to adopt and apply on their own after the end of this support action. Finally. SEQUOIA will also develop recommendations for how self-monitoring mechanisms can be built into the FP7 project instruments in order to facilitate the self-assessment process and enable the impact of SaaS/IoS to be optimised in future FP7 calls and in FP8.

Public Deliverables (Reports)