The Triumph of the Commons is a thoughtful collaboration of 55 artists challenging conventional wisdom on prosperity, consumption and the role of creativity and play in problem-solving.
“If the previous centuries were about protecting society from the tragedy of the commons,” the authors posit, “Then this century will be about redesigning society to promote their triumph.”
We see this emerging worldview in crowdsourced entrepreneurship, global grassroots organizing, shared services and revolutionary potlucks.
This shift, suggest the Triumph authors, is a re-envisioning of how we perceive labor and capital. People (and I would argue natural resources) are not merely resources to use for our own gain but are collaborators or sources:
“…those who see the world as a commons see the world and the people in it as source; as that which gives forth. In giving forth, a source is profuse in its self-initiated production. One does not engage a source to harness it to one’s personal agenda, but to involve it in the genesis of one’s own future.”
Author Jay Walljasper describes the commons thusly: “The commons is more than just a nice idea; it encompasses a wide set of practical measures that offer fresh hope for a saner, safer, more enjoyable future. At the heart of the commons are four simple principles, which have been practiced by humans for millenia: 1) serving the common good; 2) ensuring equitable use of what belongs to us all; 3) promoting sustainable stewardship so that coming generations are not cheated and imperiled; 4) creating practical ways for people to participate in decisions shaping their future.” See shimmering examples of these principles in action here.