Humans have been organizing collective effort since the beginning of Humanity itself. Whether through family, tribe, economic coercion or cooperation, religious affiliation, political cause or ideology or against a common enemy - we come together to accomplish whatever purposes we share through trust, shared agreement, shared structure and shared commitment. That trust and shared activity leads to a sense of belonging that is at the core of what it is to be human.
Indigenous and other community-based cultures have long known how to organize around trust, commitment and belonging without the need for a legal or technical trust proxy. They do this based on cultural practices and ethical standards, desire for community harmony, and common interest grounded in personal relationships and respect for all life. This works fine in cohesive tribes at small scales. Modern tribes such as churches, intentional communities, jazz bands and small entrepreneurial teams can achieve a comparable level of cohesive mind, heart and effort.
Is there a way to extend this sense of community, belonging, trust and effective unified action to larger scales? Can we organize and coordinate our efforts across sectors and regions without resorting to litigation-based legal constructs that tend to reduce all things to monetary reward or punishment? Can we co-create, co-invest and share value and wealth for the commons without it becoming profit for the few at the expense of the many? Yes! But to do so we need a new approach to “The Commons”.