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Here at On the Commons, we believe it is possible to remember, imagine, and create a society that goes beyond the constructs and confines of individual ownership. To work on the commons is to work to enliven the deep and ancient memory we all hold of egalitarian and reciprocal relationship, of belonging, of authentic community, and of love, wonder, and respect for the natural world.


Our purpose is to foster the emergence of a new narrative, worldview, and a set of practices that promote a more commons-based society and grows from a set of deeply held beliefs about creating change:

  • To grasp the promise of a different kind of future, people want their imaginations fueled by visions of something beyond a market-based society.
  • To create a commons-based society, people need more than exposure to new ideas: they need tangible ways of experiencing, practicing, and living out these bright possibilities.
  • To ensure the survival of community and our common assets, we must create new customs, understandings, systems, and structures.
  • Animating efforts based on renewed forms of collaboration, and connecting these efforts, is essential to catalyzing a commons-based movement for change.