Building the coalition for the Commons

CF 2014_MAIN THEME_Web BannerThe 2nd CommonsFest is a unique opportunity for collectives and projects, acting based on the value of sharing and collaborative creation, to meet up. Despite their different origins and topics of involvement, the bonds of the shared values of sharing, solidarity, collaboration, social justice and the pursuit of a harmonious relationship between humans and nature, form the common ground to build a civil coalition for the emergence and expansion of the Commons. The acceleration of this process is important as impasses of current perceptions that limit the horizon of production and reproduction of social life between state and market become more and more acutely apparent.

Commons is a practical example of self-governance, participation and management of very different resources so as to meet human needs and well-being, without the mediation of markets or government hierarchies. Within the complex social and economic environment, the Commons should find their place between the markets and the state: to spread to more areas of social life, gain sustainable organizational and financial structures, to be recognized as a distinct at least equivalent pole of organizing social activity.

In the second CommonsFest we invite you to submit proposals, designed to build a broad coalition for the widening and strengthening of the Commons.
Those proposals will be discussed in a meeting that will take place during the festival and will be published along with any conclusions on our site.

The meeting can head in two directions:

1. Building the civil coalition of the Commons
-What organizational measures, joint actions and initiatives can collectives design and jointly implement to promote the idea and values of the Commons?
-How can they promote the collaboration with other movements that share common values (eg labor movement, peasant movement, ecology movement, the cooperative movement)?
-What policy initiatives they can get to reclaim institutional changes (open access to knowledge, copyright law reform, liberalization of public resources, protection of biodiversity and the natural environment, utilization of public property under the Commons etc.)

2. Promoting economic and institutional sustainability of the Commons
-What kinds of actions can help us quantitatively increase the Commons economy, the circulation of the Commons?
-Which forms of entrepreneurship are compatible with the values of the Commons?
-Which initiatives can raise awareness of the Commons as an alternative that is compatible with part of the small scale entrepreneurship that is the primary basis of the productive fabric of the country?
-What institutional changes we can advance together towards increasing inflows in the Commons and ensuring sustainability for people engaged in the production and reproduction of the Commons?

To prepare an efficient meeting we would like you to submit at least one specific proposal on any of the issues mentioned above by the end of April.

The procedure we propose is for all proposals to be submitted, sorted, and then shared to all the participants in order for them to be prepared for the day of the meeting.

For the meeting we propose the following structure.

– Presentation of each proposal
– Questions for further clarifications
– Debate
– Possible agreement on further action.

The coordinators:
George Papanikolaou
CommonsFest organizers