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What Is Commoning?


There’s no commons without people commoning: commoners engaged in mutually supportive relationships of co-creating and protecting material or intellectual resources essential to their life.

In the words of Martin Luther King, we are "caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly."

The art of commoning, in a broader sense, is one and the same as the art of living. It’s being fully engaged with life, choosing something we are passionate about and engaging with others to achieve more than any one of us could achieve on our own for a better life for everyone and a thrivable culture.

In a more specific sense, we can distinguish three scopes of commoning. (Hence the three waves in the SoC logo.)

  • The ensemble of practices used by people in the course of managing shared resources and reclaiming the commons. So in its simplest form, "commoning’ is creating and maintaining something collectively" (Michel Bauwens).
  • Moving from the Me to the We, where people become capable to think, feel, and act as co-creative collective entities, without surrendering their individual autonomy.
  • Recognising the inherent unity and connectedness of humanity as a whole, and expanding our sense of self to include it. That's the shift from us to all of us.

Inherent to the identity of the School of Commoning is strengthening the practices of all three ways, and stewarding the evolution of a “commoning” framework that connects them.  We work with our members, learners, associates, clients, and other stakeholders, helping them reaching their aspirations, no matter in which wave of commoning they want to manifest them.

Invitation to a Radical Inquiry. We explores the premise that all life is an indivisible unity. That unity is not some advanced state that we evolve into. Rather, it is a priori or prior to any divisions or difference-making mental or social structures that we tend to overlay on reality. In practice, this means that our decisions, behaviors, and actions take the totality into account, and we operate for the good of the whole. We invite you to join with us in a fearless, unbounded exploration of the implications and possibilities of this presumption.


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