Socrates Schouten

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"I am Socrates Schouten from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I am an environmental scientist by training, covering ecology, economy and society/institutions.

Since graduating in 2011, I have worked respectively on recycling policy, community currencies, and the concepts of ‘biobased’ and ‘circular’ economics. I also coordinated the Dutch ‘great transition’ campaign (De Grote Transitie).

While all important and potent, they each (singly) have their limitations, which has brought me to studying the commons paradigm that to me captures the essence of what is at stake here.

My key concern is theoretical synthesis and discourse formation. I am attempting to devise a framework that aims to make the dispersed field of the commons intelligible to everyday influencers (i.e. policymakers, managers, civil servants, ngo people, scholars), many of whom appear to have a latent interest in commons thinking, but who are not as commited (and certainly not as well-informed) as we are.

In an early rendition of this effort, together with Waag Society I will be running a temporary programme called Open Planbureau (preliminary, Dutch, info on

By far most of my work has been in Dutch so far, but anyone interested can visit my bilingual website or follow me on twitter: @soc_sch." (Commonswatch mailing list, October 2016)