David Bollier

David Bollier

David Bollier is an American activist, scholar, and blogger who is focused on the commons as a new/old paradigm for re-imagining economics, politics, and culture. The commons is as old as the human race but newly discovered, too, as the Internet, open source software, alternative currencies, and platform co-operatives.

Bollier pursues his commons scholarship and activism as Director of the Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics (Massachusetts, US), and as cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group, an international advocacy project. He is particularly focused on the role of commons in re-imagining local economies to empower community self-reliance, prevent market enclosures, and anticipate the coming disruptions of climate breakdown and Peak Oil.

Bollier has co-organized pioneering international conferences and strategy workshops on the commons, and consults regularly with diverse activists and policy experts in the US and Europe. His blog, Bollier.org, is a widely read source of news about the commons, and his book Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons [www.thinklikeacommoner.com] (2014), has been translated into six languages. He and coauthor Silke Helfrich will publish Free, Fair and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons in September 2019.

Bollier’s other books include Patterns of Commoning (2015) [www.patternsofcommoningorg] and The Wealth of the Commons (2012), [www.wealthofthecommons.org] both with co-editor Silke Helfrich; Green Governance (2013), co-authored with the late Professor Burns Weston; and Viral Spiral (2009), Brand-Name Bullies (2005), and Silent Theft (2002). Bollier lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

 

The Insurgent Power of the Commons in the War Against the Imagination

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I believe the commons paradigm can help us develop a new social and cultural vision, and new strategies for practical change. Paradoxically enough, redirecting our attention away from conventional politics and policy may offer the most promising possibilities for developing a transformational vision.


The Commons as a New | Old Paradigm for Governance, Economics and Policy – Part One

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The commons has been my passion for the past fifteen years. This shift in my energies came about as I […]


The Commons as a New | Old Paradigm for Governance, Economics and Policy – Part Two

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The Value Proposition of the Commons If the Market/State is an engine of enclosure, what then can be done? I […]


The Commons as a New Sector of Value-Creation

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Let me start with a bit of wisdom I once picked up from Thomas Berry, a historian of cultures who has said, “The universe is the communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.” This epigraph encapsulates the monumental shift that I believe we are undergoing as we move into a new kind of cultural if not economic reality.


Greenkeeping Governance: Toward a Law of the Ecological Commons

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At least since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, we have known about humankind’s squandering of nonrenewable resources, its careless disregard of precious life species, and its overall contamination and degradation of delicate ecosystems. In recent decades, these defilements have assumed a systemic dimension. Lately we have come to realize the shocking extent to which our atmospheric emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases threatens Planet Earth.


Commoners Converge on Berlin

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What might the world look like if governments and public policy actively helped people create and maintain their own commons? A major international conference hopes to find some preliminary answers at an historic gathering in Berlin, Germany, from October 31 to November 2, 2010.


The Healing Logic of the Commons

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Economics is the science of generating wealth. The only problem is that it is interested only in a certain kind of wealth—wealth that comes encased in private property rights and has a price attached to it. This standard economic narrative doesn’t have much to say about the great stores of value that don’t have price tags. How much is the Earth’s atmosphere worth? What about the human genome? Fresh water supplies? Our inheritance of scientific knowledge and culture? Parks and open spaces? The Internet?