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Commons

Commons is about reclaiming, sharing and self-governing resources that belong to everyone. 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!

 

Recent articles

Dossier: Patterns of Commoning

The book Patterns of Commoning is a special series of essays which explores the inner dynamics of commoning - its ethics, social practices and worldview. In our dossier you can find a selection of nine texts to stimulate your appetite for more.

Farm Hack: A Commons for Agricultural Innovation

In 2011, a community of farmers, designers, developers, engineers, architects, roboticists and open source thinkers came together in Boston, Massachusetts, to explore a simple yet radical idea – that great improvements in agriculture could be achieved by reducing barriers to knowledge exchange.

By Dorn Cox

For 200 years we've been building a gigantic worldwide machine for permanent economic growth. But it is not fulfilling its promise of prosperity, and exceeding the planet’s ecological limits. Together with Attac Germany we have made this film about the permanent economic growth, which breaks the ecological limits of the earth and makes it uninhabitable. A fundamental change is not only necessary, but possible.

Books

Patterns of Commoning

More than sixty frontline activists, academics and project leaders from twenty countries explain how commoning is empowering people to challenge the deep pathologies of contemporary capitalism and invent powerful, participatory alternatives. A special series of essays explores the inner dynamics of commoning - its ethics, social practices and worldview - to explain why the building of new worlds starts from within.

The Wealth of the Commons

The Wealth of the Commons is about history, political change, public policy and cultural transformation on a global scale – but most of all, it’s about commoners taking charge of their lives and their endangered resources. It’s about common people doing uncommon things.
More articles from the book
Commoning is at bottom a process by which we enter into a participatory culture and can sketch an idea of how we want to live together as a society.
Silke Helfrich und David Bollier

Manifesto

Strengthen the Commons – Now!

Awareness of the commons requires a fundamental shift in thinking about the foundations of society. It means using, sharing, and multiplying our common wealth in a free and self-determined way. Our society needs a great debate and a worldwide movement for the commons. Now!

Commons Transition Primer Website

Take a look at the new Commons Transition Primer website, with texts, illustrations, infographics and other interesting features like Key Concept pop ups or case studies on the value of P2P and Commons approaches to work, politics, economy, environment and culture.

Publications

All publications on Commons

Conferences

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 has opened up new vistas in politics, economics and culture by exploring the commons as an alternative worldview and provisioning system.

International Commons Conference 2010

The multidisciplinary international conference took place in November 2010 and brought together about 150 leading figures in commons-based studies and activism. The participants shared their understandings of the commons, explored the range of commons-based policy and forged a new network of commoners. Here you find texts and interviews documenting the event.

Further articles

Lecture and Discussion: 800 Years of Commons

David Bollier and Michel Bauwens of the Commons Strategies Group/P2P Foundation discussed the role of the commons and peer to peer production in meeting people’s needs and the many enclosures of the commons that are abridging their fundamental rights.

Commons based peer production: an introduction

Is our economy essentially wrong? It beliefs in abundant material resources and meanwhile infinite immaterial resources like knowledge and design are maintained artifically scarce, but there is an alternative.

By Michel Bauwens

Turning things right-side up again

Even if the commons economies cannot provide an answer to each and every question today, one thing is certain: they are emerging in practice in diverse forms all over the world. And: their growth is unstoppable!

By Dr. Heike Löschmann
All articles on Commons