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[…]


The Emergence of Law for the Commons

September 29, 2015 CommonSpark Uncategorized

David Bollier recently published a 4-part strategy memorandum outlining 60+ examples of legal innovations in a new frame called “Law for the Commons”. David’s 4-part blog series is a little long but well worth the time to read as the implications are huge. If Buckminster Fuller were alive today, he might say that Law for the Commons is the new operating system that will make the current dysfunctional model obsolete. Here’s a short list of the contents followed by relevant links: Part I:  Introduction Part II:  Legal Innovations in Beating the Bounds:  Nine Promising Fields of Action 1.  Indigenous Commons[…]


Brief Commonsscope Update

August 7, 2015 CommonSpark Uncategorized

The CommonSpark team has been making slow but steady progress building a scaled down version of our original vision for Commonsscope. We decided to focus our efforts on what we consider to be the most critical piece of the project: a wiki where people can begin cataloging commons. We expect to launch the wiki within the next few weeks.


Check Out Our Commons Maps & Bad Actors-Bad Outcomes Map Portals

March 28, 2015 CommonSpark Uncategorized

Our map portals “Maps in the Spirit of the Commons” and “Bad Actors-Bad Outcomes” have been published! The commons map collection includes maps about food, water, the Great Lakes, sharing cities and much more. The Bad Actors-Bad Outcomes portal links to hundreds of maps related to human rights violations, the oil & gas industry, climate change, police violence, gentrification, and more. They are both huge eye-openers and an easy way to see the systemic problems and solutions. Both mindmaps contain almost 300 links so they’re quite large. It’s easiest to navigate if you click the “collapse nodes” button, use the[…]


Brief CommonsScope Update

February 26, 2015 CommonSpark Uncategorized

Since our crowdfunding campaign was not sufficiently funded to hire professional web developers, we have decided to create CommonScope in-house using WordPress. We’ll integrate the CommonsQuest surveys into the website for ongoing crowdsourcing of content for existing commons. We plan to launch the CommonsScope site within a couple of months. We greatly appreciate the support we received and your patience!


An Invitation to Share Your Opinion

December 11, 2014 CommonSpark Uncategorized

Our fundraising campaign to create CommonsScope wraps up on Dec 22nd. Thanks to everyone who has already contributed! Every contribution brings us closer to creating a website that will help people see the commons and give us tools so we can begin to protect them. “The value of the commons is beyond reckoning. Before we can protect it, though, we have to see it, and that is no small task. Of course, seeing the commons is only a first step; the ultimate challenge is to protect it.” ~ Jonathan Rowe Click here to contribute to our fundraising campaign In these[…]



The CommonsScope Indiegogo campaign is LIVE!

November 7, 2014 CommonSpark Uncategorized

Our campaign to fund the development of CommonsScope and the 
#CommonsQuest campaign to crowdsource content for the commons directory has begun! Co-create CommonsScope and help make the commons visible so we can begin the process of reclaiming all we share. You can participate in several ways: 1. Fund the development of CommonsScope The unrestrained ability of corporations and the ultra-wealthy to turn common wealth into private wealth is the root of today’s multiple crises. This theft and destruction of all we share will continue unless we act. Your contribution to this campaign is critical. Reclaiming the commons starts with seeing[…]


The Degrowth Conference & a new name for our project: CommonsScope!

September 16, 2014 Ellen C. Friedman Uncategorized

I’m just back from the Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Leipzig, Germany where 3000 scientists, activists, artists and practitioners gathered. People from 74 nations explored a wide range of topics and perspectives related to degrowth and social transformation including commons, climate justice, food sovereignty, anti-capitalism, indigenous initiatives, Transition, solidarity economy, new forms of democracy and much more. Check out the full program of about 400 events for more detail. The conference is evidence of the emerging movement of movements, a nascent collaboration capable of addressing the multiple existential crises we face with diverse and practical solutions[…]


Project Update June 2014

June 9, 2014 CommonSpark Uncategorized

We’ve been making huge progress on the Commons Atlas project since our last post. We’re in the process of creating striking visualizations that will allow easy navigation of our commons maps, systemic threat maps and open datasets collections which keep growing by leaps and bounds and now feature almost 900 links. We’re using d3, a cutting-edge, open source, data visualization javascript library that utilizes a JSON format. You can check out the d3 library here. We’ve chosen to use the bilevel partition for these three visualizations. Here are a couple of beautiful examples: Digital Commons Network Which fossil fuel companies[…]


What’s next for the Commons Atlas?

January 27, 2014 Ellen C. Friedman Uncategorized

The members of CommonSpark are ready to make the Commons Atlas a reality in 2014!

We are deeply engaged in the process of creating data and visualizations, including:

A Map of the Movement will help us see the better world that is bursting forth with new life from under the broken concrete that is business as usual. We are building an extensive list of commons and other initiatives from the sharing and solidarity economies. This data will be accessible through both maps and a searchable directory.

All Our Grievances are Connected will expose how all ecological, economic and social ills are connected to the commons. The commons is the common ground. It is a pragmatic, systems-level frame that will give us the ability to see the world with new eyes and help us create the paradigm shift that addresses the catastrophic, wicked problems that currently plague the world.

Privatized Public Resources will identify enclosures of public land, spaces, infrastructure, and cultural assets. This data will show the pervasive capture of our shared wealth by private entities. Currently, we only see the tip of this immense iceberg that tells the story of the greatest theft in the history of humankind.

Our Common Wealth will focus on the aspirational big picture of our shared ecological, cultural and social inheritance and their states of wellbeing. It is critical that we see what we share in order to claim our birthrights. Future generations of all living beings depend on us stepping into the role of steward of all we share.


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