Bollier: The commons as unifying discourse

Commons activist David Bollier was interviewed recently by Matthias Spielkamp of Berlin-based

Much of the talk covers practices, norms, and institutions in the digital commons, and David mentions his work with Massachusetts-based research nonprofit ID3.

At ~23:00 (video link):

One of the interesting things about the commons is that it’s becoming an international phenomenon where people are self-choosing to talk in that framing and discourse.

We have free culture people in Brazil — one of the first free culture nations, one might say; we have subsistence farmers in the Philippines, where there’s something called the system for rice intensification, which is like open source agriculture, where they trade advice; we have hackers in Amsterdam; we have reclaim-the-city people in Stuttgart. There are many different manifestations of the commons, and I think they are starting to find each other and understand some of their shared concerns, despite very different resources and national traditions.

So I see the commons discourse starting to grow and become more crystallized as we move forward.

To the extent that the digital community of commoners can find these other subsets or tribes of commoners, there can be some fantastic innovation that can occur — because there are a lot of environmental problems that can use the ingenuity of digital commoners in helping to understand how we can manage those resources better.

So, what I’m saying is that there are a lot of interesting synergies that are emerging, once you see the world through the commons lens.


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