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= "describes the dynamic potentials of the globally distributed knowledge commons in conjunction with emerging capacity for localized production of value". [1]

See also the companion entry on Cosmo-Localism which extracts more from the work of Jose Ramos


Jose Ramos:

"describes the dynamic potentials of the globally distributed knowledge commons in conjunction with emerging capacity for localized production of value. The imperative to create economically and ecologically resilient communities is driving initiatives for ‘re-localization’. Yet, such efforts for re-localization need to be put in the context of new technologies, national policy, transnational knowledge regimes and the wider global knowledge commons." (

See the graphic at which places automation, access, open source, localization and digital feedback in a logical progression.


Jose Ramos:

"I argue there are six trends that potentiate cosmo-localization:

  1. emerging global knowledge commons
  2. new technology
  3. the maker movement
  4. urbanization and rise of mega-city regions
  5. distributed energy production and storage
  6. resource scarcity, eco integrity and precarity

And there are three identifiable obstacles as well:

  1. platform oligopoly / netarchical capital
  2. adjudication of national policy
  3. global knowledge regimes"


Proposed Theoretical Underpinnings


"The Cosmo-Localization theoretical underpinnings:

  • Organizations are systematic groups of people brought together for a common purpose. Money is a key attractor but not necessarily the only or most powerful one.
  • Historically, organizations were geographically localized entities. Remote hubs can form for larger organizations who have significant physical or political presence (ie Catholic church, armies). This has been aided by transportation and communications technology.
  • The internet has enabled the formation of virtual organizations which have many of the same benefits as traditional geographically localized organizations.
  • For the commons movement, this means that by intelligently employing the internet to create global commons organizations, we can gain resource benefits normally only available to large, well resourced geographically localized organizations, or their expanded networks. This is achieved by breaking down the geographical silos that keep many small commons organizations apart. Small commons
  • In particular, the implications for a virtual commons organization is that: a. Cosmo-Localization is a natural framework to leverage one of the main resources of the commons, its large human resource capacity / richness.

This contributes to

  • a. meaningful (virtualized) knowledge commons of high quality, open source, circular and community owned designs.
  • b. local production creates a virtual organizations power to produce high quality goods.

The end game may look like ... a large global network of: medium size physical / local organizations, but instead of contributing to the capitalist, competitive MEconomy, it builds the new commons, collaborative WEconomy." (Loomio, August 2017)


Engage Global, Test Local, Spread Viral

"John Boik:

"No matter how promising the design of a new system might be, it would be unreasonable to expect that a nation would abruptly drop an existing system in favor of a new one. Nevertheless, a viable, even attractive strategy exists by which new systems could be successfully researched, developed, tested, and implemented. I call it engage global, test local, spread viral.

Engage global means to engage the global academic community and technical sector, in partnership with other segments of society, in a well-defined R&D program aimed at computer simulation and scientific field testing of new systems and benchmarking of results. In this way, the most profound insights of science can be brought into play.

Test local means to scientifically test new designs at the local (e.g., city or community) level, using volunteers (individuals, businesses, non-profits, etc.) organized as civic clubs. This approach allows testing by relatively small teams, at relatively low cost and risk, in coexistence with existing systems, and without legislative action.

Spread viral means that if a system shows clear benefits in one location (elimination of poverty, for example, more meaningful jobs, or less crime) it would likely spread horizontally, even virally, to other local areas. This approach would create a global network of communities and cities that cooperate in trade, education, the setup of new systems, and other matters. Over time, its impact on all segments of society would grow.

Cities, big and small, are the legs upon which all national systems rest. Already cities and their communities are hubs for innovation. With some further encouragement and support, and the right tools and programs, they could become more resilient and robust, and bigger heroes in the coming great transition." (

Cosmo-Localism, Value Condensation, and Indigenous Futurity

Ron Eglash:

""cosmo-local" nicely gets at the paradox of space. Strictly localized and we become trapped; carelessly global and we are no different from what corporations already do. But there is also a similar paradox of time. Trapping Indigenous people in their past is unacceptable; but homogenizing them as just another contemporary citizen destroys their cultural heritage. So I think of the hybrid systems we have been working with -- African Fractals for example -- as not only cosmolocal spatially, but also temporally, working in domains like "AfroFuturism" (a black cultural term) and "Indigenous Futurity" (a native american term).

Another concept I have been playing around with is value condensation. In the generative justice framework the goal is to prevent value extraction and alienation. But if you don't convert value into money, it's hard to achieve the levels of prosperity that make this attractive. There are strategies to circumvent this barrier, and some of them have to do with value condensation. Why are artisanal projects in chocolate, wine, cheese and the like so successful? One way to look at it is that those are cases in which value began in a non-dense form -- thousands of cocoa trees for example -- and then was distilled down to a more compact form, without being completely evaporated into the abstraction we call money. A minor observation but it raises some interesting questions. What non-condensation strategies exist to prevent alienation? If these food items are obvious cases of condensation, what are some non-obvious instances (code? art? biochar? skill?)." (email, August 2019)

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