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  • On the Road with ‘Free, Fair and Alive’

    Book tours are known for being grueling odysseys. While it wasn’t a breeze to speak at two dozen events in ten weeks of travel in Europe, UK and the US, it was a joy for me to connect with so many different commoners. I found my visits often amounted to field research filled with unexpected…

  • Gifts Beget Gifts: The Book Inspires the Film

    In 1979, I remember reading Lewis Hyde’s stunningly wise essay about the social dynamics of gifts in CoEvolution Quarterly — the offshoot of the Whole Earth Catalog. I was twenty-three, and immediately chased down the book from which the essay was drawn, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property. The book has gone…

  • “Free, Fair and Alive”: The New Language of the Commons

    How do we talk about the commons when we talk about the Commons? Silke Helfrich and David Bollier have spent years devising a new language for a future commons society. The video shows their working method and their exuberant creativity. The authors explain the necessity of invented terms: “Somehow we had to escape the powerful…

  • “Free, Fair and Alive” is Now Published!

    From cohousing and agroecology to fisheries and land trusts and open-source everything, people around the world are increasingly turning to “commoning as a way to emancipate themselves from a predatory market/state system.  David Bollier and his coauthor Silke Helfrich have now published one of the most comprehensive and in-depth looks at what the commons means…

  • The Sharing Society’s Vibrant Forum for Studying Cooperation

    While there are many ways that academics now study commoning, few show the broad-minded enthusiasm, scholarly engagement, and political awareness that I encountered at the Sharing Society’s international conference in Bilbao, Spain. The May 23-24 event brought together a wide variety of international scholars, practitioners and activists who care about cooperation in its many permutations…

  • Free, Fair and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons

    This book offers a compelling narrative for change – that we want to be free and creative people, governing ourselves through fair, accountable institutions, and experiencing the aliveness of authentic human presence. Free, fair, and alive! Click here to download the German edition. The forthcoming English edition will be available in September 2019. Video reposted…

  • How Does The Commons Work? Our new animation elaborates on David Bollier’s next system

    Originally published at The Next System David Bollier, in his paper for our “New Systems: Possibilities and Proposals” series exploring viable political-economic alternatives to the present order, suggests that a commons-based framework could provide a critical template for de-commodification, mutualization, and the organization and control of resources outside of the market. We’re excited to share…