About the book
The commons is an ancient social form that has survived for centuries, constantly renewing itself. It can be seen in indigenous agriculture and community forests, Bolivian water committees and high-tech FabLabs, theater commons and the Burning Man festival. Commoners are taking charge of their lives through networks that are designing open-source farm equipment… alternative currencies that are reviving troubled neighborhoods in Kenya… and collaborative maps that are helping build a new economy.
In Patterns of Commoning, more than sixty frontline activists, academics and project leaders from twenty countries explain how commoning is empowering people to challenge the deep pathologies of contemporary capitalism and invent powerful, participatory alternatives. A special series of essays explores the inner dynamics of commoning—its ethics, social practices and worldview—to explain why the building of new worlds starts from within.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation has been a determined champion of the commons and supporter of this book. Patterns of Commoning is itself the product of commoning—not just by the many contributors, but by the more than thirty commons-friendly organizations and individuals who pre-ordered the book through a “limited crowdfunding” campaign. Their participation helped to finance its production at a much lower price than similarly produced books.
This crowdfunding has also enabled Patterns of Commoning to be distributed and shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This means that you are free to copy and redistribute the contents of this book in any medium or format, and you may remix, transform and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. However, you must give appropriate credit if you copy and share the book, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes are made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor—the editors and the Heinrich Böll Foundation—endorses you or your use. If you remix, transform or build upon the contents of this book, you must distribute your contributions under the same license used here.
Patterns of Commoning follows on the heels of a 2012 anthology of essays, The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State (2012), which offered a panorama of perspectives on commons, the enclosures that threaten many of them, and the productive forces that they can unleash. A third anthology is planned for 2017.