The narrative of the global commons holds significant promise for the future of humanity. In addition to the structures, assumptions, and activities of the private sector and the public sector, the commons offers a framework for conducting human affairs based on cooperation, self-sufficiency, and local autonomy. To accelerate the understanding and embrace of the commons, education is key. The Commons Knowledge Alliance can be an important platform for enabling participatory learning about the commons, as well as actual engagement in commons-related activities.
What commons areas or issues are you involved with or interested in
I currently direct the Global Commons Initiative in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. My responsibilities include teaching courses on the commons to undergrads, MBAs and Executive MBAs. The conventional orientation taught in business schools is that the private sector can enclose or expropriate the commons as a "free" resource. This approach is not only unsustainable, it is ethically flawed. By making students aware of the importance of the commons and inviting them into a thoughtful dialogue on the many issues involved, perspectives can shift and new possibilities come to the fore.
What else would you like to share about yourself with other commoners
Most fundamentally, the commons represents an archetype of the inherent indivisibility in which all life participates. This indivisibility is a priori or prior to the imposition of mind-based assumptions of separation. The earth today is in crisis. In order to address our current situation in a way that can produce lasting, positive change, we must take the totality of humanity and even all of the earth into account. This fundamental understanding is essential for the future of humankind.