Cat Johnson: “When faced with the massive crises of our time, the most logical response is paralysis. What can an individual possibly do about something so massive and complex?”

This was the question posed recently by David Bollier, a policy strategist, activist, and a leading voice in the commons movement.

In an effort to find the answer, Bollier and his colleague Anna Grear, a law professor at Cardiff University, connected with a number of people about the “positive, practical steps that anyone can take in dealing with the terrible challenges of our time.”

One result of their efforts is the short film, Re-imagine the Future (below), which features conversations with international law professors, human rights advocates and activists who participated in the Operationalising Green Governance workshop outside of Paris earlier this year.

The film serves to inspire, inform and remind us that “new ways of thinking, acting and being are urgently needed.” It points to commoning, and the need to involve the planet in all of our decisions, as a central piece of the solution.

As Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University says in Re-imagine the Future, “[T]he unregulated way the world economy has been operating has contributed to global inequality of a dangerous sort…creating a lack of confidence in the fairness of the way in which politics are organized.”

Falk adds that people need new ways of interacting with governments and institutions if we’re to “evolve the new kind of planetary politics that are needed to meet the challenges of our age.”

Cross-posted from Shareable.

Photo: Joey Kyber (CC-0). Follow @CatJohnson on Twitter

1 Comment A Commons Approach to the Challenges of Our Time

  1. AvatarAndy E. Williams

    There are a rapidly exploding number of proposals for solutions. The solutions are out there, but our systems of selection don’t reliably converge on them. The problem is not just figuring out how to build a better mousetrap, but how to build a better selection mechanism that reliably recognizes and chooses it.
    The “commons approach” is great, but it is a solution rather than a definition of the problem and objective criteria for judging whether a given proposal solves it. From interacting with quite a number of “commons based” groups I ask if this approach of defining only expectations for the solution rather than defining the solution process in a way that decouples it from any expectations of what the solution might be, actually blocks the innovation required for the best solutions to emerge.

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