CAN newsletter, February 2014

It’s now one year since the CAN website got started!

We started with four members in February 2013, and opened a pretty basic website to begin with. We reached out to people gradually (though with a special push at the Economics of the Commons Conference in May, of which you may be interested to see the interviews by Remix the Commons, and Helene’s assessment).  A number of students at Truman State University joined the network to write pages for the NORA knowledge base, which now has over 70 pages with especially many pages relating to food. Altogether, the site activity page now lists 147 members, of whom the people page lists 118 as being “active. 

There have been a number of interesting discussions on our forums, of which the following are especially notable:

If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to have a look and comment if you feel moved to do so!

These accomplishments of our first year are of course nothing to rest upon, and we are working to ensure that there will be far more to come in the second year! To begin with, we are celebrating the 2014 International Year of Family Farming by having started a NORA page on family farming.  Please take a few minutes to read this page and offer feedback, including suggestions for links and references to include. We are not doing crowdfunding as of yet, but we do hope to “crowdsource” our members’ ideas or collective intelligence to improve our website and make it more useful to everybody!

We are getting ready for the Fifth Ostrom Workshop on the Workshop, which is one of the premier events for researchers on the commons to get together; this opportunity happens only once every five years. We are organizing one workshop (8. The Commons as Transformative Paradigm: Interweaving the Different Variations of Commons Logic to Build Commons Abundance), where we hope to connect with academics as well as practitioners in the commons movement, and to discuss strategies for convergence and coalition-building.

We are working on partnerships with various groups and organizations, and will keep you posted as results from our conversations emerge. Meanwhile, we can use our newsletter as a way to keep you apprised of some key activities of our members. Right now, the Commons Action for the United Nations is conducting conference calls as they work on submissions to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Their next call is on March 8; for more details, please get in touch with Lisinka Ulatowksa.

At this point, we would like to thank all of you for joining our network, and for your contributions to CAN as well as more broadly to helping build a better world. We’d like to hear back from you about what we can do to improve the website, or about links and content to include on NORA pages, or about news to mention in our next newsletter. This website so far is only a modest beginning, and with your help it can become something much larger!

Wolfgang Hoeschele and Helene Finidori