Economics and the Common(s)

Conference: Economics and the Common(s)

The prevailing dogma of market-fundamentalism has increasingly been called into question as the predatory dynamics of the market economy became clear and as its threats to the biosphere have become more acute. Our conference "Economics and the Common(s): From Seed Form to Core Paradigm" has opened up some new vistas in politics, economics and culture by exploring the commons as an alternative worldview and provisioning system, as well as a coherent field of inquiry and action. It has convened approximately 210 commoners – researchers, practitioners and advocates from around the world – to explore the relationship of conventional economics and the commons, showcase key actors and initiatives, and deviseplans for moving the commons paradigm forward.


This report summarizes the general content of each keynote presentation and conference stream of the conference "Economics and the Common(s): From Seed Form to Core Paradigm", with verbatim excerpts of the more interesting aspects of the proceedings.

Stream 2: Integrating Theory and Practice

Powerpoint slides from the Workgroups:


Stream 3: New Infrastructures for Commoning by Design

Stream 4: Treating Knowledge, Culture and Science as Commons

Stream 5: Money, Markets, Value and the Commons

Life, Meaning and Spirituality in the Commons


An epoch in modern history has ended. The growth imperative of market capitalism is evidently endangering the ecosystem. Confidence in governments as reliable steward of people's interests has been shaken. Therefore, a new path forward is coming into focus: The commons! The commons is about reclaiming, sharing and self-governing resources that belong to everyone. As a form of governance it is defending traditional or building new social and institutional systems for managing our resources – water and land, knowledge and seeds, genes and the atmosphere – based on the principles of equity and sustainability. The commons is a practical means for re-inventing society in ways that markets and governments are unable or unwilling to entertain. Commons does not mean resources alone are centre stage, of higher importance are the relationships among us, the commoners, our ways of commoning!