After eight thematic and one intercooperation sessions, we gathered online with people and organisations working on the transition to commons socio-economic models, in different parts of the world. There were 12 presentations of models, methodologies and practices that help us facilitate processes, support collectives or work on projects and networks. The session was also a cartography exercise to learn how others work, to inspire each other and to get to know each other a bit better.
This week we held the International Meeting Transitioning Ecosystem: Models for sustaining procommons.
We organised it, at femProcomuns, as part of the Working Group for Commons Ecosystems, together with Remix the Commons, BABalex, Projet Collectif and Solidarius Italia.
It is the result of the confluence of several projects funded by the Singulars grant from the Generalitat de Catalunya, Remix the Commons, Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation pour le progrès de l’Home, and a grant we asked at Fund Action.
To femProcomuns, this session is a point of intersection between the work we are doing locally, in Catalonia -this year with Transitioning Ecosystem we have done eight thematic sessions throughout the country and a final session of intercooperation in Barcelona- and the work we are doing with people from other places, who also work for the Commons.
Transitioning Ecosystem, has a background in the five editions of the La Comunificadora programme, courses on Platform Cooperativism, sessions and workshops in postgraduates, hackathons, accompaniment of individualised projects, and also in the development of our own projects, at femProcomuns:
CommonsCloud, to provide ourselves with pooled digital tools, with individuals and consumer partner entities.
Teixidora.net, a semantic wiki to share notes and documentation in open source.
Xoic, a shared network of antennas, sensors and actuators to enable the internet of things.
ComSoc, Social communication to empower people as protagonists of the media, through educommunication.
All this intersects with the work we have been doing in recent years with some people who participated in the meeting. We have been together at the Commons Confluence at the World Social Forum for Transformative Economies (WSFTE) in 2019, the CommonsCamp in Marseille in 2020, or the Common Horizons meetings in 2021. This confluence was already heir to the work done in other environments, the European Assembly of the Commons, the Procomuns Days organised by Dimmons in Barcelona and many other initiatives that it would be impossible to list. This week’s meeting is the first of two working sessions proposed by the Working Group for Commons Ecosystems. The second will be in person, in Mondeggi (Italy), on November 14 and 15.
Transitioning Ecosystem in Catalonia
At femProcomuns, this year we have been co-organising, with numerous related entities, eight thematic sessions in different parts of the country, (Tarragona on energy, Salt on Methodologies, Mataró on Volunteering, El Prat de Llobregat on the defense of the territory, Olot on Housing, Manresa on Care, Hospitalet on Food and Olesa de Montserrat on Water). We have invited people who are involved in self-organisation and community projects.
We have used the Commons Sustainability Model to analyse them together, from five dimensions: community, resources, work/production, knowledge sharing and governance.
We look at projects where there is a collective that self-organises by articulating a community to solve needs, overcome challenges, or manage resources (or all three together) and that generates forms of self-governance and rules for its sustainability, present and future. This commons socioeconomic model, based on self-organisation, self-management and self-government, intersects with other models such as the social market and public services. We try to make it visible and understand it.
But the Sustainability Model of the Commons is an antagonistic model to the capitalist, extractivist model, based on maximising the profit of a few by using the interaction of the market, the liberal state and supra-state organisations, which sustain the current dominant system.
All the people and entities that we invited are doing things for the commons and will continue to do so. We might meet with some, and might not meet with some others, this time. That’s why the sessions we do, and also the ones we have done this year, have never been understood as a point of arrival, nor as a point of departure, but as a point of passage. We also understood this one in this way.
We explained the Sustainability Model for the Commons that we have been elaborating, putting into practice and modifying in the last few years. We presented it, aware that it is not only tool, and that there are others. Therefore, we wanted to know both experiences that have observed, used or adapted this model and we also wanted to know other models, methodologies and ways of doing and practices to move towards socioeconomic commons modes.
Experiences: models, methodologies and practices
The Commons Sustainability Model. femProcomuns. David Gómez Fontanills
In recent years, at femProcomuns we have developed an approach and a support tool for collectives that seek to offer solutions to the challenges of their territories, and we have put it into practice through transition programs and activities.
It is a conceptual model that takes into account five interconnected dimensions in a common project, 5 pillars: community, resources to mobilise, co-production, knowledge sharing and co-governance. It is a model of how a project works or wants to work. It uses a visual diagram that helps us to locate and qualify the commons with respect to these five dimensions and makes it easier to find the balance between them.
Building a collaborative community economy: The case of La Comunificadora. Dimmons/La Coop des Communs. Vera Vidal
Researcher Vera Vidal analysed La Comunificadora program, an accelerator program for the commons collaborative economy in which the Commons Sustainability Model, as it is now, was developed. She observes how instead of reinforcing capitalist visions of the economy and a model of entrepreneurship linked to them, La Comunificadora can be a space to produce a diverse economy. To this end, the analysis from the Gibson-Graham perspective suggests the need to combine a politics of language, a politics of the subject and a politics of collective action. Article in English
Cultivating the commons, from Europe to Quebec. Collective Project. Marie Soleil L’Allier
Since January 2021, the community of practice Cultivating the Commons meets monthly in Quebec, with the intention of convening and networking people interested in the commons and discussing different tools, approaches and methods adapted to the commons. Projet Collectif, is part of the Commons Ecosystem Task Force, in the framework of which self-training on the different models, methodologies, practices and tools developed and implemented locally by the different actors of the commons is carried out. In the last few months, we have been working to translate into French the Common Sustainability Model, working canvases, game and explanatory texts.
- Article in French https://femprocomuns.coop/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Cultiver-les-communs_MS_S_93.pdf
From food to governance, producing situated knowledge with the School of the Commons. Frédéric Sultan Remix the commons, AFAP, B.A.Balex
There are two ongoing projects, one on food and the other on governance. The School of the Commons revolves around governance, it is a self-learning experience on the forms of governance of the commons with the inhabitants of La Chapelle (Paris neighbourhood) and their collectives and organisations. In order to welcome and make various activities coexist in the neighbourhood, they propose to produce and experiment various tools for a living governance of spaces and projects. This knowledge will be collected through 5 work camps in order to become a shared resource. Each work camp will be the occasion to realise together a new resource to make the School of the Commons in the neighbourhood. In the second work camp, we will analyse a few projects with the Sustainability Model of the Commons and work with the Game of the Commons Economy.
Use case of the Commons Sustainability Model in Foresta, Marseille. Alima El Bajnouni
Accompanying work for a project of ecological management of the Foresta Park, in Marseille, in the framework of a call to projects by Fondation France “Reinventing our commons to amplify the ecological transition.”
Foresta is a privately owned land, managed since 2016 by the association Yes We Camp, but which in 2019 passed into the hands of Association Foresta. Alima El Bajnouni, has conducted an accompaniment plan, based on 16 interviews, the results of which she has analysed from the perspective of the Commons Sustainability Model and which has helped her to draw a road-map for the project.
ColMeth: Collaborative Research Co-design Kit. Peer-Produced Research Lab. Enric Senabre
Materials with free licenses to download and print for collective research dynamics, to facilitate the ideation and discussion of methods and processes. A simple and visual material to work in academic and educational contexts, identify research questions and hypotheses. Looking first at divergence and moving towards convergence, also through semantic relationships.
Fermenting methodologies to nurture processes. ColaBoraBora, Ricardo Antón
Composting and cocktailing methodologies to make ourselves available to each situation and process, in an adaptive and contextual way; establishing in each case the principles, guidelines and components, which serve us as a guide; making less things more careful and taking care of ourselves.
R-Urban: a resilience strategy through commons. atelier d’architecture autogérée (aaa). Doïna M Petrescu
R-Urban is a local resilience strategy based on a network of civic centres where inhabitants of suburban neighbourhoods can develop resilience practices and create closed ecological circuits at the local level. The strategy supports collective governance around environmental, economic and social values. Since 2011, seven such centres have been built in the Paris region (in Colombes, Gennevilliers and Nanterre) and two centres in London (Hackney Wick and Poplar).
Calculating the value of the commons. atelier de architecture autogérée (aaa). Doina M Petrescu
To see how to calculate the return on investment of the community economy to Colombe. Based on the fact that there is an investment that supports the survival of all and allows to consume less and that there is a return not necessarily monetary (reduction of carbon footprint, increase ethical aspects of production, expansion of commons). This return is monetised, to speak “the same” language as real estate investors and city managers, and shows that with an intervention such as that of R-Urban (presented above) the value of the invisible increases and is good for the planet and the community.
Transition Action. France Nature Environnement. Lou-ann Hennequin
Building a regional roadmap (a strategic action plan) to make sobriety, commons and low-tech (low impact technology) the future core elements of environmental policies in the Burgundy Franche Comté region.
Betula Project: Integral promotion of the villages of Cadí Moixeró through landscape. L’Arada Social Creativity. Marina Vilaseca and Ferran Canudas
Integral promotion of the villages of Cadí-Moixeró is a project of local and community dynamization initiated in autumn 2018 together with the Saldes City Council and the Natural Park of Cadí-Moixeró. It consists of facing debates, challenges and actions collectively to transit towards a horizon of territorial sustainability.
Rural School of Economics. Drawing is the new accounting. Community Economies Institute. Kathrin Böhm
The project, called “rural undercurrents” has the purpose of making rural knowledge visible again, they used drawing to share and collect knowledge. It was done by observing, paying attention, taking notes. Eight hundred women participated, and although they did not read their drawings as an economy, by drawing, they showed the economic value of what they were drawing and it helped them to communicate and realise that what they were doing was a common good. Video (English and German)
Languages and documentation
We pay special attention to languages as a commons, they are an intangible asset that we take care of collectively. Empires, colonialism and expansionism have used some languages as an operational and domination tool, while other languages have been minored and often persecuted.
Languages that have been instruments of domination are now a valuable tool that allows many people to communicate and that we take advantage of.
But language is a commons that is constantly updated when we use it in human interactions and that dies when we stop using it or restrict it only to certain areas.
We wanted to hold a session with simultaneous translation so that everyone could speak in a language with which they feel more or less comfortable. And we also used Catalan, which is our own language, because we think it is important that when someone coordinates a meeting or when it is held in person in a place, the language of the place is used. And we share with many of those who are here, the interest in translating content, to explore the nuances of language, in all those words that have to do with the commons.
We also asked the speakers to fill out a form with a classification system that we have been testing and using to order projects in the semantic wiki of Teixidora (or any other semantic wiki). The idea is to document the initiatives so that we can follow up and identify them, so that they can be used to replicate or simply to learn from each other, to be able to access how a community has found a way to respond to a need and to be able to replicate or replicate elements in our territory. We want to continue working on this idea, daring but possible, and we intend to continue working on it at the meeting in Mondeggi.Presentations (slides)