Civic Commons

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= Concept and specific project


"Peter Levine has written extensively on the civic commons (Levine 2002a&b, 2003, 2007a&b; Gastil and Levine 2005). A very interesting and useful text for business managers was put out by the Institute for the Future in 2005 (Saveri et al.). The authors explore emerging fields of knowledge and practice, looking for ways to think about two key business questions: “How can new insights about the dynamics of cooperation help us identify new and lucrative models for organizing production and wealth creation that leverage win–win dynamics; and How can organizations enhance their creativity and grow potential innovation with cooperation-based strategic models?” The authors draw heavily from the commons and collective action literature of Ostrom and colleagues." (


Levine, Peter. 2001. "Civic Renewal and the Commons of Cyberspace." National Civic Review 90(3):205-212.

Levine, Peter. 2002a. “Building the Electronic Commons: A Project of the Democratic Collaborative.” (Report)

Levine, Peter. 2002b. “Can the Internet Rescue Democracy? Toward an On-Line Commons.” In Democracy’s Moment: Reforming the American Political System for the 21st Century. R. Hayduk and K. Mattson, eds. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Levine, Peter. 2003. “A Movement for the Commons?” Responsive Community 13(4):28-39.

Levine, Peter. 2007a. “Collective Action, Civic Engagement, and the Knowledge Commons.” In Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice. C. Hess and E. Ostrom, eds. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Levine, Peter. 2007b. The Future of Democracy: Developing the Next Generation of Citizens. Lebanon, NH: Tufts University Press and University Press of New England.


= Open Government Data initiative in the U.S.


"Civic Commons is just starting as an organization, however, we are committed to the following:

  • Facilitating the sharing of code among government entities, with an eye towards developing an “Open Civic Stack”
  • Connecting governments throughout all phases of technology procurement, and building systems for more transparent & informed technology choices
  • Developing and supporting Open Data and Open Standards as foundations of an “Open Civic API”
  • Spreading government technology best practices
  • Building a community of “civic hackers” and give them clear opportunities to assist in the development of government technology"