Asia Deep Dive on the Commons and the Temporalities of the Commons

I was invited in mid Oct to participate in the Asia Deep Dive on the Commons, a process  of the Heinrich Bo?ll Foundation‘s Commons Strategy Group, in large part due to Michel Bauwens’ influence and via our dialogues on alternative globalizations.

The HB foundation is doing amazing pioneering work bringing together social innovators and thinkers from around the world to develop an emerging discourse on the commons. Following their landmark conference in 2009 in Berlin bringing together people from every angle and niche of the commons, David Bollier and Silke Heilfrich have produced a landmark text, The Wealth of the Commons.

In lead up to their follow up major conference in 2013 to focus on the economics of the commons, they ran various working groups around the world, one in Mexico, another in Bangkok, and another I don’t know where.

It was great to meet and dialog in such depth with others working toward a commons-nurturing world. It was incredibly intense, intellectually overwhelming at times, and a powerful experience. I came away with an expanded and more complex understanding of the many dimensions of the commons, its challenges, struggle and strategic pathways. I also came away with new friends and comrades. Here is a picture of us:










I had wanted to write about the strategic dimensions in the democratic development of the commons for years. My thesis work made it clear that this was the golden thread that brought together many movements, visions and projects. In the wake of the deep dive I have put time and energy into finally putting forward the key ideas surrounding the temporalities of the commons.

This draft paper, titled Temporalities of the Commons: Toward Narrative Coherence and Strategic Vision, details a number of counter hegemonic narratives and temporalities, interrogating each for what they have to offer an emerging narrative and temporality for the commons. Using these discourses, an outline for historical antecedents, present processes, and future agendas are constructed toward a narrative of commoning. The article also proposes some strategic considerations regarding the timescales within which different commoning projects might be understood. Overall the article is an attempt to offer one starting point with which to dialogue and debate the narrative and strategic development of post­?capitalist commons-­nurturing political economies and societies.

It is a heuristic that provides a point by which to evolve our narrative and strategic understandings of the commons project, to provoke discussion and debate. It does not assume conceptual and strategic finality, but rather to facilitate the evolution of our narrative and strategic thinking with respect to creating a commons nurturing world.