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Co-creating a people-powered healthcare

on Mon, 09/10/2012 - 21:53

The Quilligan Seminars on the Commons:

a Tribute to Elinor Ostrom (1934 -2012)

Co-creating a people-powered healthcare

How can we make healthcare work for people and communities?

A seminar guided by James Quilligan and moderated by Anna Betz and George Pór


Tuesday, 23 October 2012;  9:30 am –  5:00 pm

Venue: Indian YMCA , 41 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 6AQ.

Register for the event with Eventbrite. Join the conversation on our Meet-up site, here.


The health and well-being of large segments of our people are declining. As passive consumers of medical care we are used to leave choices about our own health to  'experts'. Very few medical professionals welcome challenging questions by curious patients. We read in newspapers daily about  the poor quality and outcomes of our institutionalised healthcare system. Privatised healthcare, as modeled by the US and full of horror stories about people not being able to afford it, is certainly not a desirable alternative. How can we envision new approaches to health, which will free us from being trapped by the false choice between inefficientt public sector bureaucarices and private sector greediness? 

The School of Commoning and the Health & Well-being group  at Commons Rising convene this gathering to co-create a new story of health. The current system keeps us isolated as patients and consumers of medical services. We want to break that pattern, and start with the recognition that citizens should be actively involved with the production and governance of all health resources.

Let's talk about what the new health system would look like, and how would it affect the functioning of the existing healthcare model? Will it support more sustainability, equity and fairness? How would a healthier healthcare system come into being? What can we as concerned citizens do to make that happen? 

What is a commons of health and wellbeing?

A health commons is a group of people who care about their own health, about the health of their loved ones, their communities and the planet. The heart of the health commons are people like you and me, who are happy to contribute their energy, knowledge and skills to help creating better health for everyone. We take responsibility for the way forward through conversation and collective action, and offer to be accountable for what we promise, as our gift to the community.

Who should attend  and what to expect

This will be a one day gathering of people who may or may not work in the health and/or social care sector and whose hearts know that a sustainable healthcare system is possible.   We invite professionals in both health and social care, decision makers, budget holders and everyone affected by the way our healthcare system works into a safe space to a day of action orientated exploration. The aims of this gathering are:

- Raising awareness of our possibilities for transformative practices in healthcare

- Exploring the fundamental principles and rules underlying the design of a new sustainable healthcare system

- Building relationships that can foster the sustained attention and accountability necessary to make our commons effort successful

If you are passionate about health and wellbeing and want to meet with others who feel the same, you will be at home at this gathering. Bring your hopes, curiosity, and courage to engage together in evoking a better world of healthcare, which will grow into realityand through our shared attention and commitment.


Flow of the day

1. What it is?

             - Keynote on the Commons, sustainable healthcare and Elinor Ostrom’s legacy (James Quilligan, Global Commons Trust)

Following the keynote, leading healthcare professionals will present some innovative projects and perspectives, and how they relate with Elinor Ostrom’s commons work and principles.

- Health, healthcare and relationships (John Ashcroft, Research Director, Relationship Foundation

- Health, healthcare and sustainability, monitoring and measuring it  (Henk Hadders) Executive Director of the Board of GGZ Drenthe (ret)

- Health, healthcare and institutions (James MacKenzie,Development Advisor, NHS sustainable development unit)

- Holistic Healthcare (Prof. David Peters, editor of the ‘Journal of Holistic Healthcare’  co-founder of faculty of the University of Westminster’s School of Integrated Health

 - Healthy communities and self-care projects (Alex Laird from  Living Medicine )

-  Enhancing the ability of communities to care well for their dying (Hermione Elliot from


2. What it can be?

               -  What healthcare principles and pracitices are out of date and no longer serve the common good?

-  What are the new healthier principles and pracitices that shoiuld serve as the foundation of a Commons Roadmap to Sustainable Healthcare?

Together we will first explore the mess we’re in, then we will start building together a new framework for health; a framework that can provide a practical a way to empower civil society to take an active role in the future of healthcare.

3. How to make it happen?

How can we work together for the healthcare we want? This concluding part of the gathering will be dedicated to learning how to grow a shared understanding and collective capability to make a system of sustainable health and healthcare a reality.The experience of commoning will help us accessing our co-creativity and using our shared knowledge, experience and wisdom to confidently start building a Commons Roadmap to Sustainable Healthcare.

Participants who feel called to act on what they believe is needed will have an opportunity to step forward as co-creators/stewards of the Roadmap, and form a Working Group for a convergence of people, organisations, and networks aligned with it


To help covering our expenses we suggest a donation £ 30 if registered in advance (concessions £20) , and £ 35 ( £25) when registering at the door. 


To register for this event go to Eventbrite. Alternatively send a cheque made payable to ‘School of Commoning’ to 118 Brading Crescent, Wanstead London E11 3RS 


Lunch will be available in the adjoining Dining Hall . It serves Indian Food and costs around £7 per person. 

If you want to get more value from our time together, read/watch (any of) these materials before coming:

Recommended reading:

Recommended viideos:

The Commons  -

A short introduction to the concept of the commons, as well as a critical review of the so called "tragedy of the commons"    

Videos selected from the 12 Quilligan Seminars in London in May 2012

Political Economy and the inclusive Commons at the House of Commons                                 

The Great Transition and the Commons Seminar at the New Economics Foundation

The Commons and the New Era Economics

If you have any questions or want to discuss issues leading up to this seminar, please e-mail us: or . Also check out the website of CommonsRising for the latest news about this event

Register for the event with Eventbrite. Join the conversation on our Meet-up site, here.

School of Commoning, 118 Brading Crescent, Wanstead, London E11 3RS, Tel: +44 (0)208 9899940