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December 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends!

We have not written a newsletter since July – but this does not mean that nothing has been happening at CAN! We have been establishing new relationships (see the first two sections of this email, on Peeragogy and a global citizen's movement), planning our participation at the Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University next June (see the third section of this email), while students at Truman State University have been adding new pages to the NORA knowledge base (see the final section of this email).



Partnering with Peeragogy

Joe Corneli has introduced the CAN and our projects to the Peeragogy team. Peeragogy provides a collection of techniques for collaborative learning and collaborative work in the form of a handbook to “work smart” together and leave the world in a better state than it currently is.

Reading the handbook really helped us realize that the CAN is actually conceived as a peeragogy project itself, aimed at hosting a diversity of peeragogy projects focused on the dissemination of the commons in its various forms, and at the constitution of a commons around it. In other words, the CAN is a co-learning platform of networked projects, comprising co-learning and collaborative spaces with co-facilitation and co-working tools and features that can 'host' combined co-learning, research and implementation projects, and a knowledge base, itself created as part of an educational project and used as resource for these projects. That's bootstrapping!
We will be looking at how we can bring the handbook as a resource to our project groups to organize their own co-learning.


Discussing the launch of a global citizens movement

A few weeks ago, 200 civil society movements and NGO representatives were in Johannesburg at the instigation of DEEEP/CONCORD to launch a base for a Global Citizen's Movement. Helene Finidori was one of them, invited as part of the Commons Abundance Network with the support of the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation.
The goal of this first conference was to kick off the movement by elaborating a joint commitment in the form of a Declaration.
Participants had the opportunity to provide input and vote on suggestions throughout the conference while a task force was integrating this input on an ongoing basis. After interesting open spaces focusing on specific outcomes and some heated debates with what seemed to be a moment of great confusion and a possible sign of derailment of the process, we finally agreed on redefining the output and came up with The Johannesburg compass: questions and orientations, rather than a declaration. The commons come out as a major concept in the declaration. We expect to provide some more input to the process. Please join us in the Global Citizen's Movement – DEEEP group to be part of it. Read the whole report of the conference here.


Preparing Participation at the Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop

Every 5 years, late Elinor Ostrom's 'home,' the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University hosts a conference on the commons, the "Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop" (WOW). This is a prime occasion for practitioners and academics of the commons to meet and exchange ideas on their respective work.

Wolfgang Hoeschele was invited to give a talk on the Economy of Abundance at the Ostrom Workshop in September, establishing personal relationships with some of the people there. Now the WOW is coming up (in June 2014), where Wolfgang & Helene Finidori, Joe Corneli and hopefully many other members of the CAN will be holding a work session on "The Commons as Transformative Paradigm. Interweaving the Different Variations of Commons Logic to Build Commons Abundance"

This workshop and the work leading to it will be an opportunity to link with academics and practitioners in various disciplines to examine how experience on the ground and commons practice can be documented in relation to various needs and resources as well as action and engagement logics and how both the documentation process and its discovery can be part of a co-learning and educational process. We will also explore how a commons based vision to inform a transition and enable greater cohesiveness can emerge from this process and be diffused widely, and how this can be applied to multi-stakeholder dialogue facilitation methodology. Please join us in the Communicating the Commons Group. More information on the conference topic is available here.


New NORA pages by students at Truman State University

Students in two classes at Truman State University have created new NORA pages this semester, namely the Environmental Geography class taught by Wolfgang Hoeschele and the Globalization and Human Rights class taught by Elaine McDuff. Thank you to all the students who contributed! Also thank you to Danielle Breshears, who helped other students as they worked on their pages; the pages she has been creating herself will be featured in a later newsletter.

Thanks to these new additions, the NORA knowledge base now comprises over 70 pages. The new pages will still go through some editing to be polished and to conform fully with format requirements; a few require substantial revisions, while all can be improved through additional information, links, references and so on. To help us in the process of improving these wiki pages, we will appreciate any comments that you may send our way. The students have completed their classes and are not required to continue work on their pages, though some have expressed a desire to continue working on them (which we greatly appreciate). Therefore, it is best if you send comments not only to the page authors (whose profile pages you can find by clicking on the “history” tab of a page, and then on the name of anybody involved in writing a page), but also to Wolfgang Hoeschele.

Following is a listing of the students and their new pages, labeled EG for the Environmental Geography class and GHR for the Globalization and Human Rights class:


Natalia Albanese (EG): Human Power

Devan Baetz (EG): Electronic Waste

Sarah Bakker (EG): Agroecology

Kelley Bauer (EG): Cooperative Schools

Allison Beining (EG): Domesticated Horses

Sarah Carollo (EG): Homeopathy

Anastassia Dambrouskaya (EG): Organic Clothing

Daniel Evans (EG): Agrarian Reform

Samantha Galloway (EG): Transboundary Parks and Peace Parks

Solenn Guillois (EG): Reducing car use in cities

Rebecca Harbison (EG): Transit-Oriented Development

Kelsie Howle (EG): Mandatory Disclosure

Agatha Ibeazor (EG): Temporary shelter for disaster relief

Christina Isley (GHR): Recycling and Repurposing Man-made Waste

Chloe Jackson (EG): Reducing Food Waste

Victoria Meeks (EG): Health-Promoting Relationships

Matt Miller (GHR): Hydroelectric Energy

Abigail Nehrkorn (GHR): Mental Health Stigma

Rodery Logan Riney (GHR): Natural Burial Practices

Kate Roberts (EG and GHR): Wind Energy and Water Wells

Eric Stone (GHR): Youth Obesity, Nutrition Resources, and Physical Activity


Finally, best wishes for the holidays and for the New Year!

Helene Finidori and Wolfgang Hoeschele




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