The Story of the School of Commoning

At a time when the Commons is being talked about more and more by the Occupy Movement and our latest ‘Occupying the Commons’ magazine has now been published we felt it would be a highly relevant time to present through a series of videos “The Story of the School of Commoning.” The School of Commoning is a Community Interest Company established under UK law on 9th May 2011. Below is the story of the School of Commoning within the larger and interrelated narrative of the Commons and Occupy Movements.

Part 1: The opening pages

Presenting the global context in which we are living and the need for a new narrative based on reflection that gives rise to wise generative questions and new ways forward.


Part 2: What is the Commons, commoning as its lifeblood

Going beyond the debates of right and left, we explore the commons as a new political, economic and social system beyond capitalism or communism with particular focus on the essential elements of any commons at any scale. The success of our commons depends on our capacities to work collaboratively in commoning relationships for the sake of managing our resources in a sustainable way and in a way that nurtures our human potential both individually and collectively.


So far we have glimpsed at the crises we find ourselves in, the problems of the commons that are increasingly evident, and the potential of a third way through the Commons Movement that addresses the problems of the commons.

Part 3: Who we are, why we are here, and the timeline of our activities

In this part of the story, we introduce the School of Commoning, and explore for what purposes the School is here for in light of a talk given by James Quilligan at Occupy Wall Street. The remainder of the video runs through the timeline of events that SoC has been involved in up till March 2012.


Part 4: The School of Commoning as a living educational commons

At the School of Commoning we provide the spaces and forums for co-learning on topics such as: what is the Commons and Commoning, what it would take to bring this into being, and strategising for action! In this section of the story we explore the methods by which we endeavour to do that and how our actions lead towards the fundamental changes that are already underway in the emergence of a commons-based society.


Part 5: Strategies, next steps and education towards a Commons-based society

Re-capping and carrying on from where we left off the emergence of a commons-based society is explored further. We then outline some key characteristics of this emerging society, strategies for achieving this vision, and next steps to achieving it, through commoning education.


Since the creation of this video series, the School has taken a leap to the next phase of its learning journey by hosting what was an extremely successful seminar series with James Quilligan. From this landmark event involving over a dozen civil society organizations and think tanks, a new platform called ‘Commons Rising‘ has emerged. Supported by the SoC it currently holds seven working groups exploring different areas for the emergence of a Commons-based economy.

For more information about how you can get involved with the activities discussed in part 5 of the video series and how you can work with us on our latest activities following the James Quilligan Seminars please contact us at team[at]schoolofcommoning[dot]com.