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A Charter for Data (and Mapping) Commons

One of the earliest such maps was TransforMap, a project with origins in Austria and Germany that is using OpenStreetMap as a platform for helping people identify and connect with alternative economic projects. In the US, CommonSpark assembled a collection of “maps in the spirit of the commons” such as the Great Lakes Commons Map (a bioregional map of healing and harm), World of Commons(innovative forms of citizen-led governance of public property and services in Italy), Falling Fruit (a global map identifying 786,000 locations of forgeable food), a map of Free Little Libraries (free books available in neighborhoods around the world), a global Hackerspace map, a global Seed Map, a map of all Transition communities, and several Community Land Trustdirectory maps.

As the varieties of maps proliferate, there is growing concern that the mapping projects truly function as commons and be capable of sharing data and growing together. But meeting this challenge entails some knotty technical, social and legal issues.

A group of mappers met at the Commons Space sessions of the World Social Forum in Montreal last year to try to make progress on the challenge.  The dialogues continued at an “Intermapping” workshop in Florence, Italy, last month. After days of deep debate and collaboration, the mappers came up with a document that outlines twelve key principles for developing effective data and mapping commons. The Charter for Building a Data Commons for a Free, Fair and Sustainable Future is the fruit of those dialogues.

The Charter’s authors describe the document as “the maximum ‘commons denominator’ of mapping projects that aspire to share data for the common good.” If you follow these guidelines,” write the mappers, “you will contribute to a Global Data Commons. That is, you will govern your mapping community and manage data differently than people who centralize data control for profit.”

“The Charter does not describe the vision, scope or values of a specific mapping project.  It is rather an expression of Data Commons principles. It will help you reimagine how you protect the animating spirit of your mapping project and prevent your data from being co-opted or enclosed.” Read more

Solidarity economy and the Commons: a close relationship… to be built
ECA European parliament nov16

Between November 15 to 17 – 2016, an important meeting took place inside and outside of the European Parliament in Brussels, that gathered more than 150 people, practitioners and researchers of commons and the affirmation of a new economic and political culture. Please find here a report by Sunna Kovannen and myself, Ruby van der Wekken, of the Finnish Solidarity economy network on the starting up European Commons Assembly (ECA) process: https://commons.fi/2016/11/28/european-commons-assembly/

As you can read in the report, one of the things discussed by participants of the ECA (and several RIPESS members were also involved) is the issue of bringing closer the moblisations around Solidarity economy and the Commons, out of the recognition that the development of solidarity economy, including the increased linking together of actors out of which also new practices are born, is a furthering of our commons and commoning, and in fact that what gives our commons and commoning its solidarity, ethical base.

One of the thematical/policy areas defined to also work under in the future in the ECA process, is then exactly about the links between solidarity economy and the commons, and thus the need for enabling policies in both these areas.

The ECA process is yet to be setting its milestones for the upcoming years, there are currently different proposals on the table. One possibility would be to further develop the idea of holding an ECA also at the Solidarity Economy European congress in Athens in June, promoting the collaboration and envisioning between the strands.

Is that something we are interested in to be advocating and facilitating?

Does your network / organisation have experience with initiatives on the Commons?

We would like to create a working group within RIPESS to discuss and develop ways to connect Solidarity Economy to Commons on both the grassroots and policy levels.

Would you be interested in joining?

Ruby van der Wekken (Commons.fi – Finland)

David Bollier – Patrick Conaty: Democratic Money and Capital for the Commons
August 8, 2016

One of the more complicated, mostly unresolved issues facing most commons is how to assure the independence of commons when the dominant systems of finance, banking and money are so hostile to commoning. How can commoners meet their needs without replicating (perhaps in only modestly less harmful ways) the structural problems of the dominant money system?

Fortunately, there are a number of fascinating, creative initiatives around the world that can help illuminate answers to this question – from co-operative finance and crowdequity schemes to alternative currencies and the blockchain ledger used in Bitcoin, to reclaiming public control over money-creation to enable “quantitative easing for people” (and not just banks).

Download the report from Socioeco.org [pdf]

Read more

The Commons and SSE. RIUESS’ 2016 conference
June 7, 2016
RIUESS Colloques 2016 - Communs et ESS

The XVI meeting of the Inter-niversity network for social economy and solidarity (RIUESS) was held at the University Paul Valéry in Montpellier. This year the theme was about The « commons » and Social Solidarity Economy. What identities and commond dynamics ?

It is not possible to report here the richness and diversity of exchanges around the concepts which have been quite recently (re) introduced in both economists’ and intellectuals’ discourse and more largely by people who promote initiatives in their territories which they consider a rehabilitation of the Commons.  […]

In the workshops, many issues were discussed (one participant questioned the “myth of localism”), with various focal points. The written contributions (49) were grouped within 18 workshops in four parallel sessions. These contents are available on the website of socioeco.org.

The RIUESS network held the meeting of its General Assembly (the first after the founding one, last November). The network brings together more than 50 researchers from several Universities and members on an individual basis. It elected its Coordination Committee (7 men, 7 women). It announced the  XVII meeting in Marrakech in partnership between the University of Mulhouse and of Morocco. It also decided to renew its membership to RIPESS Europe.

RIUESS: 16th conference on the ‘commons’ and the social and solidarity economy
December 20, 2015

The Inter-university Network of Social and Solidarity Economy (RIUESS) organizes its 16th conference in Montpellier – from the 25 to 27 May 2016 (organized by the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3).

This year the theme is: “the ‘commons’ and the social and solidarity economy. What identities and what common dynamics?”

Call for papers RIUESS 2016 Montpellier
Doctoral workshops 2016

The deadline for receipt of abstracts proposals is January 16, 2016.

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