Commons Rising by Tim Flitcroft, Anna Betz , Andy Paice
The organizing of Commons Rising takes place with a core of three who initiate proposals to which a larger group of collaborators is invited to get involved in the various tasks in all the stages. The collaborator group then invites contributors to the CommonsFest. There will be an Open Exchange where there will be facilitated dialogues and discussions between groups before a wider audience, participatory workshops by contributors, an introductory ‘Soup Disco’ with films and informal discussions, a chaired panel discussion and an all day CommonsFair of practitioners with stalls where people can learn about their activities and join in with them.
There will be an online directory to which we will invite groups to participate and self describe what they do and how they work. This will include a process by which they can describe to what extent they are working as a commons (using principles derived from Elinor Ostrom) or within other related collaborative economy models. Once set up it would be self-sustaining and self organized by the participants on a GPL. The Commonsfest has been donated suitable spaces and some seed funding. A funding application has been put in and there will be additional crowd-funding. All of the organising is done on a voluntary basis.
The Commons fest will provide a clear explanation and examples of the Commons to share and build together between us practical knowledge on the Commons, to create a network of people and realities interested and/or aligned to the Commons to provide people with inspiration, tools and networks to initiate new Commons or strengthen existing ones. Ideally it would begin to generate a sense of the Commons as a socio-political movement and not as isolated pools of communal self organization, with Commons Rising continuing to act as a catalyst within its ongoing development.
Commons Rising is currently composed of three fixed members who participate on a voluntary basis and meet weekly. We come from different fields and experiences and have backgrounds in art, health and well-being, facilitation and group support , activism and campaigning. All of us have had experience of commoning in various ways from art collectives to health commons, political activist groups such as Occupy and Arts Aginst Cuts, housing co-ops and well-being workshops, Berlin Commons Conference 2103 and the School of Commoning. We organise open participatory events every two months where we invite people to learn more about the Commons and contribute to shaping Commons Rising and it’s activities.
The Core group acts completely equally across all the decision making and minutes of our meetings are kept. Individuals sometimes take the lead in certain areas with the agreement of the group such as crowd funding or creating a bank account or looking for spaces and networking with other groups but all roles are interchangeable and it is usually simply a question of time availability. All individual actions are brought back to the group for final agreement both online and in weekly meetings.
The core members are Tim Flitcroft artist and political activist Anna Betz Health professional and Andy Paice Faciltator and workshop organizer.