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 that can create a good life for all. Video can be found for many of the talks online. Opening plenaries by Albert Acosta & Naomi Klein, addressed the religion of growth and climate change as a civilizational wake-up call. Michel Bauwens, from the P2P Foundation and the Commons Strategies Group spoke eloquently about transitioning to a sustainable commons society.

The highlight of the conference for me was connecting with other people in the commons movement. I learned about many varied initiatives in Germany, Austria, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Greece, France, England, Ireland, Turkey, and Finland. It was a refreshing oasis of commons thought & practice compared to the desert here in Texas. German and Austrian commoners launched the Transformap at the conference. Still in development, the team is creating a taxonomy for Open Street Map that will allow all the new economy map details to be featured on one many-layered map. We’ll use the Transformap in our upcoming website in 2015.

There’s big news on the Commons Atlas home front. The Commons Atlas has a new name: CommonsScope! CommonsScope is like a microscope for the commons. Besides focusing on maps & data visualizations, CommonsScope reflects our commitment to feature hundreds or even thousands of commons profiles.

We’re in the final stages of preparing to launch our long-awaited crowdfunding campaign. While we’re raising funds for the development of CommonsScope, we’ll also crowdsource information for the commons profiles. We hope you’ll join us for a #CommonsQuest, a global, distributed effort to document specific commons and what should be commons. We’ll share more about the campaigns soon!

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