A new way of perceiving of, and organizing the commons is emerging – not as the vast one commons with marginal stewardship but as myriad overlapping sets of purposeful, specific and interoperable commons where the leading edge of human collaboration can flourish. In a Participatory Commons ecosystem, organizations can initiate their active stewardship of a specific commons for a wide range of specific inter-related purposes - while drawing support from, and dynamically cross-pollinating, their commonsing wisdom, protocols, platforms and projects with other participatory commons - akin to how cells interact with the organism they are part of.
Participatory Commons can be any size - from a small entrepreneurial team or intentional community to a large platform for sharing resources or integrating supply chains or stewarding a watershed. Mutual Aid Networks, small business collectives, small or large multi-stakeholder coops can all be modeled in a Participatory Commons pattern. Coops, collectives, joint ventures, and the newly emerging DHOs can all be Participatory Commons. We expect new patterns to emerge that we now can’t even imagine once we are able to weave our common efforts with this pattern. Participatory Commons can be utilized by communities of purpose, practice and/or place.
A Participatory Commons is an integrated weaving of community-building wisdom, organizational architecture, cultural and social processes, communication and operational platforms and protocols - along with new paradigm economic frameworks and agreements - designed to be agile and flexible in design, expandable to any scale and interoperable with other participatory commons of any scale. With this organizing pattern we can combine the best of community and cohesion building practices, the good will and collective responsibility of the shared commons, and the agility and power of entrepreneurial business.