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 matches what we’ve heard and experienced about the state of the commons in Chicago.  We’re pretty excited about our new direction and wanted to share it with you.

Recent Happenings

In April and May Steve Ediger, Sally Duros and other colleagues at ChiHackNight developed a map of Chicago shareable entities for Shareable‘s MapJam 3.0 project. We started with the previous Shareable Chicago map and added many entries, including, community gardens, housing cooperatives, farmers markets, food cooperatives, worker collectives, co-working spaces, makerspaces, and many others.  We identified over 400 shareable entities in Chicago and the list is growing.  Here is the Shareable Chicago map for your review.

Then, in June, 2016 almost a dozen of us met at the ICA Greenrise to review our progress, reframe our work and analyze data from the map.

We acknowledged that process in establishing a Chamber of Commons in Chicago was making somewhat lackluster progress.  In reviewing our work to-date, we realized that the concept of a working Chamber of Commons requires too many precursors that are simply not in place.  Despite the existence of so many sharing entities in Chicago, a commons-based economy has yet to coalesce.

So we decided to pull our efforts towards a Chamber of Commons back and refocus our efforts on more productive work that recognizes our current situation in Chicago.  As a result, we’re pleased to announce Commons Transition Chicago, a new path forward towards exploring the role commons can play in Chicago, finding examples, connecting networks and encouraging the idea and expression of Commons throughout the region.

Our Current Resources

We have

  • A small group of people that have agreed to meet on a monthly basis to explore, research, analyze, network and connect commons-based resources in Chicagoland.
  • A starter map of commons-oriented entities.
  • A rich base of theory and practice from around the world
  • Many friends and colleagues around the world that support our efforts with encouragement and experience

Our Plan

  • Get together monthly
  • Begin by studying a single system in a small area of Chicago
    • Food Systems
    • Uptown, Edgewater, and Rogers Park
  • Analyze the system for agents, their needs, resources, networks and commons potential.
  • Imagine ways to develop a new commons-based economy in the target study
  • Connect those that can make it happen

If you would like to join us, we’re meeting this Sunday afternoon at 4:30pm in the ICA Greenrise. Click here to register with EventBrite.

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