52 episodes

A monthly conversation with creative activists pioneering new forms of commoning.

Frontiers of Commoning, with David Bollier The Schumacher Center for a New Economics, David Bollier

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

A monthly conversation with creative activists pioneering new forms of commoning.

    Safouan Azouzi: Lessons of Desert Oases for Eco-Resilient Transformation

    Safouan Azouzi: Lessons of Desert Oases for Eco-Resilient Transformation

    Safouan Azouzi, a Tunisian scholar of the commons and participatory social design, discusses how cultural traditions in desert oases hold important socio-ecological lessons for the world. For the Global South, long victimized by colonialism and capitalist extraction, oases culture embodies an eco-friendly, alternative vision of development. For the industrial West, oases reveals the importance of commoning in building stable, regenerative economies in sync with ecosystem needs. More on the commons at www.Bollier.org. A PDF transcript of Episode #52 can be found here: https://www.bollier.org/files/misc-file-upload/files/Safouan_Azouzi_Ep._52_transcript.doc.pdf

    • 49 min
    Camila Vergara's Vision of Plebeian Constitutionalism

    Camila Vergara's Vision of Plebeian Constitutionalism

    Chilean political philosopher Camila Vergara boldly argues in her book 'Systemic Corruption' that decay and corruption are inevitable even in liberal, representative systems because oligarchs end up capturing state governance and law. Ordinary people rarely have their own plebeian institutions to express their interests and curb the abuses of the elite. Drawing on ancient Greek and Roman history and four modern political philosophers, Professor Vergara makes an audacious case for constitutionally ordained plebeian institutions such as citizen assemblies through which citizens could propose and veto legislation and political appointees, among other powers. More on the commons: https://www.bollier.org.

    • 53 min
    Cooking Sections Serves Up Art, Eco-Activism & Local Food

    Cooking Sections Serves Up Art, Eco-Activism & Local Food

    The artistic duo known as Cooking Sections -- Alon Schwabe and Daniel Fernández Pascual of the Royal College of Art in London -- use their virtuoso visual, performance, and installation artworks to jolt people into new understanding of local ecosystems, capitalism, and food. Their work, shown at prestigious venues around the world to great acclaim, dramatizes how modern diets are products of "a globally financialized landscape," ranging from artificially colored farmed salmon to eco-destroying monoculture crops. But Cooking Sections also uses its art to work closely with farmers, restaurants, schools, politicians, and citizens to reinvent local foodways through commoning. (Photo by Aman Askarizad, IHME)

    • 47 min
    Nathan Schneider on Building Democratic Governance on the Internet

    Nathan Schneider on Building Democratic Governance on the Internet

    To counter the "implicit feudalism" that is the norm on the Internet, activist-scholar Nathan Schneider explains the potential of democratic governance in online life and its importance to "real world" democracy. A professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, Schneider argues that "online spaces could be sites of creative, radical and democratic renaissance." But this will require progressive activists to heed the lessons of various social and decolonial movements throughout history, and to find the resolve to use the technologies in creative ways.

    • 50 min
    WIll Ruddick on 'Commitment Pooling' to Build Economic Commons

    WIll Ruddick on 'Commitment Pooling' to Build Economic Commons

    Will Ruddick, development economist and founder of Grassroots Economics, has spent the past 16 years in Kenya developing innovative "community inclusion currencies" for dozens of poorer communities. By combining ancient mutual aid practices with credit vouchers (circulating as a kind of money) and digital ledger technologies (to expand the scale of exchange), people are able to develop their own economic commons to meet everyday needs. Ruddick credits the success of the currencies to "commitment pooling" protocols that have long been used by Indigenous and traditional communities. Blog post: https://www.bollier.org/blog/will-ruddick-commitment-pooling-build-economic-commons

    • 52 min
    Kathryn Milun: Sharing the Sun's Energy through Solar Commons

    Kathryn Milun: Sharing the Sun's Energy through Solar Commons

    Kathryn Milun, a community-engaged scholar, writer, and energy democracy advocate at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, has spent the past 15 years developing the innovative Solar Commons model. This powerful prototype uses decentralized solar arrays to generate steady revenue streams to build community wealth. Through partnership agreements, four Solar Commons trusts are now channeling funds to low-income neighborhoods, rural communities, regenerative farming, and Native American food sovereignty. More about Solar Commons: www.solarcommons.org More about commons: www.Bollier.org.

    • 42 min

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