David Bollier

David Bollier is an independent policy strategist, journalist, activist and
consultant with an evolving public-interest portfolio. His work tends to
focus on a few key concerns: reclaiming the commons, understanding how
digital technologies are changing democratic culture, fighting the
excesses of intellectual property law, fortifying consumer rights and
promoting citizen action.

David’s work these days is focused on the politics, economics and
culture of the commons. In addition to speaking and writing frequently
about the commons, he edits the web portal and blog OntheCommons.org.
Newcomers to the commons might want to start by reading a terrific
flyer, “Let’s Reclaim the Commons,” a report on The State of the
Commons, a report on The Commons Rising, or any of my speeches.

David is the author of Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built
a Digital Republic of Their Own
, published in January 2009. Viral Spiral is about
the rise of free and open-source software, Creative Commons licenses and
the content commons they make possible, the internationalization of
“free culture,” and the burgeoning “sharing economy” that can be seen in
open education, open science and open business models.

David has a number of affiliations and diverse projects at any given time, but most of his work is done as:

Editor, OntheCommons.org
Senior Fellow, USC Annenberg School for Communication, The Norman Lear Center

Collaborator with television writer/producer Norman Lear

Co-founder and board member, Public Knowledge    

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


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


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


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


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


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


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?