Tag / Silke Helfrich

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  • Ontology as a Hidden Driver of Politics

    One of the big epiphanies that I had in writing Free, Fair and Alive with Silke Helfrich, was that a lot of political disagreements are not just about law, politics, or economics. They reflect fundamental clashes of worldviews. They are disputes about how human beings should or can relate to each other and to nature, and what…

  • Silke Helfrich: “Technologies can be an important part of a commons”

    Interview conducted by Genoveva López and originally published in the P2P Models Blog. Silke Helfrich is a writer author and commons defender. She was the Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation from 1996 to 1998. She travels throughout Europe meeting with leading theorists of the commons and frontline activists. She is co-founder of the Commons-Institut in…

  • Lessons from the Pandemic: Three Notable Essays

    One of the most difficult things to endure in this pandemic, apart from the biophysical threat of Covid-19 itself, is the evaporation of meaning. Familiar institutions and norms are being revealed as dysfunctional or anti-social, leaving us in a fog of disorientation. Can the old, familiar narratives about “free markets” and a (seemingly) benign state…

  • How the coronavirus is forcing us to think beyond market and state

    The Corona crisis demonstrated in fast motion the dilemma into which market-state-thinking leads. This is where commons come into play, i.e. what people do and are able to do with each other in a self-determined, self-organised, needs-oriented manner and without any marketing interest. If this article were a sonata, its minor key would show us…

  • 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…

  • Reimagining the commons: Q&A with David Bollier

    The commons hold an almost mythological allure in our minds — something from a bygone era when human societies were marked by collectivism and community cohesion. We might think of Medieval England, where forests were held in common by communities of people who could freely forage and hunt. Or perhaps the word evokes images of…

  • “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. The Insurgent Power of the Commons. On tour in Europe (Sept. 2019)

    Yeah, the English version of our book is out. Have a look at our website to explore the introduction and more. There have been several things I’ve felt realy touched by during the last few months while preparing the book launch. One of it is Peter Linebaugh’s praise for the book.   Like a medieval cathedral…

  • Strong Roots: Translating as a Commons

    In the commercial translation world, a text does not usually get due diligence during the translation process. This means that translators often lack of expertise in the subject matter, work under unrealistic deadlines and are paid too little for their skills. Essentially, all of these problems boil down to the fact that the client grossly…