Big Changes for CommonsScope

October 23, 2015 Ellen C. Friedman Uncategorized

Megan, Jim and I were slowly making progress developing a wiki to catalog commons when I discovered that the Commons Transition website had launched a wiki with the same purpose. Rather than duplicate efforts by continuing to develop CommonsScope, we decided to join the Commons Transition community as contributors. We shared our research identifying several hundred commons and are beginning to catalog them in the Commons Transition wiki and mapping their location on the TransforMap, a platform that maps the abundance of alternatives to the current economic system.

Besides the Commons Transition wiki and Law for the Commons wiki I wrote about recently, another important Commons Transition development is the Commons Transition plan. This plan is an expansion of the FLOK Society plan (Free/Libre Open Knowledge) developed by Michel Bauwens and a team of researchers to bring an open knowledge-based economic transition grounded in the values of the commons to Ecuador. The Commons Transition plan is a roadmap to move beyond the status quo market-state binary and towards “a commons-centric society in which a post-capitalist market and state are at the service of the citizens as commoners”. The plan calls for the creation of Alliances and Chambers of Commons and outlines policy changes that could lead to a commons-centric society. The plan is meant to be a starting place for communities to build a transition that is grounded in local culture, knowledge, challenges, opportunities and relationships.

The Commons Transition plan is being adapted for use in Europe and the United States. I traveled to Chicago to attend the October 10th gathering organized by Steve Ediger to lay the foundations for the Chicago Chamber of Commons. In Chicago, twenty commoners met at the ICA-USA Greenrise in Uptown where we explored the meaning of “commons” in a consensus workshop and collaboratively created an action plan to engage key Chicagoans and launch the Chicago Chamber of Commons in May 2016.

One of the more advanced and inspiring implementations of the Commons Transition plan is the Catalan Integral Cooperative (CIC). CIC is working to “unite consumer and labor initiatives” and “generate a self-managed, post-capitalist society based on P2P principles and environmental and social realities.” You can find out more about the CIC at the Commons Transition website or their own website.

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