Indienet is an initiative led by Indie and The City of Ghent to explore the development and deployment of Federated Personal Web Sites (FPWS) to empower people with individual sovereignty and a healthy commons in the digital, networked age.

The initiative is being led by Aral Balkan with invaluable support in Ghent from Martine Delannoy, Chief of Foresight, and Karl-Filip Coenegrachts, Head of Strategy at the City of Ghent.

The initiative began in mid-January and is at an exploratory stage.

Development is being carried out by two small teams: Indie in Cork, Ireland, is working on Indie Site and the Smart Citizen Lab at The City of Ghent in Ghent, Belgium is working on We are also working with Combell, patron of the .Gent top-level domain on behalf of the City of Ghent.

Indie Site

Design, define, and develop a Federated Personal Web Site (FPWS) platform. Development is carried out in the open and is published under the AGPL free software license. Federation is based on the ActivityPub W3C Recommendation.

The City of Ghent does not aspire to be a panopticon-like, surveillance-based “smart city”. We reject the unethical business model of surveillance capitalism espoused by Silicon Valley.

We don’t want the City and our industry partners to become smarter about our citizens; we want our citizens to become smarter about themselves. Our goal is to empower our citizens with technology that they own and control. Instead of a “smart city”, we want smart citizens.

The first step in this mission is to empower the citizens of Ghent with their own place on the Web – their own Indie Site at their own domain. This is a node in a federated web-based network where people can communicate with each other, the city, and with the world in general.

To realise this vision, we are working with Indie, our new Smart Citizen Lab, and Combell, patrons of the .Gent top-level domain.


This living documentation is an important part of the initiative and evolves as the project does. See the docs section for documentation on the documentation project itself.

Source code

Please note that the project itself and this documentation are in a constant state of development.


Author: Aral Balkan Last modified: 05/04/2018 Words: ~500 Reading time: 3 min