Commons Transition

Policy proposals and ideas to implement a Social Knowledge Economy
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Welcome to
Commons Transition

About Commons Transition

The Commons Transition Platform is a database of practical experiences and policy proposals aimed toward achieving a more humane and environmentally grounded mode of societal organization.

About this site

The Commons Transition Platform is a database of practical experiences and policy proposals for a more humane and environmentally grounded society.

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What is Commons Transition?

What do we mean by a “Commons Transition” and how can we achieve it? A special introduction by Michel Bauwens and John Restakis.

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Our Frequently Asked Questions will give you a brief but comprehensive overview on Commons Transition, its goals and its underlying values.

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Our Wiki

The Commons Transition Wiki acts as an indexed repository of material on transitioning societies at all levels towards a commons orientation.

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News and Articles

A selection of featured essays, interviews and texts on Commons Transition projects and related initiatives.

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Interviews, lectures and documentaries on Commons Transition strategies and related material.

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Commons Transition Plans

These policy documents are designed to enable real world practices towards a society based on shared material and knowledge commons. We share them to give an overview of the many precedents and possibilities pointing to a fairer societal order, and inspire civil society collectives at the local, regional, national and global levels to adapt them to their particular contexts.

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A Commons Transition Plan

The Commons Transition Plan is based on the analysis and observation of existing commons-based processes and economies and describes how a generative, commons-producing civil society can lead to a new market and state.

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Public Policy for a Social Knowledge Economy

A report on the radical democratization of the state and the mobilization and expansion of the social/solidarity economy through the creation of public-commons partnerships.

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Open Design Commons and Distributed Manufacturing

A report on the application of social knowledge economy principles to the secondary economic sector, with an emphasis on manufacturing.

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Towards a Partner State: Elements for a Commons Transition

Strategic proposals for building an alternative economy to provide a livelihood to those contributing to the shared commons - the heart of a Commons Transition.


Commons Based Reciprocity Licenses

Solving the paradox of peer production — where the more communistic the sharing license, the more capitalistic the practice  with a new type of license.

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Open Coops

Open Cooperativism

Suggestions for new cooperative enterprise forms which retain the internal democracy of traditional coops, but replace their competitive mentality with a transnational commons orientation.

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Partner State

Blueprint for a Partner State

Occupying a reduced role compared to the classic state, the new peer to peer state will find many of its functions met by civil society associations, fostering commons development interlinked with processes of global governance.

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Commons Transition Projects:
Past, Present and Future

Information and resources for past, present and future Commons Transition Plans.


Ecuador’s FLOK Society plan

Ecuador’s FLOK Society (Free-Libre, Open Knowledge) project marked the first time a nation state commissioned a practical plan to transition to a mature Peer to Peer Economy. It was initiated to “fundamentally re-imagine Ecuador”, based on the principles of open networks, peer production and a commons of knowledge.

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The Catalan Integral Cooperative’s
Commons Transition Plan

The Catalan Integral Cooperative (or CIC) is a political project seeking to unite consumer and labor initiatives. The CIC’s objective is to generate a self-managed post-capitalist society based on P2P principles and environmental and social realities.

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Commons Transition Stories

Browse through our selection of featured essays, interviews and texts on Commons Transition projects and related initiatives.


Get to know the people making Commons Transition happen
  • Testimonial

    Michel Bauwens

    Head of Research

    About Michel Bauwens

    Michel Bauwens is the founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. He is a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group, with Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, organizing major global conferences on the commons and its economics. In the first semester of 2014, Michel Bauwens was research director of the research group, which produced the first integrated Commons Transition Plan for the government of Ecuador, in order to create a ‘social knowledge economy’, with fifteen associated policy papers.

  • Testimonial

    John Restakis

    Researcher: Cooperative-Commons Convergence, Civil Society

    About John Restakis

    John Restakis was past Executive Director of the BC Co-operative Association in Vancouver, a position he held since 1998.  His professional background includes community organizing, adult and popular education, and co-op development.

    In addition to his role within the co-op movement of BC, he does consulting work on international co-op development projects, researches and teaches on co-operative economies and the social economy, and lectures widely on the subject of globalization, regional development and alternative economics.

  • Testimonial

    George Dafermos

    Researcher: Commons-oriented Productive Capacities

    About George Dafermos

    George Dafermos is an Internet researcher and copyleft activist affiliated with the P2P Foundation. He holds a PhD in Technology Policy and Management from Delft University of Technology and is an internationally recognised expert on issues related to the digital commons, peer production, open/user innovation, online communities and new organisational structures enabled by the Internet. His personal website is accessible here.

  • Testimonial

    Janice Figueiredo

    Researcher: Commons Infrastructure for Collective Life

    About Janice Figueiredo

    Janice Figueiredo is a Brazilian commons activist. She worked for 20 years at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), primarily as IT Project Manager in Washington, DC, USA, where she led the development of institutional IT projects in a multi-cultural environment, and audited the IT activities of several Latin-American Country Offices of the institution. From 1997 until 2009 she was in charge of the Information Technology activities of IADB’s Office in Europe (based in Paris).

    Since 2009 she has directed her research toward areas of collective intelligence, collaborative movements, P2P dynamics, the Commons, the open and sharing society, social business, complementary currencies, sustainable development and poverty reduction, with particular interest in exploring alternative models to the conventional economic paradigms based on centralization and scarcity.


  • Testimonial

    Vasilis Kostakis

    Researcher: Commons-oriented Techno-social Infrastructures

    About Vasilis Kostakis

    Vasilis Kostakis is Senior Research Fellow at the Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. He is also Founder of the interdisciplinary research hub P2P Lab​ and longtime collaborator of the P2P Foundation. Kostakis publishes and consults governments and organisations on the political economy of the commons; technology governance; innovation policy and sustainability; desktop manufacturing; digital currencies; and constructionist learning. His work combines theoretical sensitivity with action research and fieldwork, aiming at understanding phenomena from an insider’s perspective.

  • Testimonial
    Rachel O'Dwyer / Lecturer, Digital Media Scholar,

    The commons transition project draws together vital research, practices and proposals for enacting forms of commons-based production on a transnational scale. It traces a blueprint for how we might collectively produce new vocabularies, politics and policies for social emancipation going forward.

  • Testimonial
    Primavera De Filippi / Legal researcher on distributed online architectures , Berkman Center for Internet and Society

    The Commons Transitions constitutes a possible shift from a traditional, capitalist society based on the notions of “ownership” and “exclusivity” towards the establishment of a modern Commons-based society based on the notions of “access” and “sharing”.

  • Testimonial
    Neal Gorenflo, Co-founder, Shareable

    Commons Transition has a direction that's close to my heart, to explore pathways to a commons-based society in which ordinary people take on the joys and challenges of charting their own destinies together in every sphere of life.

Friends and Partners

Meet the supporting organizations helping build the Commons Transition Platform

Get Involved

This project is itself a commons, open to contributions, and intended for the benefit of those who need it. Feedback is welcome on any of the proposal documents found on our wiki. Other ways to get involved include suggesting related projects for consideration, or sharing and discussing these proposals with your local policymakers, media and communities. Sharing and engaging with the information contained herein, as well as following us on social media to spread the message, are also valuable ways to contribute. We look forward to hearing from you.


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