I’m thrilled to report that the Commons Strategies Group finally has its own handsome, up-to-date website! Whenever anyone asks me about the commons work that I’ve been doing over the past five or six years – and that of my dear colleagues Silke Helfrich and Michel Bauwens – I can now point them to this beautifully designed site.
Since 2009, Silke, Michel and I have collaborated on a variety of irregular projects under the banner, The Commons Strategies Group. Silke is a commons activist and scholar based in Jena, Germany, and Michel is a Belgian living in Thailand who heads the Peer to Peer Foundation.
The three of us founded CSG in 2010 as an independent activist and research driven collaboration to foster the growth of the commons and commoning projects around the world. We’ve seen CSG as a way to seed new conversations to help everyone better understand the commons. We also convene key players to explore the future of the commons and identify strategic opportunities. In practice, this mission has led CSG to organize two major international conferences, many strategic workshops, and to publish dozens of reports, book anthologies and essays and give public talks.
For years, all of the materials that the three of us have created as CSG were scattered across the Web and our personal websites, and sometimes buried amidst lots of other materials. Now, thanks to the wonderful design work of Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratrel of Guerrilla Translation and the P2P Foundation, with backend assistance from the P2PF's Javier Arturo Rodriguez, the more notable CSG initiatives have been brought together and artfully presented.
One section of the website deserves special attention – the “Frontiers of Commoning” section. Here is where we feature several reports on vital, breaking themes. They include reports on “open cooperativism” – the blending of open digital platforms and cooperative forms; Capital for the Commons – new forms of commons-based finance, banking and currencies; Law and the Commons – the efforts to reinvent law so that it can decriminalize and even support commoning; and the Convergence of Movements challenge – finding new ways for various post-capitalist social movements to work together.
CSG is more of a catalyst for new initiatives and a force for “intercommoning” than an organization in and of itself. So we’ve depended upon deep collaborations with a variety of committed partners, especially the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Germany. We’ve also worked closely with the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation in Paris, the P2P Foundation, Shareable, Commons Transition, the Commons Network, the Commons Institute, Goteo, LabGov, and Vecam. Our thanks to all of them as we bringing together on this website the fruits of our work together!