Date archives "July 2016"

The “Continuing Revelation” of Scandinavian Economies

In one of the Republican presidential primary debates the American people were subjected to this past year, Marco Rubio remarked that Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders would make a “good candidate for president—of Sweden.” This was not a compliment. (Also: Sweden doesn’t have a president.) Rubio could safely assume that Republican primary voters more or less… Continue reading

Pools: A Proposal for One-Click Co-ops in Online Groups

I’ve been trying to think about ways of mainstreaming the co-op model, and the idea keeps coming up of something like a co-op layer on top of a site like Meetup, kind of akin to Stripe’s Atlas. The goal is making it as easy as possible to turn a Meetup group into a one-click co-op—perhaps… Continue reading

History as a Commons: a Q&A with Chris Carlsson of Shaping San Francisco

Cat Johnson: Shaping San Francisco is a participatory community history project documenting and archiving overlooked stories and memories of San Francisco. A multi-faceted project that’s been going for 20-plus years, Shaping San Francisco hosts bicycle and walking tours of the city, hosts public talks, and maintains FoundSF, a growing online archive to help people discover… Continue reading

Why Would a Libertarian like Thiel Support an Authoritarian Candidate like Trump?

“In a 2009 essay called The Education of a Libertarian, Thiel declared that capitalism and democracy had become incompatible. Since 1920, he argued, the creation of the welfare state and “the extension of the franchise to women” had made the American political system more responsive to more people – and therefore more hostile to capitalism…. Continue reading

Commons Transition Chicago July Meeting

An update from Steve Ediger and our friends at the Chicago Chamber of the Commons (now “Commons Transition Chicago”). Sign up for their meeting on Sunday, July 31st here. Welcome to the newest iteration of commons-based events and happenings in Chicago.  We’ve recently rethought our work to-date and decided on a new path forward that… Continue reading

Occupiers from Tunisia, Spain, New Zealand, Taiwan and France compare notes

The highlight of my recent trip to Europe was this conversation in the photograph above (also captured in this 360° video, and this audio recording). Click here to read the rest of the series. The people in this photograph are participants from the Tunisian revolution in 2010, the Spanish 15M movement and the New Zealand… Continue reading

The Great Transition in the Netherlands – Manifesto for a fair and green economy

Grassroots-driven social change is accelerating all over Europe, but particularly in the Netherlands, which had to suffer the dislocating effects of ultra-neoliberal policies since 2005, and where the population has reacted through an exponential growth of civic and cooperative initiatives, as documented in Tine De Moor’s Homo Cooperans study. All kinds of transition events draw… Continue reading

Designing a fair and sustainable system of academic publishing

TL;DR: Almost everyone thinks academic publishing needs to change. What would a better system look like? Economist Elinor Ostrom gave us design principles for an alternative – a knowledge commons, a sustainable approach to sharing research more freely. This approach exemplifies using economic principles to design a digital platform.  A special contribution by Jimmy Tidey, cross-posted from… Continue reading

All power to the {historical} imagination! McKenzie Wark on Karatani

Kojin Karatani’s book, The Structure of World History, has a special meaning for me, as it confirmed the intuition at the basis of the p2p approach, which is that the configuration between the different modes of exchange, has a huge importance in driving the logic of a society and its economy. Karatani’s overview of world… Continue reading

Michel Bauwens: Uber or Airbnb ‘should be regulated like the rest of the economy’

This interview with Michel Bauwens by Frédéric Simon  was originally published on Enterprises like Uber and Airbnb “basically suck value out of the local economy” by trying to work around social laws and other regulations, says Michel Bauwens. But simply banning them would be short-sighted, he told Michel Bauwens is an active writer,… Continue reading

Catarina Mota introduces the Open Building Institute

Catarina Mota and Marcin Jakubowski introduce a new project seeded in the Open Source Ecology project, i.e. the Open Building Institute. The interview was conducted by James Corbett. From the show notes: “You wouldn’t download a house, would you? Of course you would! And now with the Open Building Institute, you can! Join us today… Continue reading

Fraternitas Mercatorum : the political origins of brotherhood in the merchant and craft guilds

Fraternity is a key Western value since the time of the Greeks… But how did it become the yearning of the urban masses to the point of forming a triad with freedom and equality? In order to rescue the following story in this series, we will travel with Henri Pirenne to the times of the… Continue reading

Polish culture is turning barren

This article by Igor Stokfiszewski first appeared as part of the focal point Culture and the commons, which is a cooperation between and Connected Action for the Commons network. It was also republished on After 100 days in power, Poland’s nationalist right-wing government expressed its desire to completely transform Polish culture. As the anticipated… Continue reading

Nomadic platform societies need platform cooperatives

Very good introduction by Nathan Schneider on why we need platform cooperatives, in a lecture co-organized by Outlandish in London. From the notes to the video: Nathan Schneider (@nathanairplane) gives an introduction to the concept of platform co-operativism, and talks about what the digital economy can learn from the tradition of co-operatives. The talk is… Continue reading

State Power and Commoning: Transcending a Problematic Relationship

What changes in state power must occur for commoning to flourish as a legal form of self-provisioning and governance?  What does the success of the commons imply for the future of the state as a form of governance? My colleagues and I at the Commons Strategies Group puzzled over such questions last year and decided… Continue reading