Is it possible to imagine a new sort of synthesis or synergy between the emerging peer production and commons movement on the one hand, and growing, innovative elements of the co-operative and solidarity economy movements on the other?
That was the animating question behind a two-day workshop, “Toward an Open Co-operativism,” held in August 2014 and now chronicled in a new report by UK co-operative expert Pat Conaty and me. (Pat is a Fellow of the New Economics Foundation and a Research Associate of Co-operatives UK, and attended the workshop.)
The workshop was convened because the commons movement and peer production share a great deal with co-operatives....but they also differ in profound ways. Both share a deep commitment to social cooperation as a constructive social and economic force. Yet both draw upon very different histories, cultures, identities and aspirations in formulating their visions of the future. There is great promise in the two movements growing more closely together, but also significant barriers to that occurring.
The workshop explored this topic, as captured by the subtitle of the report: “A New Social Economy Based on Open Platforms, Co-operative Models and the Commons,” hosted by the Commons Strategies Group in Berlin, Germany, on August 27 and 28, 2014. The workshop was supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, with assistance with the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation of France.
Below, the Introduction to the report followed by the Contents page. You can download a pdf of the full report (28 pages) here. The entire report is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (BY-SA) 3.0 license, so feel free to re-post it.