Open Cooperativism

Frontiers of Commoning

New forms of peer production for software, knowledge, product design, hardware and manufacturing hold great promise for creating a new autonomous, productive sector of commons. Unfortunately, much of this open cooperation is captured and sold by businesses whose extractive business models fail to re-invest in the commons. The peer production may therefore never evolve into a new Commons Sector unless new types of cooperative structures are invented or adapted.

To explore these possibilities, CSG joined with the Heinrich Böll Foundation to convene a workshop in September 2014 to ask whether a new sort of synthesis or synergy could be found between the peer production and commons movement on the one hand, and the more innovative elements of the co-operative and solidarity economy movements. Both share a deep commitment to social cooperation, yet both are products of very different histories, cultures, identities and aspirations. Can these two movements overcome the barriers to such a convergence and learn to work more closely together?

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