People's Assemblies Network

Good Commons Links / Resources


Please add more links in the comments section :) - Declaration by Hardt & Negri

2omin video David Bollier at OWS Making Worlds Conference, Feb 16-18 2012
Gives an update to Occupy Wall Street on the zillions of International Commons developments taking place in the world right now and the values that the commons embodies:

Reading Materials on the Commons selected by OWS’ Making Worlds

Podcast recommended by Darren from PAN
David Bollier: Property & Commons, and The Gift Economy

School of Commoning ‘Knowledge Garden’ list of links

Essential commons resources for Occupiers
Making Worlds is a collaborative effort by OWS and other groups and individuals to explore the utility of the commons in creating a better world.

Social Charters: A comprehensive program for (re)claiming sovereignty over our natural and social commons resources
Sage Advice for Occupy? from Nobel winner Elinor Ostrom
A Commons-inspired “Occupy theory” of collective action
Occupy + Commons: The Beginnings of a Beautiful Relationship
12 Reasons You’ll Be Hearing More About the Commons in 2012
Convergence for a Commons-Based Economy – Quilligan’s closing remarks of his 12-day seminar series

Further resources
First, Occupy the Market State: Second, Claim Sovereignty: Third, Practice Subsidiarity
‘Occupy’ as a business model: The emerging open-source civilisation
Occupying the Commons – a Project, an interview with Saki Bailey
Campaign Brief: Caring for the Commons
Surveying Commons Activism on the International Stage
The nascent story of the Escuela de los Commons
Reading Materials on the Commons selected by OWS’ Making Worlds



  1. TB’s Summary of Bollier’s Talk at OWS in Feb (vid referred to in post, at )

    establish moral relationship to resources [respect]
    adopting language and identity of commoners
    different values and core terminologies
    language is a way of establishing alternative worldview, ethics, practice

    basis for workable alternatives
    commoners control themselves
    proactive and constructive dimension
    not just a policy critique, it’s a world view, moral and social ethic

    enclosures of the commons, what has been taken away from us, what no longer exists
    capitalism calls it progress
    comodifying, privatising something we want to share, dubbing it progress
    assert egalitarian ethic, co-production and co-governance

    international land grab
    unprecedented amount of purchasing of land
    China, Saudi Arabia, India, massive amounts of Africa and Latin America
    essentially displacing people
    this is happening right now
    as countries position themselves to secure arable land
    last year major Indian supreme court case, prohibited enclosure of lake, legal precedent, major landmark, genuine pushback by millions of people

    seed sharing, way of combating Monsanto, reclaim local, native varieties of food instead of doing monoculture GMO type foods
    incredible number of farmer suicides

    John Locke

    conference in the Balkans, major issues there is enclosures of coastal lands and urban spaces, government officials colluding with real estate developers to give away the common land, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia

    Green party again is quite active there

    Germany – remarkable how mainstream the commons is in political discourse
    Pirate party, originated in Sweden as a way of dealing with copyright and internet issues, won 10% in municipal elections in Berlin, issues in how they engage with legitimate politics, share issues with commoners and occupy, in saying existing system doesn’t work, needs to be changed

    major international commons conference in Berlin almost 2 years ago, November 2010, 200 self-identified commoners from about 35 countries, first ever such gathering of such people

    May 2013 conference on economics of the commons, also in Berlin, we’re currently trying to plan that.

    having in the flesh hackers from Amsterdam, Phillipino farmers, squatter community people from South Africa, minister of digital culture from Brazil, many academics and activists from the US, see how all of them have an affinity for each other, spirited conversations, made palpable solidarity that’s trying to assert itself through the medium of the commons, through language.

    enormous sense of wanting to come together, wanting to learn from each other.

    new research institute on climate change and global commons (Germany)

    France has a lot of interest in the commons. However, it’s more based on government than self-organised commons. More based on internet there.

    Etymology of the commons. Origin from Norman language, two Norman words for gift and duty. Two-word summary of how commons function. Gifts to all of us and we have duty in return.

    Italy has erupted in the past couple of years. Voter referendum on whether to privatise municipal water system/resources or not. 94% of the voters rejected it. The word commons was the word used in this initiative. Mayor of Naples is an incredibly aggressive promoter of the commons. Two weeks ago, municipal commons, has appointed an assessor of the commons for Naples. Establish a European charter of the commons, under Lisbon treaty, if they get 1M signatures from people around Europe, have a referendum on that, have European Parliament to vote on the commons.

    This charter aspires to be a constitutional thing, unclear where it’s going to go.

    Give you a flavor. The vision. The commons must be rediscovered and fully appreciated as collective goods or services to which access is necessary for a balanced fulfillment of fundamental needs of all people. It is necessary that commons are understood not only as living resources such as forests, biodiversity, water, glaciers, seabeds etc. but as organised public services such as schools, healthcare facilities and transportation.

    Rio + 20. The conference is not going to yield anything meaningful. Alternative peoples’ summit. Major meeting in Porto Alegre of many NGOs and other environmentally oriented people. Understand strategic value of getting to talk about the commons.

    Global south has started to understand how the commons can start to frame some of their concerns in confronting neoliberal capitalism.

    Brazil are a leader in free culture and free software in digital commons. President Lula appointed musician Roberto Giles as minister of culture. All government materials were issued under CC license.

    There are a lot of pockets of interest.

    Begins to address the compulsive externalising of cost that capitalism is involved in.

    Confronts the ethic of monetising all value.

    Deals with the growth imperatives of the economy

    Deals with the legal prejudices against collective stewardship or resources. Hard to find in western law ways to deal with collective ownerships.

    The common law project. We’re trying to recover from history fragments of common law.

    School of commoning, Summer school of commons, online course of the commons (going live March 1st, 4 module online course, self-paced).

    Huge number of transnational tribes of commoners: solidarity of commoning, transition town movement, water activists, free software open source movement, CC, wikipedia, open access publishing, occupy, convergence of movements, many of the same values

    it’s unity without uniformity, a way of trying to recover some very elemental things, find new institutions, new forms of law to manifest itself, not just about sharing and caring, our major challenge is to develop the mindset and vocabulary for seeing the commons in the first place and then making it, not getting caught up in sectarian squabbles when there are so many bigger issues that unite us

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