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Earth Commons Rising!

on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 08:00

"The commons is still an embryonic vision. It will require time to evolve. But it is a vision with great potential, perhaps because it is not being advanced by an intellectual elite or a political party, but by a hardy band of resourceful irregulars on the periphery of conventional politics. (That’s always where the most interesting new things originate.) These commoners are now starting to find each other, a convergence that augurs great things." -- Imagining a New Politics of the Commons, David Bollier

This forum is dedicated to facilitate the emergence of self-organizing, collective intelligence and consciousness of the international commons movement and serve as a virtual "stem cell" for its collective sensing and meaning-making organs.

We want to contribute to spreading the "commons" meme as a viable alternative to market fundamentalism, and to serve as a platform for those who who want to articulate and share their commons-related experience. Doing that work, we are standing in a unitary awareness, presuming the inherent unity of all of Earthkind.

If this forum grows and attracts a large international network of collaborators, we intend to spin it off as a website on its own, associated and working synergistically with On the Commons, Foundation for P2P Alternatives, Gemeingüter (Commons, in German), Foundacion Vi­a Libre, and other key, commons-related sites.

“Commons are institutional spaces in which we are free.” -Yochai Benkler

Commons Manifesto: Strengthen the Commons. Now! "A group of commoners who participated in Interdisciplinary political salons of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Germany in 2008 and 2009 have collectively authored a terrific new manifesto and statement about the" -- David Bollier

“Strengthen the Commons — Now!” was written in German and translated, so far, to English, Polish and Spanish.

German: "Gemeingüter starken. Jetzt!"

English: "Strengthen the Commons. Now!"

Spanish: "Fortalecer los bienes comunes. Ahora!"

Polish: "Wzmocnic to, co wspolne."

Quotes from the Commons Manifesto

There‘s something new afoot – a movement to reclaim the Commons! There is a movement that reminds us of what is worth keeping. A movement that seeks to reclaim what belongs to us, that affirms human dignity and creates something new. This movement to build and protect the commonsis expanding the horizon of what is possible.

It is imperative that we focus our personal creativity, talents and enthusiasm to protect and increase our social wealth and natural commons . This will require an eye on the goal to change some basic structures of politics, economics, and society...

Agents of the Commons do not have one but many centers. We need them locally, regionally, and globally. Conflicts can be resolved directly in well-arranged communities and their. But the global commons is an almost insolvable challenge, because where does the „world community“ really come together and define itself as such? How should it agree upon the sustainable usage of its shared resources?

The more complex the system, the more important it is that there is an institutional and transparent framework for the careful management of the. When the state achieves this and protects the, government action will be supported by society.

See the full text of the Commons Manifesto here

Silke Helfrich, one of the co-authors of the Commons Manifesto, will be the guest in a few hours of Jerry Michalski and the Innovation Exchange of the Environmental Defense Fund EDFIx in conference call about "Strategy and the Commons.' If you're lucky and read this on Monday, March 22, before noon (New York) or 4 pm (London), you can join us in the call. Look up the access details here. If you read this later than that, don't despair; EDFix says, the call will be recorded and made available as podcast.

Commenting on Silke Helfrich's article, "The Commons as a common paradigm for social movements and beyond," Neal Gorenflo, the publisher of Shareable, wrote:

Commons means shared power, shared wealth, and shared production. And that these are not administered in a heavy handed way by a central authority but self-organized by ordinary people through democratic values and processes. The Commons is a process by which many of these groups goals for society can be realized...

The Commons is a solution that works at the root of the problem. And is slowly marginalizing the status quo rather than fighting it...

Instead of saying the time is ripe for, I would say that the Commons movement is well underway creating amazing change and that groups should work to accelerate this shift...

If we want to give our best to the Earth, we need to start by educating ourselves about the movement, the possibility of Commons-based society, the Viral Spiral of Commons rising, Commons-based governance, and the ideas of Yochai Benkler about social production and open source economics (video of his TED talk).

That's the learning journey that I am on and invite you to join.
Let's share our questions, news, and reflections here. 


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George Pór published the article on the 22/03/10