Commons and commoners

In a couple of my other posts I’ve been bringing forth the idea of the social mind (collective intelligence) acting creatively through the connected assets and resources of society (networked matter).

It’s a simple but powerful abstraction/metaphor which can help to inform a larger vision.

Socially Enterprising is the platform that begins to make this connection.

I feel that this view of networked reality can be applied towards other needs and industries — which is not in itself a Socially Enterprising function.

It is here that different organisations could begin to take form with Socially Enterprising becoming the Google Search so to speak of a larger set of sometimes integrated but always related — network organisations (companies, foundations and institutions).

Bringing a system like Socially Enterprising into existence and operating it builds a body of knowledge which is important; scientifically, socially and commercially.

It feels like some kind of profit making enterprise could coexist here, a hybrid that connects consultancy, platform development and networked architectural practice.

A similar organisation could work in a non-profit way, providing access to the same knowledge and support to the public, civil society and small businesses that are not in a position to pay.

Social Innovation and Investment

Google Alphabet is a good example of possibility.

Socially Enterprising the platform can help to develop ‘the commons’, local economies and the new economy and this could also be the function of an Alphabet type umbrella organisation.

Taking a networked, cooperative and multi-stakeholder approach could allow us to develop unique strengths and capabilities just by linking together the organisations already operating in the social innovation and investment space.

The UNCommons

It could also be possible to create an international ‘network of the commons’ which acts to bring together and make available the designs, resources and know-how for people and communities to do things for themselves.

Reclaim the Commons — Ricardo Levins Morales

Such an organisation would work well with the existing United Nations bodies whilst also presenting an alternative model which is cooperative, multi-stakeholder and citizen led.

It could present a way to reevaluate the way that we produce and distribute forms of public value and knowledge.

Interconnecting the knowledge created through our public institutions and changing our relationship to it.

We are still using a top-down hierarchical model with reports being pushed out and down.

It is to ‘change us’ and not for us to ‘change it’.

But this model will find it hard to stay relevant in an age of connectivity and collaboration as the Socially Enterprising approach makes clear.

It’s got to be networked, co-created and co-produced.

We can all work together for the common good.

Arts and Culture — A New Foundation?

This is more personal than organisational.

There is great work already taking place which is seeking to re-engage the public with arts and culture and I feel the benefits could be profound.

For me as an outsider there are things that I would like to see achieved which sit slightly outside the current activity and focus.

I’d like for everyone to be able to develop their confidence and creative capacity as I feel that these are underdeveloped yet vitally important within our lives.

This is especially true for the working class and less advantaged.

It is the ability to perceive and imagine different worlds that allows them to be brought into being.

These changes begin with our involvement with something more than we thought we knew, in ourselves and in our worlds.

It can be something as simple as recognising a bad relationship — stories do change lives.

Inclusive and participatory arts and culture which deliberately seek to educate, empower, and inform is something I’m very interested in.

To keep things brief I’ll refer to Rebecca Hillman’s speech at Liberating Arts.

I’d like to see a world where all forms of common culture are valued again. Not as commodities but as valuable contributions to our shared lives.

Less X Factor, more paid busking, pub bands and street theatre.

Spaces and high-end facilities which are DIY, independent and community led with programmes which develop the natural potential of local people.

A network of ‘culture as commons’ consisting of fresh and ever new ‘practices, platforms and places’ which can give rise to different forms of cultural organisation that can challenge the status quo and tell stories which are relevant to our lives.

It is to be inclusive, accessible and everywhere. It is to be fair.

‘Culture for All, by All’ is the strapline for The Movement for Cultural Democracy manifesto.

It may need a little help to become a reality.

For a Feminist Reconstruction of the Commons - Mary Tremonte

“It matters what stories tell stories. It matters what thoughts think thoughts. It matters what worlds world worlds.”
- Donna Haraway



Founder of Socially Enterprising / Commoner / Mostly Unemployed.

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Wes Hinckes

Founder of Socially Enterprising / Commoner / Mostly Unemployed.