# A Framework for Understanding Commons & Commoning
developed in 2017 by
Silke Helfrich is an uninstitutionalized academic and independent activist.
David Bollier is a commons activist, scholar, author and blogger.
Working Together Teamwork Puzzle Concept. source
Commons & Commoning are World-Making in a Pluriverse, complex adaptive processes, that consist of a simple symbiotic triade: the social section (commoning), the institutional and organizational section (peer governance) and the economic section (provisioning).
Each section has multiple dimensions, which are listed below. It is important to understand, that these sections don't describe something different. They rather describe the same - aspects of commons & commoning - just seen through different lens depending on the section's focus. There is therefore an overlap and correspondence among the dimensions (let's call them patterns) on each list.
Note that the lists do not assert universal, ahistorical principles of commons, but rather recurrent, general *patterns* of commoning that vary widely. (Foto Wikimedia Commons
These are the dimensions we consider key for thriving commoning processes. Remember: There is no commons, without commoning.
- Cultivate Shared Purpose & Values - Strengthen the Nested-I (Widen? Multiply? Deepen) - Contribute Freely (without coercion) - Practice Gentle Reciprocity - Ritualize Togetherness - Trust Situated Knowing (also: knowledge) - Deepen Communion with Nature - Preserve Relationships in Addressing Conflicts - Reflect on Your Peer Governance
Peer-Governance is an expression of self-organization. Each process is designed to Respect Human Dimensions. Peer Governance in Commons is distinct from governing for the people. It is also distinct from governing with the people. It is governing through the people. Remember: There is no commoning without Peer-Governance.
- Keep Commons & Commerce Distinct - Bring Diversity into Shared Purpose - Create Semi-Permeable Membranes - Assure Consent in Decisionmaking - Rely on Heterarchy - Relationalize Property - Honor Transparency in a Sphere of Trust - Share Knowledge Often & Widely - Finance Commons Provisioning - Peer-Monitor & Use Graduated Sanctions
Commons also means: breaking free of an economic empire, because commoning is generative. It produces care, shelter and all kind of things which are useful to us.
- Share the Risks of Provisioning - Make & Use Together - Honor Care & Decommodified Work (& Decommodify work) - Pool & Share - Pool, Cap & Divide Up -> was: Pool, Cap if Necessary & Divide up - Pool, Cap & Mutualize -> was: Cap & Mutualize - Trade with Price-Sovereignty - Use Convivial Tools - Rely on Distributed Structures - Produce Cosmo-Locally - Creatively Adapt & Renew
ontological ground and political culture
This is the ontological ground, commons & commoning stand upon.
Our framework is the foundation of our thinking about commoning and the commons, but the framework itself is based on a foundation: this is what we call the 'inner kernel': basic assumptions we share about the world, human beings, the way knowledge is created and such. Based on this inner kernel, our framework helps developing a commons vocabulary (not taxonomy). Obviously, the result is imperfect and incomplete if only because the realities of the human condition ultimately elude full systemization and analysis. Despite attempts to create an "utopia of rules" (David Graeber) through bureaucracy and other systems of control, human agency is always dynamic, surprising and boundary-crossing: a case of biopoetics vs. universal systems, one might say.
# Growing the Commons see External Politics & Culture
Political culture and polity that make commons & commoning thrive would help to Protect & Extend Value Sovereignty in the commons. Here are a few suggestions for making this happen. It is, how we frame the relation of commons to the outside - towards other commons, towards state powers, towards the market. From resisting enclosures to "scaling" the commons.
- Beat the Bounds of Capitalocentrism -> was: Beat the Bounds - Emulate & Then Federate - Strengthen Commons Public Circuits - Add: Intercommoning See State Functions for Commoning - Provide Mediation & Support if Needed - Establish Discrimination Free Infrastructures
browsing this fedwiki
# Grouping Commons based on # a) Realms of Commoning In alphabetical order: Air&Atmosphere, Art&Culture, Communication, Democratic Innovation, Energy, Fisheries, Food, Forests, Health, Housing, Knowledge, Land, Learning, Mobility, Process, Spirit&Well Being, Spaces for Commoning, Technology&Tools, Water
# b) Geographic Location or Scope
# c) Alphabetical Listing of Projects & Initiatives
This fedwiki also provides a collection of commons- projects, initiatives and governance practices from all over the world and from different thematic areas. It might be more fun and more inspiration to have a look at these practices rather than studying concepts. We are focussing on rich&developed practices, which adress a considerable number of realms of commoning, are remarkable in terms of Provisioning through Commons and simply allow us to tell a good story while connecting their stories.
This is an alphabetical listing of important concepts we refer to in this fedwiki: abductive reasoning, abundance, bureaucracy, Complex Adaptive Systems, commoner, commonism, conviviality, federation, freedom, governance, heterarchy, innovation, inter-commoning, interdependency, intra-action, Market-State, metis, model, mutualization, patterns instead of principles, paradigm shift, pericapitalist, permacircularity, polycentricity, power, radical monopoly, reciprocity, self-organization, symmathesy, systems, swaraj, transcontextuality, transformation, transition, utilitas publica, value sovereignity, vision, wealth, wholeness
# Related Sites in our fedwiki
Fed Wiki Tools fedwiki , Conceptual Notes template, MakeCommoningWork template, Governance Practices template, Notes to David, Notes to Silke, Term Dropping, Book Title, Unresolved Questions, The Five Stars, The Radar Chart, Foto Transporter, Preface Notes, Tech Questions, The Book, Design Principles for Commons Institutions and How To Govern, esthetics and style, Markdown Syntax. Blurbs for the Book