Reinventing Movements

Douglas Rushkoff in an introductory video talked about the need for “bringing together all these kinds of real-time experience movements into something that can shape our collective agency”, and I particularly liked Ben Knight’s intervention. Some quotes here:

“We need to develop a clear framework -not rules-; a cultural, political, economic context that increases the likelihood to generate and consolidate behaviors that don’t alienate or marginalize people, and that build community bonds and relationships between people. Something that gets everyone involved in the decisions that affect them.

We need a framework that takes the mass of mobilized attention and channels it towards a positive direction. A broadly defined, distributed movement that moves the system in a consistent direction, towards a more sustainable and equitable world. With a broad narrative that has no single stated goal, but rather an emergent goal, opening up public conversations that can help us hold up, step back and break ourselves out of the distractive state and framework of an economic, political and social system which makes the world less sustainable and more inequitable, and is moving in the opposite direction causing more and more harm to the world.

Sustainability and equitability are the two basic elements that keep coming up everywhere and feel like a pretty good baseline to work with to construct a narrative that is going to direct this growing mobilized energy. With a baseline foundation of sustainability & equitability, we can judge whether things have moved us further away or closer to more sustainable and equitable outcomes. In particular, when you know you can have sustainable outcomes that are not equitable and equitable outcomes that are not sustainable…”

Ben’s sustainability + equitability as framework and vetting system approach resonates quite a lot with the approach of commons as underlying logic to federate disparate efforts for change that we are developing in the Communicating the commons group. 

Let’s discuss how the commons can help reinvent movements!

A version of this post was previously published on and is republished under a Creative Commons license CC BY-ND 3.0.


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