This is our report from the Caring for Commons breakout session at the Living on the Edge conference. Betta, Helene and I, with help of Barbara, Noemi and all the participants tackled the challenge of Caring for Commons. This was a big topic so we felt we had to establish some clear understanding first, but we found this led to rich discussion which squeezed our time for preparing our presentation.
Here are two documents from our session, both on Google docs.
This is the notes reporting the session
Here is a summary of links and ideas we gathered before the session
These are open to edit by anyone who has the links but we ask for respect in doing so. We will add more edits and invite you to. This open editing is a good example of the key issue at the heart of the Commons: the need for us to open up Commons to everyone while also establishing boundaries, education and rules to protect and replenish.
Our overall challenge was: How to shift to a culture of Commons to enable young people to have a thriving future. In sharing their experiences and ideas, participants ranged across all the other conference strands such as learning and resilience, with a lot of thinking about alternative currencies, occupation of public space, free open data and so on. So, we agreed that Commons is fundamental to all the issues of thriving and access to resources.
We broke our challenge down into four themes, some of which were more macro or theoretical, some more about process to achieve the shift:
A big challenge - how to protect the commons in the face of a global shift (i.e. at Rio) to place economic value on nature. Solutions Include implementing the Ecocide law, implementing a Global Council of Planetary Rights to Protect the Commons, and the widespread generation of tools to reclaim the economic framework in ways that don’t devalue nature.
A challenge important to Council of Europe - How to manage the commons when we live in an unequal society? Solution - separate our private inalienable rights from public equality so no economic barriers to accessing commons as a principle (more private resources cant buy access to commons)
A process challenge - How to reuse empty spaces for the common good? One solution is to charge different levels of taxation, either plus or minus according to their private or shared use, at the city level.
A process challenge - How to create the Commons. Solution: This group delineated a method of using software for network aggregation in establishing communities of interest in the varios aspects of the Commons. These communities can designate reputable and authoritative figures to interact with policymakers relaying common community concerns. In this process they can define transnationally applicable legalities that apply to both the natural and the built environment.