The Public Stack in practice

Building for the Public Stack starts with the many initiatives and technologies that are out there already and which are built according to, and driven by, the same general considerations that we have outlined here. And there are many. Technologies, collectives, programmes and initiatives; working on the Public Stack can take many forms. For a large compiled list of technical solutions that are public and open source check

We highlight a some building blocks and initiatives here; a necessarily short, subjective and totally incomplete list.


Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation.


OpenStreetMap is a project that creates and distributes free geographic data around the world.


Signal is a multi-platform independent messaging app. It provides very usable libraries which enable fully encrypted communication in many other applications.


Apart from the open source Firefox browser, Mozilla has long been a broader force for a public internet ('for people').


Fairphone is a phone for everyone who cares about how their products are made. It’s got everything you’d expect from a great phone — and so much more. It improves the conditions of the people who make it and uses materials that are better for the planet. Because how it’s made matters. 

Layer: Equipment


In rapidly digitizing cities, ethical and responsible use of data is a major challenge – and Amsterdam is no exception. 

Professionals from the Amsterdam region therefore wrote a manifesto entitled ‘Tada – data disclosed’. Government authorities, companies and other organizations from different regions are invited to use and sign the document, showcasing their ambitions to shape a responsible digital city.

Layer: Fundamental rights and values


PublicSpaces are reclaiming the internet as a force for the common good and advocating a new internet that strengthens the public domain. Read our manifesto to see the values we want to see at the core of our digital lives. PublicSpaces are adopting and supporting the development of a software ecosystem that’s based on the values defined in the PublicSpaces manifesto. The goal is ultimately to accelerate the development of an alternative software ecosystem that serves the common interest and does not seek profit.

Domain: Public Domain: Media

Layer: Fundamental rights and values


The Apache Software foundation is probably the world's most important open source software foundation, enabling much of the internet that might otherwise be inaccessible to many content providers. 

Code for NL

Code for NL is the Dutch community of developers and designers, part of the world-wide code-for movement, who work together towards an open, fair and inclusive digital government and society.

Domain: Public Domain: Government

Layer: Governance and oversight


With IRMA it is easy to log in and make yourself known, by disclosing only relevant attributes of yourself. For instance, in order to watch a certain movie online, you prove that you are older than 16, and nothing else.


An open source file sharing and collaboration platform gaining ground as a dropbox alternative, nut providing much more.

Foundation for Public Code

The Foundation for Public Code helps open source projects for public organizations to become successful, build sustainable communities around them and create a thriving public open source ecosystem.

Domain: Public Domain: Government

Layer: Governance and oversight

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote teaching of basic computer science in schools and in developing countries. The original model became far more popular than anticipated, selling outside its target market for uses such as robotics. It is now widely used even in research projects, such as for weather monitoring because of its low cost and portability.

Layer: Equipment


Linux needs no explanation; the importance of Linux for the technical foundation of the Public Stack cannot be understated. 


Nuts is an initiative working on a decentralised health-care ICT infrastructure in the Netherlands.

Domain: Public Domain: Health Care

Layer: Fundamental rights and values


Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser. It blocks ads and website trackers, and provides a way for users to send cryptocurrency contributions in the form of Basic Attention Tokens to websites and content creators.

Layer: Application layer


Jitsi is a free and open source video conferencing tool.