Bollier-Flanders and other media encounters on the Commons

It was a treat to be interviewed by Laura Flanders, a smart, solution-minded progressive who recently explored “new economy models” on her eponymous TV show. She asked me some great questions, and put together a tight 18-minute video segment that aired on May 23. Thanks, Laura.

Over the past several months, I’ve done a number of other interviews and talks that have been posted online at various points. One of the more dramatic segments is an extremely well-produced 28-minute video about the “city as a commons,” which I gave at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona last November. It was a massive stage!

My talk is both an introduction to the common and a quick overview of efforts to bring collaborative projects and policies to urban regions – an antidote to the investor-driven “development” that is plaguing so many cities.

In a related vein, I had a short article on this topic published in The Nation magazine on November 29, 2016.  It focused on the city as an incubator for new sorts of participatory, democratic initiatives – a piece written in anticipation of the then-impending Trump administration.

It’s always a thrill when some discerning journalist in the mainstream media gives some exposure to the commons. That happened last December when George Monbiot, the economics columnist for The Guardian, made a nice shout-out to the power of commoning in his piece, “The case for despair is made.  Now let’s start to get out of the mess we’re in.” He cites the book Patterns of Commoning and makes the case for the commons as a promising path forward.

Occasionally I get requests to do interviews with fellow activists and commoners who want to discuss some of the finer points of commons strategy and possibility. One of the more exciting interviews was done with Tammy Lea Mayer and Nicolas Perrin, who asked many probing questions of me and my commons colleague Silke Helfrich for about an hour last October.  The whole online conversation was videotaped and posted on YouTube.

For those of you who speak some Spanish, here is a panel discussion about the commons at Medialab-Prado in Madrid (some in English), held to celebrate the release of the Spanish edition of Think Like a Commoner, Pensar desde los comunes. My co-panelists were translator Susa Oñate and Ann Marie Utratel of Guerrilla Translation, both of whom played major roles in shepherding the Spanish translation and publishing to completion. My intervention and Ann Marie’s are in English, while Susa’s intervention and the Q&A were half in Spanish, half in English.

Finally, here is a short video about the commons that I did for Agence Française de Développement (AFD), which is currently exploring the commons as a new strategic framework for its development policies and programs.

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