Occupy Commons strategy workshop online

Reclaiming the Commons as a Social Theory of Collective Action

at Making Worlds, an OWS Forum on Feb 16-18, 2012

This workshop is now complete and its summary reports can be found here.

However, its themes are as timely as they were when we opened it, and this space is available to post-workshop conversations about them (without workshop facilitation). 

Online workshop Navigator

The below navigator has a full screen option and hyperlinks to all of the main workshop spaces.

What is in a “workshop”?

Occupy is redefining everything in social life, including what a workshop is. For us, gone are the days when a workshop simply meant a space with tools, workbenches and supplies, or a time to spend on listening to a sage on the stage.

At Occupy, we reconnect with and renew what a “workshop” was in the pre-industrial era:  a supportive environment, where people assemble to invent, prototype and produce useful objects. In the digital era, it also means developing useful ideas together, making connections, and co-creating something of value to the community.

Welcome to the Occupy-Commons strategy workshop!

It is designed to:

  • overcome  the scarcity of time available at the in-person Forum, by expanding the communication space to 5 days before and 5 days after it
  • generate useful input to the Forum from the asynchronous contributions that tend to be more thoughtful, by bringing and distributing a summary of them to the on-site conversation
  • prototype the genesis of an international knowledge commons of Occupiers, using online collaboration tools

Thinking of a Commons-inspired strategy as a practice-led social theory of collective action, provokes such questions as:

  • How can OWS foster a politics of the commons? Or a politics AS commons?
  • What interaction between “thinking” and “doing” is needed?
  • How can Occupy occupy the strategy space and equip itself with the organizational, material and intellectual resources it needs for helping the 99% win?
  • How can those interested to learn thinking together better, faster, and more strategically, form and benefit from a strategy-focused knowledge commons?

Thinking of a good strategy as guidance to support wise choices in our daily work in and around the Occupations, prompts such questions as:

  • What new possibilities can we see when we look at Occupy through the “Commons” lens? What does it suggest about better ways to govern and manage our various kinds of common pool resources”?
  • What are the commonalities in Occupy and Commons, in terms of principles, systems and processes of co-production and co-governance?
  • What are examples of good practices in existing commons (in and outside Occupy) for personal accountability, as in “letting other members know what they can count on us for”?
  • How does a healthy dynamics of local/regional/global decision-making look like?

How we will learn and work together

We will have a chance to not only explore those and other questions that matter to you, but also experience what we learn, and turn it into action. You can participate in this online learning community even if you can’t attend the workshop at the OWS Forum on the Commons, in NYC. The online part of the workshop has, initially, the 3 conversation threads and one news update thread listed below. Please read, comment on, and bookmark them so that you can return to them anytime with 1-click convenience.

This will be a fast-paced learning experience. If you don’t want to get to overwhelmed by the sheer volume of interesting, new content and conversations, we recommend logging in at least once or twice a day.

1. Welcome – Introductions – Burning Questions

2. The Commons and Occupy

3. Growing a Commons-inspired “Occupy theory” of collective action

News of the OWS Forum

Workshop facilitators


George Pór, “collective intelligence” researcher, supporter of Occupy London, founding editor of The Future of Occupy

Mark Jagdev, supporter of Occupy London, managing editor of The Future of Occupy


Mary Beth Steisslinger, supporter of Occupy Pittsburgh, contributing editor of The Future of Occupy

Recommended readings

All People are Organic Intellectuals: the role of socially conceived theory in transformation
How r’evolution carries itself forward by the Working Groups of Occupy
Can Occupy occupy strategy?

9 Comments on “Occupy Commons strategy workshop online”

  1. Reply
    February 16, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Many of us will just be starting to get to know each other as we start this conference, a similar experience to what we go through in any new significant life experience. Many experienced that in the advent of the Occupy Movement in their specific encampments. Many of us cannot be there in person and must interact using the Internet tools which are available. With all of that in mind, how can we best engage our working ideas and our time as quickly as possible to make the most of the experience at this conference? In other words, what preparation, research, etc. can we do NOW with specific topics of interest before we engage ourselves in the workshops? Do you have additional reading materials, websites, etc. besides thefutureofoccupy and workingworlds that you recommend?

  2. Reply
    February 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Dan, I replied to your questions here and the comment below it.

  3. Reply
    February 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    And thoughts on the May 1st, Global Occupy Rally: The Peoplr Sending a Message

    • Reply
      February 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

      Hi Allen, you said “The Peoplr Sending a Message” , yep that’s for sure!

      You posted your comment here in the workshop area of The Future of Occupy site, did you want to introduce yourself on the introductions page, offer some burning questions on your mind and participate in the ‘occupy-commons‘ and ‘social theory of collective action‘ rooms? Look forward to connecting further with you on those pages. : )


  1. Strategy workshop: Welcome – Introductions – Burning Questions | The Future of Occupy - February 13, 2012

    [...] Strategy workshop: Welcome – Introductions – Burning Questions This thread is part of the online component of the Occupy-Commons strategy conversation at the OWS Forum on the Commons in New York, February 16-18, 2012 described here. [...]

  2. Money as Commons | occupymoney.info - February 16, 2012

    [...] would like to invite YOU to join our online workshop (16-18 [...]

  3. A Commons-inspired “Occupy theory” of collective action | The Future of Occupy - February 17, 2012

    [...] A Commons-inspired “Occupy theory” of collective action This thread is part of the online component of the Occupy-Commons strategy conversation at the OWS Forum on the Commons in New York, February 16-18, 2012 described here. [...]

  4. News of the OWS Forum on the Commons, New York | The Future of Occupy - February 17, 2012

    [...] News of the OWS Forum on the Commons, New York Back to workshop Navigator or workshop Homepage [...]

  5. workshop Navigator - February 17, 2012

    [...] Online-Navigator To workshop Homepage [...]

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