Berlin Commons Conference/Workshops/Crisis

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see also Berlin_Commons_Conference/Workshops/CommoningEnclosure

Stream II/WS 5

Commoning through the crisis: creating commons power and resisting enclosures and cooptation

Main page for this workshop: Berlin Commons Conference/Workshops/CommoningEnclosure‎ is a collaborative report by workshop participants.

NB: This page is an individual report by by Brigitte_Kratzwald and Lisinka_Ulatowska that includes points that were not agreed upon in the workshop and which were contentious to some participants. As such this is not a comprehensive report, but an individual perspective. It has been included on the collaborative page under the heading "Further Reflections"


The challenge is:
How can the commons emerge in a time of crisis, when the commons movement is still defining itself and crisis demands we act immediatly?

The sectors of the market and government (the private and public sectors) are seeking to use the crisis to gain more power at a time when the commons is just emerging. But this crisis is also a time of opportunity providing we are well prepared. If the commons is to emerge as a third force in the world we have to take at least the following steps.

1.Commoners must be as independent as possible from the forces of the market and therefore have the power to refuse its pressures. Here we can learn from our fellow commoners who have developed a multitude of ways, such as city gardening, community supported agriculture, alternative renewable energy technology, creative housing arrangements, alternative currencies.

2.We must build unity while maximizing the benefits of our diversity. This will involve respecting the all-win norm, whereby we strive for the maximum ablitiy of each person to develop in his or her own unique way as an integrated part of our natural environment and allow nature to thrive.

3.We must find ways of working together synergisticly so that all participants of each commons are aware that they are achieving benefits they could not get in any other way. Once we have 8.000 – 10.000 people really working closely together it is possible we will have reached a tipping point in humanity's acceptance of the commons as a valuable social form.

4.At the same time we can use the UN to make the world aware of the potential of the commons.

5.From this position of strength we can develop social charters (and some members of the workshop proposed also social trusts) to establish the commons as a legitimate and powerful means to tackle global problems.