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US Workshops: Making Worlds 2013, Building the Commons

The Future of Occupy join in a collaboration with Making Worlds 2013 to engage in some key questions for Building the Commons in NYC and beyond. Over the course of two days participants will come together to sense into these questions and build tools in which commoning can be activated in New York. To read more about this forum click here.

The questions that the Making Worlds forum will be collectively addressing are:

1) How are people in NYC creating common spaces?

2) How can commoning efforts support and strengthen each other?

3) How do communities identify with and participate in the process of commoning?

4) How can commoning be a form of resistance to neoliberal privatization?



This years 2013 Forum

(Key Places to be: The Livestream can be viewed here at Making Worlds. There is also a collaborative doc where you can participate live online at #MWForum13 here: )

We believe this years forum is intimately connected to a larger process of connecting commons related projects all around the world. The Commons is becoming increasingly aware of itself.

A recent example of this was the Ibero-American P2P Wikisprint, which on March 19th-20th, connected up on a large scale commons related projects (in 23 countries and over 50 cities).

To connect with the global peer to peer initiatives and the World Social Forum we will be using the hashtags: #mw2013#GlobalSquare#GlobalP2P, #FSM2013 and #WSF2013.


Making Worlds 2013: Building the Commons Forum Questions – a blog post that offers reflections and seeds for further thought on the questions posed by the Making Worlds Forum. Written by FoO co-editor and writer Stephen Collis. Click here.

Next Steps for the P2P and Commons networks – This blog post represents the latest thinking from the founder of the P2P Foundation Michel Bauwens. The participants will be figuring out ways in which we can build the Commons in NYC and beyond. Michel presents us with his thoughts on the key next steps for P2P and Commons networks as we move forward. Written by Michel Bauwens. Click here.

Further blog posts to be posted here as we receive them.. (Fancy writing one? Contact us here!)

Follow the tweets made throughout the event on Twitter. Follow us at @FoO_Collective, @MakingWorldsOWS, @P2P_Foundation and @thinkcommons.

We also have a page tweeting about Making Worlds #MWForum13 you can see here.


Reflections on Making World’s Forum on the Commons 2012

Last year we gave a workshop at Making Worlds NYC, delivered at the venue by Mary-Beth Steisslinger. The content and questions we explored with the participants can be found here.

We also hosted an OWS Strategy Workshop before, during and after the Feb 16-18 Occupy Wall Street Making Worlds forum on the Commons. For the highlights Read hereFor the home page of the full workshop click here. Below are a series of blogs, videos and interviews reflecting on last years forum.


Occupy + Commons: The Beginnings of a Beautiful Relationship - David Bollier reflects on OWS’s “Making Worlds” Forum and ponders whether “the commons paradigm” can take the Occupy movement “to higher ground.” Indeed, in Bollier’s reading the commons has answers to questions the Occupy movement has posed. Read MORE

Making New Worlds Possible - This report from Alexa Bradley, one of the OWS Forum’s presenters, provides both a glimpse into the event’s dynamics and an exploration of the wider implications for the Occupy movement of commoning as a “strategy for social transformation.” Read MORE

A Report on the OWS Forum on the Commons - The third in this opening series of first-hand accounts of the OWS Forum, Mayo Fuster Morell covers the proceedings in detail while also reflecting on its wider implications. The commons is one way of meeting “the need to move beyond protest organizing and create a space for strategic thinking towards building alternatives.” Read MORE

James Quilligan’s talk about why we have to Occupy the Commons - Video of noted commons thinker and activist James Quilligan’s talk from the OWS Forum, with summary and comments by Anna Betz. Quilligan offers a response to Hardin’s “tragedy of the commons,” and outlines the key differences between private, public, and common conceptions of “property.” Read James Quilligan’s talk about why we have to Occupy the Commons

This is accompanied by Quilligan’s slides for this presentation. View HERE 


Embodying the Commons as a perspective - Silvia Federici shares in a heartfelt way the importance of beginning to embody the vision of the society that we want to create, in our everyday lives rather than a particular practice or a set of things. Watch HERE

The Commons and why we need to Occupy them – James Quilligan of “Global Commons Trust” introduces the Commons and some key distinctions that enhance clarity for commoners when navigating the field of the commons and when comparing it with the system that we have today. Watch HERE

International Developments of the Commons - David Bollier of the “Commons Strategies Group” gives an update to Occupy Wall Street on the zillions of International Commons developments taking place in the world right now and the values that the commons embodies. Watch HERE

How Commons are Made - George Caffentzis describes how commons are made. Commons aren’t some ancient residue, but many new commons are being made.. He gives an example of one of the largest commons on the planet, the Lobster traps along the coast of Maine and outlines 3 basic conditions for actual creation of a commons… Watch HERE

Transcending the Market-State & creating sustainable currency value - James Quilligan demonstrates the power of maps comparing the Keynsian influenced James Buchanan model on the commons with his more Hegelian’ model of commons, public and private goods. He reminds us that the private and public grew out of the Commons, how in the systems present form, the commons is in fact unconstitutional, and how to transform at the root our debt based money system, and lots more.. Watch Transcending the Market-State & creating sustainable currency value


Interview: Sara Burke interviewed by Stephen Collis on the OWS Forum on the Commons - In this interview, Sara Burke, one of the OWS Forum’s organizers, reflects on the move from activism-in-the-moment to planning for a long-term social movement. In doing so she places the evolution of the Forum, and the turn to the commons, in the broader narrative of the origins of the Occupy movement and her own participation in it. Read Interview: Sara Burke interviewed by Stephen Collis on the OWS Forum on the Commons

Occupy the World Social Forum, and the Commons - Comparing the Occupy movement, the commons, and the World Social Forum, Mary Beth Steisslinger offers critical perspectives on these converging movements and the OWS Forum as well. Read Occupy, the World Social Forum and the Commons… social movements learning from each other

What Leader in the US Social Forum are saying about Occupy - A companion piece to her comparison of the World Social Forum and the Occupy movement, Steisslinger here presents commentary from two US Social Forum organizers, Maureen Taylor and George Friday. Read MORE


This is taken from the first section of our Magazine “Occupying the Commons“. A huge number of further resources on the first forum can be found here at Making Worlds.