Commons Transition


Commons Transition is an advocacy outgrowth of the P2P Foundation working with media, narrative, and community empowerment strategies to making the Commons and P2P accessible, attractive and shareable for commoners and communities worldwide.

Characterized by openness, reciprocity and stewardship, the Commons paradigm, operating globally through P2P networks, offers flexible, integrative solutions that combine three approaches:

  • Free: open, shareable, and with equitable access;
  • Fair: just distribution for participating commoners and in social solidarity with all humankind, inclusive of varieties in race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and citizenship status; and
  • Alive and engaged with nature: acknowledging our integral role as responsible stewards and restorers, not dominators and destructors, of nature.

These are the three primary approaches informing our attitude to the commons. However, while these qualities are present as secondary aspects of markets and institutional politics, they are often put in competition, and rarely integrated or made mutually supportive. We believe that a Commons and P2P framework can be the glue between the three, offering locally grounded, yet globally connected alternatives in politics, culture, livelihoods, manufacturing and ecology. 


Commons Transition – how do we get there?

Alternatives based on the logic of Commons and P2P processes are emerging and gaining attention, but their further evolution depends on meeting three challenges:

  • Many changemakers are not aware of the Commons and how a Commons framework could bring together single-issue struggles into a larger narrative that respects and builds on diversity.
  • The growing but diffuse Commons movement needs to coordinate its work and “go mainstream” in order to pose a serious bottom-up challenge to entrenched systems.
  • The Commons movement needs to engage with progressives and existing public institutions to radically reimagine the functioning of state power.

The Commons Transition approach seeks to address these challenges by better communicating the Commons and P2P frameworks and introducing them more vigorously  into mainstream public debate.

To find our more see our introductory Commons Transition Primer, or read our selection of articles and media.