Shared purpose and values are essential to the coherence and vitality of a commons. A matrix of living meaning can only arise if it is actively embraced and lived by commoners; it cannot simply be declared or formally imposed. Therein lies the challenge: to consciously enact the practices that can intensify share purpose & values.
This pattern is based on Develop Shared Purpose & Values.
How does it work?
It is often assumed that in a commons people share purpose and values at the very outset. This might be true for intentional communities and some cooperatives, but commons often come about because people live in a shared space, make use of the same resource-system or infrastructure, or simply because they share a problem that they know won't solved individually.
Shared purpose and values may arise:
- by adoption: The initiative of daring individuals or a small group often attracts a larger group of collaborators. Examples: Linus Torvalds (Linux), Richard Stallman (free software), Wikipedia (html , Jimmy Wales), ADD NON DIGITAL NON MALE EXAMPLES.
- by tradition: Shared purpose and values are often well-established by decades or centuries of established common practices. In such cases, especially in indigenous cultures, origin stories may make shared purpose and values quite visible and compelling.
- by design: Since small projects may not share the same values despite a common goal, its members may consciously design and iterate a process for developing shared purpose and values. An example is Enspiral, which uses in-person retreats, the Loomio deliberation software, and other methods to cultivate shared purpose and values.
Honoring shared purpose and values generally must come through the everyday practices of commoning, which naturally provide a shared experience and mutuality for aligning people's interests and values. Rituals, traditions and celebrations are also important means for strengthening shared commitments.
# See also Make Commoning Work