Commoners Global Network

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  • Keywords: interlinkage, interconnect, common-based network infrastructure, commoners, free open platform,

General information

What is it?

The purpose of the so called Commoners Global Network is to establish a virtual social network to enable communication and interlinkages between commoners and their own commons projects. It will enable the exchange of information, prototyping of new initiatives and generation of new networks of cooperation. It's design will be focused in the people that is in the platform, the creation of contents and the governance of the platform will be leaded by the community of users itself. No central control or central authority.

Using the power of the digital commons technologies we will base our technological resources on past existing experience, such as Free Software tools.


We plan to start up the project with a group of commoners that are really committed with the idea that interconnection between experiences is an important resource. The support of a strong organisation of network will be desired in this initial phase. This organisation should have international level, human rights oriented, support the commons idea and have enought visibility to give to the CGN strong impact and presence.

Some important facts
  1. The network will clearly support the "Commons" concept, ideas and narrative. No broader or lighter concepts such as "green economy", "green capitalism", "capitalism 2.0" or similar terminology.
  2. The IT network is a commons itself. Needs to be designed to be governed by its community as a commons. No corporate or service oriented concept.
  3. We will use only Free Software/Open Source tools. No private corporations code or services will exists in it. Copyleft is the option to build strong digital commons.
  4. The IT network will be produced and developed under a peer production methology. Open collaboration, meritocracy and transparency. No corporations or hiring.


We would like to launch the platform in a coordinated way with some important worldwide event in the field of civil society, sustentaibility and commons oriented organisations. Good examples of this would be the Social World Forum, ICC 2011 or some global congress in 2012. NEED MORE SUGGESTIONS .


The most used social network tools such as Facebook or Linkedin are based in a corporate-business model. Big those services exists big private companies. Although the services they offer seems to be free of charge, they have a cost. A big one. As the technologist O'Reilly said once: "If you don't pay for the product, you are the product". A real commons oriented networks need to be setup and governed as a commons. Must be designed to enable commoning: cooperation, privacy, coworking, distributed, peer produced.

Proposal details

Platform capabilities

Some important features of CGN:

  • Allow commoners display personal profile and experience
  • Enables individuals, groups and orgs
  • Really user friendly
  • Low tech resources oriented (no high speed connection or dependent in modern-fancy software)
  • Engage collective action and provides tools to enable it
  • Total control of the information by the users
  • Respect privacy.
  • Promotes open content production
  • Have ideas?. Contribute!

Platform components

Directory of commons-related experiences

A collaborative builded directory that indexes all type of commons-related experiences and also digital resources (Tools to empower commons: Web sites also under several headings: tools for development and empowerment; courses; etc.). It would be structured as a database with the following characterists:

  • Types of commons communities
    • Communities; Indigenous Peoples; Food and Agriculture; Health; Alternative Currencies; Banks; Civilian Security; etc.

Each entry would have the following fields:

  • Best practices: a catching heading such as: Raffeisen Bank—a cooperative that is flourishing while debt-based banks flounder; Black Sea Community that manages to bend both government and powerful businesses to pay attention to community needs; International Cooperatives Association with one billion registered members;
  • Vision, Mission, Objectives
  • How it reaches its objectives
  • Activities
  • Contact details: Official Name, Address, Email Website and Telephone
  • Needs
  • What it offers others
  • Forms of decision making to benefit all stake holders
  • Values and how it upholdes these

Communication platform

Sketch of the screen displaying user profile and visual network

Tools for connecting, planning and collaboration between commoners. Each of them will be able to:

  • Have a personal profile
  • Directly connect to other commoners and follow others actions
  • Send private and public messages to other commoners
  • Create thematic groups and subgroups

About groups:

  • Each group will have its own privacy setting
  • Will include a set of different available tools, such as:
    • Forums
    • Blog
    • File exchange
    • Social bookmarking
    • Wiki
    • Etherpad - real time collaborative writing
    • Task management
    • Schedule