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Imagining together the future of the commons




Remix of the Visions of the Future HD40307 poster courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. Original created by The Studio. Made available by JPL for any purpose without prior permission.
Remix by Paul Stacey, for Creative Commons Global Summit 2017.

CC Summits have always been an opportunity for the Creative Commons global movement to take stock of our work and plan next steps. This year, we decided to make this theme even more prominent, and defined “Future of the Commons” as one of the five tracks of the Global Summit.

This track was formed due to the influential research from the internal “Faces of the Commons” study conducted by a team led by Anna Mazgal. One of the recommendations in her report was that Creative Commons create a platform for engaging people in generating big ideas and insights related to the future of the commons and the potential for Creative Commons to be an agent of exponential social change.

Why should we care about the future of the commons?

This interest is due in part to the ongoing strategic process, which will conclude at the Summit with the adoption of a new model for the CC network. As we re-design our global community, we need to ask ourselves: what are our long-term goals, what is the role that CC can play in shaping our societies, and how do we address new challenges?

Creative Commons builds its activism on the belief that the way in which we manage a variety of resources matters, particularly when it comes to copyright. When properly shared, our intellectual resources will foster collaboration, equity, innovation and engagement. This fundamental assumption is valid as much today, as it was when CC was formed in 2001.

The “Future of the Commons” track is an opportunity to reflect together on our mission and goals, on the relevance of CC tools, and ways in which we can adapt to better address current challenges. We also want to talk about how we can work collaboratively with others, to build a broader open movement and a shared vision of the commons.

Future of the Commons graphic by Joanna Tarkowska, CC BY

The three strands of the track

The Future of the Commons track was shaped around three strands, each with their own set of questions.

Strand One: What is the commons, in particular the digital commons? How has CC contributed to the digital commons in the last 15 years? What part does CC currently play in helping it flourish and what more could CC do? Who else is working on this and how might CC collaborate with them?

Strand Two: What is the role of the commons in the future economy? How do we develop open business models? What is CC’s role in sharing cities, platform cooperatives, and the sharing economy? How do we apply the concept of sharing to other crucial resources and technologies (like data or the internet of things)?

Strand Three: What is CC’s role in going beyond licenses? How do we engage in and advance the social community practice of commoning? How is a commons managed? What are social norms for helping a digital commons thrive?

You can learn more about the track sessions in our Summit schedule.

If you care about the future of the commons – get in touch!

We invite Summit participants who are particularly interested in these issues to meet during lunch on Friday for an informal chance to meet peers. Look for the track logo in the lunch area.

We will also be organizing a Virtually Connecting session on Sunday during the 10.00 am break, to bring together summit participants with online peers, in order to share more broadly the track experience.

To make the Future of the Commons track interactive we are inviting participants attending each session to write down one big idea or action from the session they think CC should pursue to ensure a flourishing future commons. All ideas will be posted to a Future of the Commons wall poster in the Summit venue hallway. Over the course of the summit, the Future of the Commons wall will gradually have more big ideas on it. to encourage idea browsing and conversation.

All the ideas from the Future of the Commons wall poster will feed into a culminating session on the last day of the Summit called “A Platform for Big Thinking About the Future of the Commons”. All participants in this final session will be engaged in an activity that selects and prioritizes ideas from the wall poster into a Future of the Commons action plan.

The “Future of the Commons” track has been shaped by an organizing team including: Alek Tarkowski (Poland), Claudia Cristiani (El Salvador), Alexandros Nousias (Greece), Anna Mazgal (Poland), SooHyun Pae (South Korea), and Paul Stacey (Canada).

Posted 18 April 2017