Our Shared Commons
Our Shared Commons


Shareable is an award-winning nonprofit news, action and connection hub for the sharing transformation - a movement of movements emerging from the grassroots up to solve today's biggest challenges, which old, top-down institutions are failing to address.

Behind these failing industrial-age institutions are outmoded beliefs about how the world works - that ordinary people can't govern themselves directly; that nonstop economic growth leads to widespread prosperity; and that more stuff leads to more happiness. Amid crisis, a new way forward is emerging - the sharing transformation is big, global, and impacts every part of society.

New and resurgent solutions are democratizing how we produce, consume, govern, and solve social problems. The maker movement, collaborative consumption, the solidarity economy, open source software, transition towns, open government, and social enterprise are just a few of the movements showing a way forward based on sharing.

The sharing transformation shows that it's possible to govern ourselves, build a green economy that serves everyone, and create meaningful lives together. It also shows that we can solve the world's biggest challenges - like poverty and global warming - by unleashing the power of collaboration.

David Bollier

Author, activist, blogger, speaker and consultant who explores the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics and culture. David co-founded the Commons Strategies Group, a consulting project that works to promote the commons internationally.

David hosted an educational film, This Land Is Our Land: The Fight to Reclaim the Commons; taught "The Rise of the Commons" course at Amherst College as the Croxton Lecturer in 2010. He was Founding Editor of Onthecommons.org and a Fellow of On the Commons from 2004 to 2010 and has written, co-authored or co-edited twelve books - including:

● Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Commons Wealth (2002), a far-ranging survey of market enclosures of shared resources, from public lands and the airwaves to creativity and knowledge,
● Brand Name Bullies: The Quest to Own and Control Culture, which documents the vast expansion of copyright and trademark law over the past generation that has enclosed our cultural commons.
● Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own, which describes the rise of free software, free culture, and the movements behind open business models, open science, open educational resources and new modes of Internet-enabled citizenship.
● Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Commons
● The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market
● State Green Governance: Ecological Survival, Human Rights and the Commons
● From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond: The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in a Digital Society

From 1984 to 2010, David worked with American television writer/producer Norman Lear on a variety of non-television, public affairs projects. For many years, also, I was Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and co-founder and board member (2001-2011) of Public Knowledge, a Washington policy advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the information commons. In 2012, he won the Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy for his commons work from the American Academy in Berlin.

On The Commons

On the Commons is a gateway to the latest thinking and action happening right now in the commons movement. You'll find profiles of everyday people who stand up to protect what belongs to us all, groundbreaking ideas that will be useful in your life, and current news examined in fresh ways through a commons perspective. Their book called All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons helps you discover the power of commons-based solutions.

The Commons Work online resource center highlights their practical, field-based commons work. There, you will learn about new co-creative initiatives that promote involvement in commoning - the diverse set of practices that bring the commons to life for everyday people - and discover resources crafted by members of our network. Additionally, OTC sponsors a network (which you can join) of commons animateurs - people from all walks of life who play a seminal but often invisible role helping communities and organizations to see new possibilities, to claim and share resources in more equitable ways, and to develop new capacities for a brighter future.


The P2P Foundation is an international organization focused on studying, researching, documenting and promoting peer to peer practices in a very broad sense. This website is our knowledge commons and it's collaboratively built by our community. It is an interconnecting platform for people involved in realising the new open and free, participatory and commons-oriented paradigms in every social field.

Commons Transition

The Commons Transition Platform is a database of practical experiences and policy proposals aimed toward achieving a more humane and environmentally grounded mode of societal organization. Basing a civil society on the Commons (including the collaborative stewardship of our shared resources) would enable a more egalitarian, just, and environmentally stable society.

The proposals in this web platform go beyond rhetoric and are inspired by successful, self-organized working communities that maintain themselves and their environments through Commons Based Peer Production, Property and Governance.

The Commons, together with Peer to Peer dynamics, represent a third mode of societal organization that evolves away from the competitive Market State and obsolete, centrally-planned systems. It is a system based on the practices and needs of civil society and the environment it inhabits at the local, regional, national and global levels.

Our Shared Commons

Our Water Commons

Our Water Commons seeks to transform societal decision making for water stewardship, towards participatory, democratic, community-centered systems that value equity and sustainability as a strategy. We are committed to working with public sector agencies and civil society organizations for improved public water delivery and watershed management. Our work is based on a set of ten water commons principles.

Our Water Commons (OWC) was formed as a collaborative program of On the Commons, an organization formed in 2001 to advance commons-based solutions that will help achieve environmental restoration, social justice, global cooperation and a brighter future for all. OWC operates as a network of academics, practitioners and activists and works through alliances with water operators, municipalities, public agencies, environmental organizations, community groups and human rights organizations.

Project For Public Spaces

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Our pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs.

PPS was founded in 1975 and have since completed projects in more than 3000 communities in 43 countries and all 50 U.S. states and are the premier center for best practices, information and resources on placemaking. More than 800 people worldwide are members of our Placemaking Leadership Council.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.

Their free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work - on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of "all rights reserved" to "some rights reserved."

Creative Commons licenses and public domain tools support access and reuse of hundreds of millions of pieces of creative work by allowing creators to attach rights information about how they wish to share their creativity. And of course, open licensing is just one part of the ecosystem of sharing.

CC helps break down copyright barriers to online sharing, but without net neutrality, the sharing of all works (both CC licensed and not) will be restricted from the users who cannot cough up the money to jump into the fast lane. Creators should be able to share content on equal footing. And users should be able to access and reuse that shared content via a fair and open internet. Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. They address the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale. Thanks to the support of more than 1 million members, they've protected more than 119 million acres of land and thousands of miles of rivers worldwide and they operate more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. Nature Conservancy works in all 50 states and more than 35 countries - protecting habitats from grasslands to coral reefs, from Australia to Alaska to Zambia. They address threats to conservation involving climate change, fresh water, oceans, and conservation lands.

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