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Notes of the Final Plenary

on Sun, 12/19/2010 - 16:39

Here is a first rough documentation of final PLENARY discussion on conflicts, future orientation and outlook on going forward - use the discussion page to comment!


Contradiction between urgency of future of humanity and commons as lifeboats vs perceived optimism, which may be reflective of tension between traditional and knowledge commons; this tension was not enough reflected on
Tension between very different perspectives rooted in different experiences (grassroots vs more elite experiences)
Too weak analysis of current situation and change factors, for example, ecological vs marxist interpretations and for example how this affects understanding of open money / credit commons; or use of terms like Mother Earth
Differences between regions, Latin America and Europe is very different, for example regarding the state (more generally north south differences);
View of hybridity vs expectation of pure solutions, first is more optimistic than second
Commons as resources and community, and in between there is the process of commoning; but we never talk about the commoning as work;
Are commons nice to have as complement to market economy, or are they something that is necessarily a replacement of the market (on the long run)
Local vs global; tension between re- localisers and others focusing on globalization or reforming global polity
Stress the distinction between corporate platforms such as google, and real common resources like wikipedia; need for alliance between benign digital commons with empowering governance to identify common concepts to communicate to the outside
Political identity groups use too much the other to define themselves
A lot of voices are not represented, such as gender issues, and endangered local communities
Context of commons have not been sufficiently addressed such as environmental urgencies
We need a strategy of the commons as a policy platform but there was insufficient time to address it
Differences between planning approaches and emergency approaches; second one was underrepresented
There was a ignorance of the new methodologies that online facilitation can offer
Too many metaphores of defense against attack ...
Danger of hijacking the commons terminology need to be addressed more consistently


We need to focus on commonality
We need to use new types of facilitation to unlock collective intelligence
We need to address livelihoods for people who are attempting to move away from corporate life forms; attention is needed to new forms that wean us from dependencies
We need to work on lack of knowledge, including on basic criteria to distinguish real commons from unreal ones
Can we be more of a commons in the next conference, more interaction at every level
We can use the United Nations to talk to the world
We have forgotten the history and genealogy of the commons and that there are legal precedents we can use
Challenge to bridge work across caucuses and sub-commons (ECOSOC may be an example)
Need to work on the values that we share, especially political values, and so attract more and more people to the commons as part of their lives
Commons as co-liberation
Commons is and must be about growing power, but to do this we have to think about power differentials and especially about the "enemy"


Having a platform that allows us to document our dialogue and go forward on our proposals, following the experience in Brazil
11 bricks, political action, media, values and meaning, money and finance, technology, education, rules and regulations, social charter, organisation and administration, outreach and inclusiveness; create networks around these domains
Each commons is unique, blueprints do not work, it has to emerge
Meet again in Dakkar in February to talk and meet with global commoners, both world forum on science and democracy; and the world social forum; this requires a group of orgs; write to Dakkar at
Crosscultural dictionary of humankind based on our rootedness in nature
Create group of commons media people
Commons need policy expression; develop a deontology towards working with political representatives
India has created a commons alliance which could be replicated, it is offering to act as a template for other hubs, and is also thinking about the creation of a school of commons. There is a conference in February "Sustaining the commons"
Observatory of commons initiatives
Create global online TV to enable video sharing around commons
Action research on defending-transforming public services using new concept and languages that recognizes their importance for the commons; and think of the commons as a way to revive the public
Develop mechanisms to strengthen structures to defend, maintain and expand the natural commons, such as water
A declaration of the rights of nature to institutionalize the commons
Work against the tax havens to achieve transparency in the financial world
Mapping agents, resources, academics, in order to find each other more easily; regional clusters;
A bigger conference with funding for attendees from global south
Need for loose coordination structure
Considering water as a commons would eliminate conflict
Ecuador minister promises to bring commons topic to ALBA countries; also pledges to incorporate topics in her own ministry
Develop commons color and symbols to recognize each other in the movement
Media pool is created and documentary planned
IASC invitation to cooperate