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Helene Finidori: Cultural Diversity and the Common Good

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
5th September 2013

Text provided by the author Helene Finidori. The presentation is worth watching, see below.

Helene Finidori:

“This presentation part of the Cultural Diversity and the Common Good at the ‘Imagine the Common Good’ conference in Paris earlier this week illustrates how the commons can manifest as underlying foundational principle in various action logics. The question it raises is how we can use the commons logic at the same time as a means to strengthen disparate efforts individually and to nurture the commons as a whole.

The commons movement is made of different aspirations, degrees and forms of commitment, and ways of approaching the commons. This is what creates its richness and potential as paradigm, but also what makes difficult to formulate a clear definition of the commons and to forge or delineate an identity and ‘shared vision’. Not to mention ‘branding’ the commons, as suggested by Jem Bendell during the Economy and the Commons conference in Berlin last May! There has indeed been some contention in the commons movement about the relevance of building a synthesis and a shared narrative.

Hence, a core identity of the commons ‘movement’ or a commons ‘branding strategy’ must be ‘strategically ambiguous enough’ so as to accommodate and nurture this variety of perspectives, and to foster the crystallization of the commons as called for by Silke Helfrich in her Berlin keynote. As pointed out by Michel in a question to Bonnitta Roy, we need to resolve the paradox and contradiction between on the one hand the need for variety and self organization of disparate initiatives that complement each other organically, and on the other hand the cohesiveness and multiplied impact that would result from the use of a ‘grand narrative’. Bonnitta provides an insightful response. The exchange between Michel and Bonnitta can be found here: commonsabundance.net/docs/grand-narratives-question-by-michel-bauwens-to-bonnitta-roy.


3 Responses to “Helene Finidori: Cultural Diversity and the Common Good”

  1. Alain Ambrosi Says:

    Hi Helen,
    great presentation! do you have by chance a french version of it ?
    If you are still in Barcelona do you know Espai en Blanc ? The philosopher Marina Garces is part of it and published recently “Un mundo Comun” ( edicions bellaterra 2013) in which she adresses the same issues and questions the notion of civic engagement (compromiso) critically reviewing the different until the most recent philophical approaches. The book must be available on line.
    All the best. Alain Ambrosi

  2. Helene Says:

    Hi Alain, apologies, I’m just seeing this now. I will make a version in French. Excellent idea!

    It would be interesting to explore how this could be developed further to create some narrative and how remix the commons could make use of it.

    I am still (occasionally) in Barcelona. Thank you for sharing Espai en Blanc, and Marina Garces’ work. I will definitely have a look.

    All the best.

  3. Helene Says:

    Here is the French version of the presentation:


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