The organisations convening the seminars included: Finance Innovation Lab, Westminster Hub, St. James Piccadilly, Institute for Public Policy Research, New Economics Foundation, Civil Society Forum, and the School of Commoning, and the kick-off seminar was hosted in the House of Commons.
Starting from many different points of engaged intellectual and social concern, research and practice, the various seminars explored the understanding of the Commons as perceived from each seminar’s perspective. Together, they represent an emergent curriculum of theoretically grounded and action-oriented studies in the key economic, political, and social issues of the Commons.
The seminars examined questions such as:
- Economically, what steps are needed to adjust the rules of the present interest-driven, debt-based economy to the sustainable targets of our natural, social and cultural commons?
- Politically, how can the philosophy of individual wealth (ownership, division of labor, reciprocity) be reconciled with the interests of collective wealth (trusteeship, the unity of producers and consumers, complementarity)?
- Socially, would it be possible for people's trusts to create sustainable limits to protect our commons for future generations, then rent the remaining resources to business for production and distribution, and provide these revenues to government for the funding of social dividends and the restoration of the depleted commons?
These vital and complex questions do not have easy answers – and the investigation into how the “commons” may connect and synergise the economic, social, philosophical, spiritual, and political spheres, and facilitate the great transition to an equitable and sustainable world, is an ongoing challenge.