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D-CENT: Managing the commons in the knowledge economy

This report presents an in-depth analysis of the concept of the common goods and the practical governance models of knowledge commons.

This report presents an in-depth analysis of the concept of the common goods and the practical governance models of knowledge commons.

Key findings

  • This research offers both theoretical and practical models of democratic management of knowledge commons, shared resources and infrastructures with the aim of promoting the development of the commons as a new central form of economic and social organisation.
  • The report presents an historic and empirical analysis of the dynamics of the common. It starts from the analysis of Ostrom's new theory of the commons, and develops an original approach of Common in the singular based on the theoretical framework of cognitive capitalism. Common appears above all to be a social construction founded on the spread of knowledge and self-governance of production and not an intrinsic feature of the nature of particular categories of goods.
  • The examples in the report show practices of self-governance of the common based on collaboration and sharing that are opposed to the new knowledge monopolies, such as the re-municipalisation of water, the self-management of cultural knowledge spaces, the free software and makers’ movement, and collaborative economy-
  • This report shows with the practical democratic experiments in Spain, Iceland and Finland, that the concept of the commons and common goods can constitute a viable alternative, which must rely on new institutions able to guarantee their sustainability and scale.
  • In this context, it becomes urgent to define alternative models and institutions to regulate a knowledge-based society and economy centred on the logic of the commons. Some of the proposals include basic income for knowledge workers and digital social complementary currencies for Cities.

Policy recommendations

  • Promotion of bottom-up democratic constituent practices of self- governance of the common based on large scale collaboration and sharing
  • Policy of democratisation and revitalisation of the welfare institutions
  • Sustainability of the commons through a guaranteed citizenship income
  • Impede the enclosure of knowledge commons that results in huge knowledge monopolies, since the sustainability and scaling of the information and knowledge commons is a prerequisite.

Authors

Carlo Vercellone, Francesca Bria, Andrea Fumagalli, Eleonora Gentilucci, Alfonso Giuliani, Giorgio Griziotti, Pierluigi Vattimo

Part of
D-CENT

Authors

Francesca Bria

Francesca Bria

Francesca Bria

Senior Project Lead

Francesca Bria was a Senior Project Lead in the Innovation Lab. She was EU Coordinator of the D-CENT project on direct democracy and social digital currencies and principle investiga...

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