I don’t normally feature crowdfunding campaigns in my blog because there are so many worthy ones to support. But here are two projects that I have a special affection for: An ambitious campaign by CommonsSpark to raise money for a new mapping project called “CommonsScope,” and a set of twelve workshops to build local economies hosted by STIR magazine in the UK.
Ellen Friedman and her colleagues have done a great job in pulling together an amazing number of maps of commons from around the world, featuring such categories as water, transportation, local commons and art commons. In an Indiegogo campaign that hopes to raise $35,000, CommonSpark plans to build a web catalog of hundreds of commons-related maps, data visualizations, open data, and tools – “a knowledge commons about the commons.”
Friedman also notes that CommonSpark is creating a catalog of commons with thousands of profiles that will communicate the story of each commons (who is the community, what is the resource, what are the commoning practices, where is it located, etc) along with best practices and data visualizations to identify patterns of commoning.
The CommonSpark Collective doesn’t want just want to raise money to build this useful web tool; it wants to attract a larger community to help build and steward the new world atlas of commons. You can help the effort by helping build the inventory of commons, joining the community and contributing to the Indiegogo campaign. If this is any inducment, I've agreed to be a "reward" for any donor that gives $2,500 or more.
On another front, STIR magazine in the UK – a refreshing quarterly publication that is deep into all sorts of political and cultural action related to the commons – is trying to expand its impact beyond publishing. It wants to host a six-month program of two-day training workshops that will be facilitated by some of its most interesting magazine contributors.
The sessions will focus on best practices for strengthening local economies, including such activities as “sourcing local, co-operative food, working with young apprentices, bed-mapping local hosts and discounts for green travel.” The twelve planned workshops will run from March to September 205 in Bridport, Dorset, in the south of England, where the magazine is based. Here’s the link to the STIR crowdfunding campaign.