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Commons: No Commons No Future

No Commons No Future

We are currently witnessing big transformations in the management of our common goods around Europe. These processes have very concrete consequences on the lives of young people and it is important that youth is involved in creating policies and designing the ways we manage our water supplies, the atmosphere, forests, the educational and healthcare system or our Internet. Sustainable commons are a prerequisite for participation overall and the ways they are managed can serve as examples for many different types of participatory processes.

Today commoning is on the rise as it has become increasingly clear that “business as usual” is failing us, both economically, and ecologically. People want to create a better world and to write a new narrative for the future. As a result, individuals and organizations have begun to embrace the commons as a concept and practical approach for transcending the dominant paradigm of modern life, for solving pressing issues, and for creating a more life-giving future.

There are many initiatives and examples of commons all around the world. Those examples have been researched by many authors. One of them is Elinor Ostrom who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 2009 for her work on commons. The research and the theory of commons gave us important analysis that can help us not only understand, promote and initiate new commons practices, but create new economic and social narrative as basis for inclusive and fair policies.

For us as Young Greens it was important to learn how to advocate for commons, as one of  solutions for ensuring sustainable management of natural commons. Meanwhile, we learned that management of natural commons is in a direct correlation with youth participation and inclusion of minorities, women, trans and genderqueer people in decision-making. Sustainable and inclusive management of our inherently common resources such as water, atmosphere, forests and land can prevent and transform existing conflicts. Moreover, ensuring open, accessible and fair Internet is crucial for ensuring safe and fair participation, especially for those coming from oppressive societies and experiencing discrimination. Many commons are linked to local communities. However, many issues related to commons should be addressed on the international level as well, as the crucial resources we need to reclaim are the ones that exist way beyond our national borders.

As the result of the project, we created a publication that offers a youth-friendly introduction to the commons, generates curiosity and perhaps motivates young people to get engaged in local and transnational struggles to protect our commons. It contains a list of sources for exploring commons further both in theory and its application in practice.

Our fight for commons has just started and this project has been the first step for us. There are many ongoing struggles all around Europe we want to support - to save and protect our forests, our lakes, our rivers and our public spaces! The fights in parliaments for legally recognising new forms of ownerships go hand by hand with improving policies, such as educational, healthcare or housing policies. Finally, we need to learn about and promote already existing commons practices and recognise their value for bringing us a step closer to a just, inclusive and sustainable society.



Supported by:

European Youth FundationCouncil of Europe