Commons-Oriented Pattern Language

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"We see this pattern language founded on the logic of the commons as generative system, understood as what we hold, nurture, care for in common (our shared assets mindfully managed), how we do it (in a participatory sustainable process) in order to find pathways to generating thrivability (as outcome) and more commons (as output), all in turn becoming assets to nurture…

The pattern language, design ecosystem would comprise:

  • A set of underlying principles, the underlying logic, or 'grammar' including the generative processes and feedback loops that will enable the commons to be protected, nurtured, grown 'by design' and preserved against over-exploitation, abuse, or enclosure.
  • The derived building blocks, or 'vocabulary', that will help change agents in each cluster of action logic create the narratives, or expressions these underlying principles in forms and process narrative and realities they can relate to, and that will appropriately help operate change 'locally', with all the diversity and meshing generated across clusters. This includes knowledge elements, the connections between these elements, and their relationship with cultural elements and forms of sense making and engagement.
  • The protocols or methodologies for 'conversation' within and between 'languages', for mutual understanding, discovery of each other's logics and operating modes, and dealing with conflicting interests, trade-offs, etc… in participatory processes.
  • The means of composition and diffusion of narrative within and across action logic clusters via media, art, education, enabling self and peer discovery pathways.

The tools and technologies that would make visualization, contextualization, matching, navigation easier…" (

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