Francophone Network for the Commons

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Frédéric Sultan:

"The Francophone Network for the commons is an informal network established in September 2012 in response to a call from the Paris-based association VECAM ( published on July 3, 2012. The network includes individuals and organizations that share the belief that the solutions to our economic, social and ecological crises cannot be reduced to a binary debate of market versus state. The commons promotes other ways of thinking about development that are more friendly to both humans and the planet, more cooperative than competitive, and more creative. The Francophone Network has sought to improve the networking of actors and promoters of the commons within the French-speaking world to give it more visibility; to facilitate mutual education about different commons-based approaches in respective countries; and to contribute to a international dynamic, wider and complementary with existing networks.

In 2013, one of the main focus of this networking has been carried out by the organization Ville en biens communs (“Towns in the commons,” at But the ambitions of the Francophone network for the commons goes beyond this effort, and seeks to develop a shared vocabulary and political strategies for facilitating the adoption of commons-based approaches in political arenas.

The network is supporting conversations and coordination among commoners involved in theoretical work, the politicization of practices, such as : degrowth economists, cultural activists involved in P2P production, free culture and free software activists, social solidarity economy and social movements addressing global issues such as the environment, RIO+20 and MDGs.

In Africa, commoners from all domains hope to produce knowledge about the commons based on Africa-specific action research processes, and to come into dialogue with the rest of the international commons community. Significant efforts are expected to mobilize people, especially those who are more capable of moving the commons agenda forward, such as intellectuals, economists, community leadership, advocacy groups and activists.

In North America, the Quebec commoners are mostly coming from the world of digital commons and information society networks. In 2013, with Remix The Commons, they had organised A l'école des communs (Commons school dynamic) to strenght mutual education about different commons-based approaches. They are also strongly supporting relationships with commoners of other parts of the world, especially with Latin American media activists and people from the cooperative movement.

In Europe, the Francophone network for the commons, mainly composed of people from France. Two groups are strong and organized, one in France with around 300 members, and one in Switzerland with around 50 members."

More Information

  • Discussion lists :
  1. Main list :
  2. Romand Switzerland :
  • Contacts :
  1. Frédéric Sultan [email protected],
  2. Valérie Peugeot [email protected],
  3. Alain Ambrosi [email protected],
  4. Hervé Le Crosnier [email protected],