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What is the role of the commons in the economy?

on Mon, 02/27/2012 - 10:51

May 26th Update: Following the Quilligan Seminars, detailed in the announcement made by Anna Betz below, the SoC team and convenors of this landmark event have been busily preparing the information and follow up plans for the exciting outcomes of all the seminars including the last event on the 18th May - Convergence for a Commons-based Economy. 

Please find all of the Quilligan talking points here.

You may also enjoy reading George's blog After the Quilligan Seminars: how to bring the Commons alive in our life and work.

We have also been busy updating the fundraising site with latest news and a new video produced by our young canadian commoner Connor. You may have met him at the seminars. Please help us spread the news and invite your friends to support the 'Commons Economy Rising in 2012' fundraising campaign. We now have the raw footage of the films thanks to Inkas tireless efforts and are busy viewing 60 + hrs of footage, selecting the best and most important clips and will put them together into making the final products including a 30mins film. We still need more transcriber volunteers. Please get in touch here team[at]schoolofcommoning[dot]com if you can give that kind of support. Once completed, all films will be open source under a creative commons licence.

Thanks to the highly skilled work by our commoner friend David Price you can view the Debategraph here. Please remember that this is work in progress.

We also have a Commons Rising WIKI, Slideshare  with Slide presentations Occupy the Commons and Managing the Local and Global Commons a YouTube channel and we are using the School of Commoning Facebook site and Twitter to spread the news of what is emerging.

Thanks to everyones interest and engagement, the seminar series have started to be the fertile soil for groundbreaking new ideas, actions and projects. Let's make the commons happen together!




May 7th - 18th 2012, London

You are invited to this intensive social innovation project of 12 interrelated seminars in 12 days involving leading NGOs and thinks tanks. This series will foster an educational and research collaboration for facilitating transition to a more equitable world. It will demonstrate how differing starting points can lead to a commons ground. In the state of play table you will find the introduction to each seminar when you click on the respective title.

You can participate in one or more of these seminars. Here you can find the overview of the whole seminar series and see how they all link together. They will be led by James Quilligan, a globally renowned commons theorist/activist.

The organisations convening those events include: Finance Innovation LabWestminster HubSt. James PiccadillyInstitute for Public Policy ResearchNew Economics FoundationCivil Society Forum, and School of Commoning.  The kick-off seminar will be hosted in the House of Commons. Starting from many different points of engaged intellectual and social concern, research and practice, the various seminars will explore the understanding of the Commons as perceived from each seminar’s perspective. Together, they represent an emergent curriculum of theoretically grounded and action-oriented studies in the key economic, political, and social issues of the Commons.

In these seminars we will examine together such questions as:

  • Economically, what steps are needed to adjust the rules of the present interest-driven, debt-based economy to the sustainable targets of our natural, social and cultural commons?
  • Politically, how can the philosophy of individual wealth (ownership, division of labor, reciprocity) be reconciled with the interests of collective wealth (trusteeship, the unity of producers and consumers, complementarity)?
  • Socially, would it be possible for people's trusts to create sustainable limits to protect our commons for future generations, then rent the remaining resources to business for production and distribution, and provide these revenues to government for the funding of social dividends and the restoration of the depleted commons?

The vital and complex questions introduced in these seminars do not have easy answers. The investigation into how the “commons” may connect and synergise the economic, social, philosophical, spiritual, and political spheres, and facilitate the great transition to an equitable and sustainable world, is an ongoing challenge.

James Bernard Quilligan has been an analyst and administrator in the field of international development since 1975. He has served as policy advisor and writer for many international politicians and leaders, including Pierre Trudeau, François Mitterand, Edward Heath, Julius Nyerere, Olof Palme, Willy Brandt, Jimmy Carter and HRH Prince El Hassan of Jordan. He  has also been an economic consultant for agencies in more than 30 countries. Quilligan is a co-founder of Global Commons Trust, where he is working with colleagues to develop a Secretariat to provide research, support and publicity for a new international commission on the global commons. He has also launched a lobbying effort, Commons Action for the United Nations (CAUN), which has been successful in introducing the concepts of the commons into UN discussions and documents. Over the past several years, Quilligan has published a series of groundbreaking articles on the global commons in Kosmos Journal. 




Getting invited and involved

If you want to receive updates and/or secure your place in one of the seminars (first come, first served), then please say so in your message to Anna Betz. See her email address below.
If you want to get involved and become part of this project of epic potential, whilst learning with a dynamic team of commons educators, then find out more about the volunteering and interning possibilities here.

Hosting and Coordination Team

Anna Betz, School of Commoning, anna(at)SchoolofCommoning(dot)com
Peter Challen, Christian Council for Monetary Justice, peterchallen(at)gmail(dot)com
George Pór, School of Commoning, george(at)SchoolofCommoning(dot)com

We give thanks to the funders of the 'Commons Economy Rising in 2012' crowdfunding campaign

Special thank you to Manuel MagalhaesStephanie Shorter, Shareable MagazineHelene Finidori, Civilizing The Economy and Institute for Planetary Synthesis for their generous support of the campaign.



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