Commons Education Commons - 2013

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Contact person for more info: George Por <[email protected]> or Leo Burke <[email protected]>.


Side-Event to Economics of the Commons Conference – From Seed Form to Core Paradigm” (ECC), for further information on ECC see: Overview_of_the_Economics_of_the_Commons_Conference

This Side-Event is co-hosted by the Global Commons Initiative at the University of Notre Dame (US) and the School of Commoning (UK).

The main objective of the meeting is to explore the interest in creating a global, open-source education consortium for commons educators, secondary school teachers, and university professors.


Over the last few years there has been a growing demand for commons-related education. This has resulted in an increased number of academic courses, public seminars and lectures, and online education events. Almost universally, participants in such courses and events indicate that the paradigm of the commons is not only relevant, but necessary for the wellbeing of society. They also suggest that the commons as a living construct is virtually unknown to ordinary citizens in both developed and developing nations.

Individual educational initiatives are often limited in both scope and scale. Inherent in the idea of the commons is an understanding that--working together--we can build a collaborative, open-source approach to commons education which is itself a commons. This side event is the first step to such a global, open-source platform.


The Commons Education Commons is envisioned to have two primary branches: education and research. In the domain of education we acknowledge the need for greater “commons literacy” around the world and the role that education can play in that process. To date there are a variety of educational offerings that are having an impact. One example the online Introduction to the Global Commons course jointly developed by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the University of Notre Dame. Launched in 2011, over two hundred people in over 70 countries have taken the course. Another example is the School of Commoning’s lecture series in London featuring commons scholars James Quilligan, David Bollier, such thinkers/activists as Michel Bauwens and Silke Hlefrich, and commons educator Leo Burke. The School of Commoning website has a broad collection of "commons education" videos on its YouTube channel, as well as a resource-rich "Knowledge Garden" with articles, a library, and glossary.

From such beginnings can we develop an open-source commons education curriculum? This will be one of the issues discussed in our side event.

In the domain of research we appreciate the good work done by the academics congregating in the International Association for the Study of the Commons. For the commons movement to become a world-changing force, the IASC research needs to be coupled with action research aimed at increasing the collective consciousness and intelligence of the movement itself. There are numerous examples studying specific commons initiatives but there’s still little done to fill gap between them and the major issues of transition to a commons-based society.

Can we fill that gap, by systemic mapping and analysis of emergent trends in the commons movement, and reflecting back the patterns that connect them? We want to explore that before, during and after ECC. The School of Commoning offers to be a platform for a learning conversation about that question. We want to connect with all commoners to whom that question makes sense.

Date and Venue

  • 22 May from 13:00 to 16:30
  • Venue: Gather in the lobby of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and we will walk to the venue.

Suggested Participants

  • Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation, Commons Strategies Group)
  • Marco Berlinguer (Escuela de los Commons, Barcelona)
  • Anna Betz (School of Commoning)
  • David Bollier (Commons Strategies Group)
  • Leo Burke (University of Notre Dame)
  • Rolf Carriere (Geneva)
  • Monique Chartrand (Ecole des Communes, Montreal)
  • Jan Inglis (USA)
  • Mayo Fuster Morell (Escuela de los Commons, Barcelona)
  • Ruben Martinez (Escuela de los Commons, Barcelona)
  • George Pór (School of Commoning)
  • Jagdeesh Rao (Foundation for Ecological Security)
  • Eva Ressel (Open Space facilitator, Berlin)
  • Wouter Tebbens (Free Knowledge Institute, Escuela de los Commons)
  • Andrew Paterson (Pixelache, Helsinki)

More Information

Contact person for more info: George Por <[email protected]> or Leo Burke <[email protected]>.