The Commons Atlas
Many of us are aware of the very serious problems plaguing our world, problems so grave they are destabilizing the capacity of the earth to support life, threatening the survival of our own species and countless others who share the planet with us. Despite these historic challenges, we feel a thriving, sustainable and just world is possible.
How do we turn things around and create a better world? Simple. We learn to share.
When we look at the big picture of our interconnected, interdependent world, we see something at the core of all possible solutions: the commons. The commons are the ecological, economic, cultural, digital, and social resources that belong to everyone in the community and that should be shared for the benefit of all current and future members. Working together to manage all we share (commoning) is at the heart of a livable future.
View our tag cloud with a small sample of the wealth of Commons:
The commons are being usurped, enclosed and privatized for the benefit of the few. They are being stolen and in many cases destroyed outright by economic predators who lie and steal and corrupt our social institutions to make their theft more efficient. Our municipal, state and national governments have a stewardship obligation to safeguard the commons, but more often than not, they are willing accomplices in the scheme to privatize our shared resources.
The first step necessary to claim and protect our common wealth is to see it. We intend to make the invisible visible by creating the Commons Atlas. It will include:
- Data visualizations (i.e. maps) and profiles of shared resources, sharing communities and sharing practices.
- Data visualizations and profiles of threats to the commons: bad actors, bad practices, and bad results.
The goals of the Commons Atlas are:
- To empower commoners to create & reclaim commons, create sharing communities, & develop sharing practices
- To deepen understanding of how many ecological, social and economic issues are related to unmanaged or mismanaged aspirational commons
- To support strategic action to stop the destruction and theft of our common wealth
We hope the Commons Atlas will be a potent catalyst for the emerging commons movement and a tool for people and organizations involved in the protection and reclaiming of commons worldwide.
We don’t have the answers. We are explorers in largely unmapped territory trying to figure out the right questions to ask. We know we desperately need navigation tools. The wisdom of commoners around the world will show the way.
The Commons Atlas will be added to our informational commons, so we invite you to become part of the community that will build it, share it and manage it.