Open-source living from woodland to web.
By Davie Philip
Sharing with others and working together is hard-wired into our very being yet the dominant social and economic systems we depend on are actually working against our ability to collaborate. However, a fresh approach for taking care of our shared resources is emerging. ‘Commons’ originally referred to land or resources belonging to the whole of a community but the age-old concept is now being supercharged with new ideas from the open-source software community and the cooperative movement.
The commons is a social practice for meeting our needs outside of the market. It is estimated that there are 2 billion people around the world who are currently managing land, forests, fisheries, water, seeds and creative knowledge as commons. These commoners are not only the users and beneficiaries, but also the co-creators and stewards of these shared resources.
A commons is not so much about resources themselves but more about how we work together and relate to each other. It’s a conversation about who we are and how we act. It involves taking your life into your own hands, rather than being dependent on markets to sell you what you need. Commoning allows people to make decisions and take action to shape the future of their own communities.
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