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Re: [voiceful] Open Kollab's Pooled Fund Initiative & Minciu Sodas's Economy of Dreams

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  • Pamela McLean
    Hi Andrius Briefly ref He s asking: * How do I get organizations that have high level of convergence and values to work together in ways that allow them to
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 23, 2009
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      Hi Andrius

      Briefly ref

      " He's asking:
      * How do I get organizations that have high level of convergence and
      values to work together in ways that allow them to keep their
      independence and autonomy and find points of contact for collaboration?"

      and
      * How do we get 100,000,000 people to work on an issue such as global
      poverty?

      As you know I am interested in closer collaboration between Dadamac and Minciu Sodas and related networks/organisations. I am interested in how we can "rub minds" on inter-related issues like global poverty, climate change, health, water and sanitation, education/training, Internet use for learning and collaboration, etc etc.- and not just rub minds but actively collaborate in practical projects

      I have been putting a lot of time and thought during 2009 into effective UK-Nigeria collaboration (and how to share what we do with others) and also into experiments with what I want to develop as our online space (some of this thinking becoming visible at www.dadamac.net and more of it still in my head or "beind the scenes").

      A blog I wrote earlier today may shed a bit more light on this http://www.dadamac.net/blog/20091223/dadamac-beyond-nigeria
      Also there are various on-the-ground Dadamac collaborative projects in Nigeria that are moving ahead more rapidly now as a result of Marcus' recent visit to Benin and Nigeria.

      Pam.

      2009/12/22 Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...>
      I share notes below from a long conversation today with Suresh Fernando
      of Open Kollab http://wiki.openkollab.com
      http://groups.google.com/group/openkollab

      I'm very encouraged by Suresh's work to create a Pooled Fund Initiative.
      http://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dc4gbgsj_12528qqs9xcj
      http://wiki.openkollab.com/wagn/Pooled_Fund_Project
      My understanding is that this will be a $2,000,000 investment fund that
      provides capital for an ecosystem of dozens of social ventures who are
      interested in making sure they all succeed and can pay back loans so
      they can all access such capital further as needed. Perhaps we can think
      of it as a "credit line for an ecosystem of social ventures" that they
      all work together to make best use of.

      Suresh's leadership is key because he has experience and contacts in the
      investment world and has thought a lot about community and
      collaboration. He's asking:
      * How do I get organizations that have high level of convergence and
      values to work together in ways that allow them to keep their
      independence and autonomy and find points of contact for collaboration?
      * How do we get 100,000,000 people to work on an issue such as global
      poverty?
      What does he want to achieve? Build an organization and institutional
      culture and way of thinking and community formation that will make it
      possible to have a global community - a real time interaction space -
      that could tackle global issues such as not having war.
      His dream is to build a highly scalable open collaboration environment,
      a standing infrastructure, so that 100,000,000 people could work on
      issues like global poverty.

      I'm looking for paid work for myself and my lab, Minciu Sodas
      http://www.ms.lt I think that the connections that Suresh is making and
      uncovering are very helpful for finding such work. It makes sense for me
      and us to join efforts with Suresh Fernando, Sam Rose
      http://forwardfound.org, Steve Bosserman, Michel Bauwens
      http://www.p2pfoundation.net and others who care. I note Tiffany Von
      Emmel's http://www.dreamfish.com recent letter
      http://groups.google.com/group/dreamfish about helping Dreamfish win
      Investor's Circle funding http://www.investorscircle.net Ashoka
      Fellowship Award http://www.ashoka.org/support Social Venture Network
      Innovation Awards http://www.svn.org/index.cfm?pageId=727 Program for
      the Future "tools for collective intelligence" $5,000
      http://www.thetech.org/program_future/ and other opportunities.

      I am organizing an "Economy of Dreams" and I want to do this in parallel
      with the Pooled Fund Initiative and also Dreamfish projects. I am asking
      us to write about our dreams-in-life and then working to create an
      internal economy where we support each other's dreams. For example, my
      own dream to have a 24 hour "help room" (currently, our chat room
      http://www.worknets.org/chat/) as a place to help anybody with any
      problem, large or small, is very much related to Suresh's dream of a
      "real time interaction space" for tackling issues such as global
      poverty. So we can help each other even as we're trying to find paid work.

      Suresh asks for help to build support for a Pooled Fund Initiative and
      certainly I can help find and map potential participants, "social
      ventures" for his ecosystems. My thought is to write a survey that
      includes personal questions (deepest value, investigatory question,
      endeavor, dream-in-life) and social venture questions (such as these:
      http://wiki.openkollab.com/new/Pooled%20Fund%20Project%20Profile ) And I
      will also ask each of us, who else would we want to be sure to include
      in such an ecosystem. That will make for a useful map of our social
      network. It will also suggest what we can do without money, what
      endeavors are most "strategic" in that they catalyze all of our
      endeavors. (Here's a map of endeavors at Minciu Sodas
      http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?Endeavors )

      I can further think and write about economic models that can leverage
      our "dreams". I can look for metrics or systems that point to our
      accountability and how we can restore that. For example, Samwel Kongere
      in Kenya is a key person at Minciu Sodas (has written about 1,000
      letters) but this summer I sent him 1,500 USD to hold and distribute
      upon my request, and he's not been able to explain what he did with a
      significant part of that money. I assume he invested it (perhaps in the
      cereal trade) but I don't know and so it's destroyed our relationship
      until that's resolved. I write this as an example of what we need to be
      able to make transparent and resolve if we want to benefit from
      accountability to each other. How do we pose such questions to each
      other and hold each other accountable? Not simply regarding money, but
      being true to our missions, or at least, our values, which can be our
      strong points and our weak points.

      I'm especially interested in paid work, although a shared credit line
      would be helpful for refinancing credit card loans and a good way to
      practice looking out for each other and being sure to give each other
      work where we can. As I work on the map above I'd also like to look for
      "independent thinkers" and other supportive people in the corporate
      world who might some day help us get work.

      Who might like to work together with me?

      Andrius

      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      http://www.ms.lt
      ms@...
      +370 699 30003


      ------------------------------
      Andrius:
      … 150 active participants
      [18:10:40] … 3000 people getting emails i
      [18:10:47] … all over the world
      [18:11:26] … have 30 clients - mostly small
      [18:11:32] … sample clients
      [18:12:03] … Leon Benjamin - head of business development for eCademy
      [18:14:44] … Business Model
      [18:14:56] … People work for free on own projects
      [18:15:15] … Have interest in public Commons Culture
      [18:15:49] … Need to identify where private co's are strategically
      interested in funding such projects
      [18:17:22] … Have people that want to promote yourself in various
      communities

      ----------------------------

      Suresh:

      Philosophy undergrad
      Investment broker during NASDAQ
      technology and technology finance
      Silicon valley entrepreneurial model
      investment banking group
      5 years consulting
      raised money
      went through personal transformation
      writing
      articulating as an academic
      worked towards masters
      three years later realized wants projects
      came back to the real world
      got involved as an activist and the climate change movement
      wants social value
      highly fragmented, lack of coordination, inefficiencies in such movements
      platform to aggregate and bring people together
      collaboration - thinking about it for ten years
      tried to start such a business eight years ago
      part of Radical Inclusion, consultants and change management specialists
      virtual work, virtual conferences, virtual consultation
      consulting model
      my interest is to take the principles of open collaboration
      innovation strategies
      risk mitigation
      Open Kollab is a change the world project
      not just do research but also do things that are positive
      Pooled Fund idea
      finance background
      social ventures
      inflection point in history
      like the 1960s
      sense of revolution, collective consciousness
      things that were held sacred like free markets are being challenged
      the path that we're on is leading to Armageddon
      management blogs and business leaders, consultants think differently
      polarization - charity, non-for-profits, corporations
      return on capital for those that give money is - 100%
      corporations are funded through traditional means
      what's missing is everything in the middle
      need corporations that are not just funding, need willing to have not
      market returns
      changing organizational culture
      financial markets need to change
      meeting in London last month
      seed capital is missing
      in Silicon valley that's covered by angel investors and seed fund investors
      in social ventures its virtually nonexistent
      take some elements of the Grameen model
      peer lending aspect of their model
      if one of them defaults it impacts everybody else
      build some kind of synergy through a set of projects
      develop some mutual interdependence that will act as a risk mitigator
      for investments
      permeable boundaries, open collaboration
      the timing is right
      looking for clusters, groups of projects
      capitalize them together
      simulataneously, aggresively engaging more people at Open Kollab
      for example, George McCloud
      also working with Peer to Peer Foundation Michel Bauwens and Steve
      Bosserman and Sam Rose
      trying to monetize the work that we're doing
      engage the business community, the enterprise community
      put together that model
      philosophically aligned

      -------------------------------------------------

      Deepest value: coming together as community (tentative)

      Investigatory question: Is war intrinsic to human nature? (previously)
      How do I get organizations that have high level of convergence and
      values to work together in ways that allow them to keep their
      independence and autonomy and find points of contact for collaboration?
      (currently)
      How do we get 100,000,000 people to work on an issue such as global poverty?

      Build an organization and institutional culture and way of thinking and
      community formation that will make it possible to have a global
      community - a real time interaction space - that could tackle global
      issues such as not having war.

      Climate Change Collaboratorium http://cci.mit.edu
      http://www.climatecollaboratorium.org/web/guest;jsessionid=BD7C3048E45ED45CB441344CAFDD449C
      MIT center for collective intelligence
      they have a project for bridging difference

      Dream: Build a highly scalable open collaboration environment, a
      standing infrastructure, so that 100,000,000 people could work on issues
      like global poverty.

      Read Suresh's work:
      http://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dc4gbgsj_12528qqs9xcj
      http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ASJ9wl9qbZEzZGM0Z2Jnc2pfMjVocWM5Nnh0Mw&hl=en
      http://sureshfernando.wordpress.com/more-pragmatic-writings/

      Andrius can:
      * write from the point of view of a idealist participant of these
      economic models, open up needs and possibilities and experience
      * help to identify potential candidates for the ecosystem - sets of
      projects (Suresh)
      * help to map out the social network - ask people who they would want to
      include
      * map that logic out in terms of their dreams - how are these dreams
      fitting together
      * try to figure out metrics for how things are working out in a such
      dual economy
      * what are the deal breakers for the culture
      * find people on the other side of the corporate wall

      How might we get paid?
      Be part of an ecosystem that gets funded.

      Suresh:
      Build support for the Pooled Fund Initiative.
      (Andrius can help most looking for ecosystem participants. Link to
      Economy of Dreams.)

      Can send "An Economy for Giving Everything Away".
      http://www.ms.lt/en/workingopenly/givingaway.html


      ------------------------------------

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    • Andrius Kulikauskas
      Thank you to Suresh Fernando, Steve Bosserman, David Pinto and all for encouraging me and all to participate at Open Kollab. I share responses from Pamela
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 24, 2009
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        Thank you to Suresh Fernando, Steve Bosserman, David Pinto and all for
        encouraging me and all to participate at Open Kollab. I share responses
        from Pamela McLean and Franz Nahrada, two leaders of Minciu Sodas
        working groups, Learning From Each Other
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learningfromeachother/ and Global Villages
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/ I hope to reply to David
        Pinto's question "What would you do with $100,000 for the coming year,
        what would you hope to achieve?" in the coming days and I encourage us
        all likewise. Andrius Kulikauskas, Minciu Sodas, http://www.ms.lt,
        ms@..., +370 699 30003

        -------------------------

        Hi Andrius

        Briefly ref

        " He's asking:
        * How do I get organizations that have high level of convergence and
        values to work together in ways that allow them to keep their
        independence and autonomy and find points of contact for collaboration?"

        and
        * How do we get 100,000,000 people to work on an issue such as global
        poverty?

        As you know I am interested in closer collaboration between Dadamac and
        Minciu Sodas and related networks/organisations. I am interested in how
        we can "rub minds" on inter-related issues like global poverty, climate
        change, health, water and sanitation, education/training, Internet use
        for learning and collaboration, etc etc.- and not just rub minds but
        actively collaborate in practical projects

        I have been putting a lot of time and thought during 2009 into effective
        UK-Nigeria collaboration (and how to share what we do with others) and
        also into experiments with what I want to develop as our online space
        (some of this thinking becoming visible at www.dadamac.net and more of
        it still in my head or "beind the scenes").

        A blog I wrote earlier today may shed a bit more light on this
        http://www.dadamac.net/blog/20091223/dadamac-beyond-nigeria
        Also there are various on-the-ground Dadamac collaborative projects in
        Nigeria that are moving ahead more rapidly now as a result of Marcus'
        recent visit to Benin and Nigeria.

        Pam.

        ------------------

        Franz Nahrada wrote:
        > Hi Andrius,
        >
        > a very interesting venture indeed.
        >
        > I feel that the big social scandal of our time is the fact that the money
        > that exists is allocated systematically to the most destructive and
        > unproductive activities. The whole system of wealth production is badly
        > designed and increasingly dysfunctional, in other words it is turning
        > against itself. Redundant activities blank each other out, most work is
        > not resulting in real wealth but in things and side - effects that cause
        > more problems than they solve.
        >
        > When asked for an explanation of this blunder, most agents of the system -
        > be it bankers or politicians - say they simply lack sufficient
        > measurement, procedure and evidence to do otherwise. There is no index
        > that recognizes the General Social Usefulness of activities. Its hard to
        > even calculate such an index, because what is usefulness in a society that
        > systematically cretes distorted interests and needs?
        >
        > One issue out of that dilemma is the clustering of activities in mutually
        > supportive cycles - locally or gloablly. We can embody models of a
        > different economy and we can fight for the existing forces to not destroy
        > them in the first place. Its not about a change of the system; its about
        > the possibility of another world to be manifested.
        >
        > In our yesterdays conversation we have pointed out that even in a village
        > economy we need always alternatives so that supportive relations do not
        > turn into exploitative ones. On the other side its time to recognize the
        > utter necesity to create a resource pool for ourselves and to understand
        > each others needs.
        >
        > One thing that is ot the top list of pushing forward to institutions and
        > decisionmakers is that private resources are not the top of the crop, but
        > they are the poorest way to make use of wealth. We should honor
        > participative resources more than private resources. See the recent
        > commons manifesto below!
        >
        > Knowledge is the most prominent participative resource and its a crime
        > against humanity to exclude anyone from the acquisition or use of
        > knowledge. But everything else that we produce could be partly a
        > participative resource if we find a way for common responsibility and the
        > care for this resource. That is the true meaning of the word "Commons",
        > common good and system of stewardship emerging from community. Ownership
        > has been showing as a partly effective way to assure stewardship. How do
        > we turn ownership into true stewardship? How do we assure the voice of
        > community is heard? By institutionalising a constant process of feedback
        > and resource flows to the owners that take stewardship responsible.
        >
        > Thats one meaning of your "Economy of Dreams", whilst other people talk of
        > "Enabling Economies". Friends organized a conference titled "Enable!" in
        > March in Vienna and I will hopefully give an introductory speech about
        > "Global Villages as Enabling Environments".
        >
        > http://www.liftconference.com/news/enable-profound-innovation-society-economy-knowledge
        >
        > While currently all my activity and attention is geared towards the
        > January workshop (News coming soon here) in the background we also are
        > looking for new sites and opportunities to showcase the Global Village
        > principle.
        >
        > Also in Kirchbach there is an interesting development, Franz Rieger is a
        > former headmaster of the local school, now retired, and he is gathering
        > all the mayors of the region and all the local actors of KB5, our global
        > village centre, to negociate a new round of cooperation and respect for
        > the resources that people have built in this few years.
        >
        > I am looking forward to your coming to Vienna in January, and I am glad
        > that we will have quite a few visitors from Lithuania at that time.
        >
        > Franz
        >
        >
        >
        > =============================
        > Strengthen the Commons - Now!
        > =============================
        >
        > "Commons are institutional spaces in which we are free."
        >
        > -- Yochai Benkler
        >
        > How the crisis reveals the fabric of our commons
        > ================================================
        >
        > Over the last two hundred years, the explosion of knowledge,
        > technology, and productivity has enabled an unprecedented increase of
        > private wealth. This has improved our quality of life in numerous
        > ways. At the same time, however, we have permitted the depletion of
        > resources and the dwindling of societal wealth. This is brought to our
        > attention by current, interrelated crises in finance, the economy,
        > nutrition, energy, and in the fundamental ecological systems of life.
        >
        > These crises are sharpening our awareness of the existence and
        > importance of the commons. Natural commons are necessary for our
        > survival, while social commons ensure social cohesion, and cultural
        > commons enable us to evolve as individuals. It is imperative that we
        > focus our personal creativity, talents, and enthusiasm on protecting
        > and increasing our social wealth and natural commons. This will
        > require a change in some basic structures of politics, economics, and
        > society.
        >
        > * More social prosperity instead of more gross domestic product!
        >
        > When the economic growth curve drops and the GDP sinks, it seems
        > threatening to us. Yet appearances deceive. The GDP merely maps
        > production figures and monetary flows without regard for their
        > ecological or social value; such numbers do not measure the things
        > we truly need to live, - they may simply count their destruction.
        > Social prosperity cannot be measured through such means. A reduction
        > in the GDP does not necessarily signal a reduction in the real
        > wealth of a society. Recognizing this fact widens our perspective
        > and opens doors for new types of solutions.
        >
        > * The commons can help us overcome the crisis, but it requires
        > systematic advocacy.
        >
        > This is our contribution to give the commons a voice.
        >
        > What are the commons and why are they are significant?
        > ======================================================
        >
        > * Commons are diverse.
        >
        > They are the fundamental building blocks and pre-condition of our
        > life and social wealth. They include knowledge and water, seeds and
        > software, cultural works and the atmosphere. Commons are not just
        > "things," however. They are living, dynamic systems of life. They
        > form the social fabric of a free society.
        >
        > * Commons do not belong to anyone individually nor do they belong to
        > no one.
        >
        > Different communities, from the family to global society, always
        > create, maintain, cultivate, and redefine commons. When this does
        > not happen, commons dwindle away - and in the process, our personal
        > and social security diminishes. Commons ensure that people can live
        > and evolve. The diversity of the commons helps secure our future.
        >
        > * Commons are the foundation of every economic activity.
        >
        > Thus, they must also be the result of what we do. We have to
        > constantly revitalize our commons, because everything we produce
        > relies upon the knowledge we inherit, the natural resources that the
        > Earth gives us, and cooperation with our fellow citizens. The
        > activity known as "the economy" is embedded in our social fabric.
        > Depletion of resources, failures in education, needless barriers to
        > creativity, and weak social bonds compromise the generativity of the
        > whole. Without vital commons, production is impossible. Without
        > commons, companies cannot earn money.
        >
        > * Commons are often destroyed and thus driven from our consciousness.
        >
        > One reason that commons are threatened is because many individuals
        > claim a limitless right to use things. But where fair usage rights
        > to water and seeds are curtailed by economic calculation or through
        > governmental policies, where resource exploitation destroys our
        > natural inheritance, where breach upon breach is inflicted on public
        > spaces, where patenting software limits creativity and impedes
        > economic progress, where reliable networks are lacking, there
        > dependency and uncertainty will increase.
        >
        > There's something new afoot - a movement to reclaim the commons!
        > ================================================================
        >
        > There is a movement that reminds us of what is worth keeping. A
        > movement that seeks to reclaim what belongs to us, that affirms human
        > dignity and creates something new. This movement to build and protect
        > the commons is expanding the horizon of what is possible.
        >
        > * Commons are being rediscovered and defended.
        >
        > People all over the world are defending themselves against attacks
        > on the web of life that sustains them - against dams and mining
        > projects that destroy life and land. Against a wasteful economy that
        > fuels climate change. Against efforts to turn education and health
        > into profit-oriented thinking. Against the re-engineering of our
        > genetic heritage and overzealous restrictions on access to knowledge
        > and culture. The commoners seek only to reclaim that which belongs
        > to them, whether they are communities struggling to win back control
        > over water utilities, indigenous communities seeking to protect its
        > land in the Amazon Basin, or the worldwide movements for climate
        > justice and an open internet.
        >
        > * Commons are newly created and built upon.
        >
        > Countless people are creating new things for all and meaningful
        > social and physical spaces for themselves. They invest energy in
        > community gardens, carry out sustainable and ecological agriculture,
        > and design intergenerational living and working spaces. They produce
        > free software and free knowledge, and create films, music, and
        > images to be shared. Thus emerges a treasure of free culture
        > available to all. It is maintained and enhanced by many, and it has
        > become as indispensable as Wikipedia. Taken together, scientists and
        > activists, citizens and politicians are developing a robust and
        > innovative commons sphere - everywhere.
        >
        > * Commons are maintained and cultivated.
        >
        > People are fostering neighborhood institutions, looking after
        > playgrounds, running citizen foundations, and creating and sharing
        > stories, culture, and our collective memories. They are engaging
        > themselves, personally and directly, with the common wealth and are
        > pushing the state to carry out its duties to protect the commons.
        > For that they gain something in return, because to live in a culture
        > of commons means both giving and taking. This culture establishes
        > rights and duties equally. The commitment to our common wealth is
        > borne from the awareness that the current economic model endangers
        > our livelihoods - and fails to satisfy us at deeper levels. This
        > commitment corresponds to the wish for creativity and inspiration.
        > It is fueled by our self-directed passions, desire for social
        > conviviality, and a sensitivity and mutual recognition of each
        > other. It's all about a simple idea: the need to learn from each
        > other and to create excellent things for their own sake.
        >
        > * Commons inspire and connect.
        >
        > To take them into account requires a fundamentally different
        > approach in perception and action. Commons are based on communities
        > that set their own rules and cultivate their skills and values.
        > Based on these always-evolving, conflict-ridden processes,
        > communities integrate themselves into the bigger picture. In a
        > culture of commons, inclusion is more important than exclusion,
        > cooperation more important than competition, autonomy more important
        > than control. Rejecting the monopolization of information, wealth,
        > and power gives rise to diversity again and again. Nature appears as
        > a common wealth that must be carefully stewarded, and not an
        > ever-available property to be exploited.
        >
        > * To live in a culture of the commons means to assume shared,
        > long-term responsibility rather than the pursuit of an ethics of
        > dominance.
        >
        > A culture of the commons honors fairness over unilateral benefit
        > optimization, and interdependence rather than extreme individualism.
        >
        > * The commons helps us confront one of the major social justice issues
        > of our time: no one may extract more from the commons than what he
        > gives back to the commons.
        >
        > This applies to market players as well as the state. Whoever
        > replenishes and expands the commons, rather than just drawing from
        > them, deserves social recognition and praise. In the interest of
        > this and future generations, market players, the state, and each
        > individual must align their behavior and thinking with the commons.
        > This must become a fundamental element in any calculation of
        > economic, political, or personal success.
        >
        > Neither no man's land nor boundless property
        > ============================================
        >
        > * The commons is not only about the legal forms of ownership.
        >
        > What matters most is whether and how community-based rights to the
        > commons are enforced and secured. "Property entails obligations. Its
        > use shall also serve the public good" (Article 14 Paragraph 2,
        > German Constitution). This limitation, anchored in the basic law,
        > designates the boundaries of the availability of common pool
        > resources to individuals. This principle helps us recognize that
        > each single use has implications for resources that belong to us
        > all. With my phone I transmit my message through the finite
        > electromagnetic spectrum. My car pollutes our shared air. My work
        > may contain a novel thought, but I also depend upon the commons of
        > culture and knowledge to inform it. The usage rights of fellow
        > commoners are the stop signs for individual usage rights.
        >
        > * Absolute and exclusive private property rights in the commons
        > therefore cannot be allowed.
        >
        > This principle applies regardless of whether the things are of a
        > tangible or intangible nature, or whether they are associated with
        > natural, cultural, or social spheres. In order to avoid overuse and
        > under-utilization - the dramatic plundering of fish or the
        > "orphaning" of creative works, for example - any form of property
        > (itself a creation of the state) has to now, more than ever, be
        > measured by two conditions:
        >
        > * Each use must ensure that the common pool resources are not
        > destroyed or over-consumed.
        >
        > * No one may be excluded who is entitled to access and use the
        > shared resource or who depends on it for basic needs. Access and
        > usage rights must therefore be designed to assure that the commons
        > can be preserved, maintained, and further developed.
        >
        > *These are the principles of fair participation and
        > sustainability.*
        >
        > * What is public or publicly funded must remain publicly accessible.
        >
        > Public research, for example, must be available to everyone. There
        > is no overwhelming reason to grant publishers and pharmaceutical
        > corporations excessive and exclusive copyrights and patents over
        > publicly funded research. Legislatures, at the behest of business,
        > have nevertheless done so, making scientific journals inaccessible
        > and vital medicines overly expensive. Alternatives arise from the
        > commons movement. This is demonstrated by numerous projects for
        > fairer licensing and alternative incentive models in science and
        > culture.
        >
        > * The commons helps us reconceptualize the prevailing concept of
        > property rights.
        >
        > The exploitation of our commons has grave drawbacks for the majority
        > of people living today and tomorrow. This is demonstrated by climate
        > change and the exhaustion of many natural resources, as well as by
        > the financial sector whose private profit motives have become, to
        > the detriment of the commoners, ends in themselves. Our shared
        > quality of life is also limited by knowledge that is excessively
        > commercialized and made artificially scarce. In this manner, our
        > cultural heritage becomes an inventory of lifeless commodities and
        > advertising dominates our public spaces.
        >
        > * Commons are the basis of life in a double sense. Without natural
        > commons, there's no survival. Without cultural commons, no human
        > development.
        >
        > Everyone is directly affected by the issues raised here. Even
        > businesses need commons in order to earn money now and in the
        > future. We all need commons to survive and thrive. This is a key
        > principle, and it establishes why commoners' usage rights should
        > always be given a higher priority than corporations' property
        > rights. Here the state has a duty to protect the commons, a duty
        > which it cannot abandon. However, this does not mean that the state
        > is necessarily the best steward for the commoners' interests. The
        > challenge is for the commoners themselves to develop complementary
        > institutions and organizational forms, as well as innovative access
        > and usage rules, to protect the commons. The commoners must create
        > their own commons sector, beyond the realm of market and state, to
        > serve the public good in their own distinctive manner.
        >
        > For a society in which the commons may thrive
        > =============================================
        >
        > * Just as commons and people are different, so are the organizational
        > forms of user communities.
        >
        > We encounter these forms everywhere and with many faces: as
        > self-organizing groups, civil organizations, private agencies or
        > networks, as cooperatives or custodial organizations, as small
        > neighborhood communities or the international Free Software
        > movement. The rules and ethics of each commons arise from the needs
        > and processes of the commoners directly involved. Whoever is
        > directly connected to a commons must participate in the debate and
        > implementation of its rules.
        >
        > * Agents of the commons do not have one but many centers.
        >
        > We need them locally, regionally, and globally. Conflicts can be
        > resolved directly in well-arranged communities and their commons.
        > But the global commons is an almost insolvable challenge, because
        > where does the "world community" really come together and define
        > itself as such? How should it agree upon the sustainable usage of
        > its shared resources? The more complex the system, the more
        > important it is that there is an institutional and transparent
        > framework for the careful management of the commons. When the state
        > achieves this and protects the commons, government action will be
        > supported by society.
        >
        > * Commons need more than just rules.
        >
        > We must realize that rules require the art of proper application.
        > Commons are driven by a specific ethos, as well as by the desire to
        > acquire and transfer a myriad of skills. Our society therefore needs
        > to honor the special skills and values that enable the commons to
        > work well. A culture of the commons publicly recognizes any
        > initiative or project that enhances the commons, and it provides
        > active financial and institutional support to enhance the commons
        > sector.
        >
        > * Conflicts are part of the diversity and constant reproduction of the
        > commons.
        >
        > In addition to the rule of law, commons in the future will require
        > innovative institutional structures, conciliation and mediation
        > bodies, networks, and interdisciplinary stewards for the commons.
        > These institutions will be constructed again and again from the
        > areas of needs and conflict. Each has a common goal: to raise a
        > strong voice to preserve the commons!
        >
        > * Awareness of the commons means being conscious of our living
        > conditions and exploring on all levels how much productivity and
        > wealth we create directly from the commons.
        >
        > It requires a fundamental shift in thinking about the foundations of
        > society. It means using, sharing, and multiplying our common wealth
        > in a free and self-determined way. This challenge requires a lot of
        > work, but it is also a great source of personal satisfaction and
        > enrichment.
        >
        > * Our society needs a great debate and a worldwide movement
        > for the commons. Now!
        >
        > Dr. Frank Augsten (Green Party, spokesman State of Thüringen)
        >
        > Petra Buhr (Wissenallmende-Report.de)
        >
        > Dr. Hans-Joachim Döring (Commissioner of the Lutherian Church
        > Central-Germany for Development and Environment)
        >
        > Prof. Dr. Ulrich Duchrow (theologist, University of Heidelberg)
        >
        > Fritjof Finkbeiner (Global Marshall Plan Initiative)
        >
        > Lili Fuhr (Heinrich Böll Foundation)
        >
        > Andrea Goetzke (newthinking communications)
        >
        > Prof. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald (Schweisfurth-Stiftung)
        >
        > Jörg Haas (Climateexpert)
        >
        > Benedikt Härlin (Foundation for the Future of Agriculture)
        >
        > Hermann Graf Hatzfeldt
        >
        > Silke Helfrich (author)
        >
        > Kathrin Henneberger (Green Youth)
        >
        > Gregor Kaiser (Social Scientist)
        >
        > Dr. Wolfgang Kessler (Chief Editor Publik Forum)
        >
        > Prof. Dr. Rainer Kuhlen (information scientist, University of Konstanz)
        >
        > Julio Lambing (e-5 European Business Council for Sustainable Energy)
        >
        > Berthold Lange (Freiburger Kantstiftung)
        >
        > Prof. Dr. Bernd Lutterbeck (University for Technology Berlin)
        >
        > Annette Mühlberg (Network New Media, nnm)
        >
        > Rainer Rehak (Wuppertal Institut for Climate, Environment and
        > Energy)
        >
        > Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Sachs (Wuppertal Institut for Climate, Environment
        > and Energy)
        >
        > Jill Scherneck (Heinrich Böll Foundation)
        >
        > Christoph Schlee (Network Basic Income)
        >
        > Dr. Christian Siefkes (Software Developer, author)
        >
        > Malte Spitz (Member of Federal Board, Green Party)
        >
        > Prof. Dr. Ulrich Steinvorth (philosopher, University Bilkent)
        >
        > Dr. Antje Tönnis (GLS Treuhand/ GLS Trust)
        >
        > Barbara Unmüßig (Member of Board, Heinrich Böll Foundation)
        >
        > Translation: Michelle Thorne, Silke Helfrich, David Bollier
        >
        > The thesis paper was developed in collective authorship in the context
        > of the Interdisciplinary political salons of the Heinrich Böll
        > Foundation's "Time for commons," 2008/2009.
        >
        > Published under "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Germany"
        > License, Version 3.0. The copying, linking and creative development of
        > this document is explicitly encouraged.
        > http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
        >
        > Contact: Silke Helfrich, E-Mail: Silke.Helfrich AT gmx.de
        > ________________________________________
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
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