Bauwens is founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. He has been an analyst for the United States Information Agency, knowledge manager for British Petroleum (where he created one of the first virtual information centers), eBusiness Strategy Manager for Belgacom, as well as an internet entrepreneur in his home country of Belgium.
He is a former editor-in-chief of the first European digital convergence magazine, the Dutch language Wave.
With Frank Theys, Bauwens is the co-creator of a 3 hour documentary TechnoCalyps, an examination of the 'metaphysics of technology'. He taught and, with Salvino Salvaggio, co-edited a two-volume French language anthologies on the Anthropology of Digital Society.
He has taught courses on the anthropology of digital society to postgraduate students at ICHEC/St. Louis in Brussels, Belgium and related courses at Payap University and Chiang Mai University in Thailand.
Bauwens is the author of a number of on-line essays, including the seminal thesis Peer to Peer and Human Evolution, and The Political Economy of Peer Production. He was also editor of the email Pluralities-Integration newsletter (until 2007, when it ceased production). In 2008 he was external expert at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. He is currently Primavera Research Fellow at the University of Amsterdam.
Bauwens currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In February 2009, he joined Dhurakij Pundit University's International College as Lecturer, assisting with the development of the Asian Foresight Institute.