Isabel Carlisle

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Bio

"My particular interest is governance of the commons, and raising citizen responsibility for the commons in the bioregion where I live.

I partly work with Transition Network, running the livelihood-creation programme for young adults called One Year in Transition. See: http://www.oneyearintransition.org/ In April I took my students to Bristol where we made a shared enquiry into City as Commons. While I am in Brussels with you all I will be partly representing Transition Network, and partly my other work.

In my other work I have been helping communities map their assets and create a local Community Charter that asserts their responsibility to protect those assets against inappropriate or destructive development. In doing this we are addressing contemporary governance of the commons and asking questions such as “how do we move a vernacular law of the people into local law in the UK?”; "how can a community measure the well-being of its assets, what are the key performance indicators?”; “what knowledge does a community need to manage a long-term sustainable ecology and economy?”. You can see the example of the Falkirk Charter (which was the first) here: http://www.faug.org.uk/campaign/community-charter

Now I am building a team in South Devon to set up a whole-systems change programme that moves this bio-region towards resilience. We are mindful that the water framework directive in the UK is successful in managing rivers from source to sea but is failing in community engagement and whole-systems change. Our new organisation will be the backbone of the network of actors in this place, using the language of the commons and connecting citizens to the land in many innovative and creative ways: stewards of the river, a water parliament, a watershed Charter etc. One outcome will be a bioregional learning centre for the UK."