The term “commons” is new to me.

The commons is what we share together.
From parks and clean water to
scientific knowledge and the Internet,
some things are no one’s private property.
They exist for everyone’s benefit,
and must be protected for future generations.
A movement is emerging today
to create a commons-based society.

The new issue of Kosmos magazine honors
Elinor Ostrom,
winner of the Nobel Prize 2009 in economics
for her work on the commons.

Kosmos states:

Humankind is suffering from an unprecedented campaign of privatization and commodification of the most basic elements of life: nature, culture, human work and knowledge itself. In the countless arenas, businesses are claiming our shared inheritance – science, creative works, water, the atmosphere, health, education, genetic diversity, even living creatures – as private property. A compulsive quest for short-term gain is sacrificing the prosperity of all and the stability of the Earth itself.

Elinor Ostrom, over four decades of work, has repeatedly demonstrated how commons resources can be successfully managed and shared without the intervention of private companies or government regulations.

At the World Social Forum of 2009,
meeting at Belem, Para, in Brazil,
they created a Manifesto reclaiming the commons.

Let us demonstrate how commons-based management-participatory, collaborative and transparent-offers the best hope for building a world that is sustainable, fair and life-giving.

Kosmos Journal

The commons is a creative idea worth thinking about.