February, 2011
This is an open letter to President Dilma Rousseff signed by international organizations, academics and activists in support of the work of the Brazilian society and government for the cultural commons

We are hopeful that the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, MinC, will continue its leadership for inclusive public policies for culture for the 21st century. Because Brazil has been so pioneering in this regard, let us mention just a few elements that contributed to the worldwide attention paid to your country in terms of Cultural Policies:

Remarks by David Bollier
International Association for the Study of the Commons Conference
“Sustaining Commons: Sustaining our Future”
Hyderabad, India
January 12, 2011

Thank you, Jagdeesh Rao of the Foundation for Ecological Security and Ruth Meinzen-Dick, President of the International Association for the Study of the Commons, for inviting me to this remarkable conference. It is a great privilege for me to be among this vast assemblage of commons scholars and practitioners. My mind is exploding by what I am learning!

By Barbara UnmüBig. Heinrich Böll Foundation.
November 1st. 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, Commoners,

It is a very special honour to be your host here at the Berlin home base of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and to welcome you to this working meeting. Thank you for the interest you have shown – and thank you for coming here from near and far to take part in our discussions over the next days.

Welcome to Germany! I would like to start by describing some of the current issues in our country that are closely related to the subject of this conference:

Welcome, commoners! And thank you for traveling from India and Canada, from Croatia and Thailand, from Argentina and the United States, from South Africa and Brazil, from dozens of other countries.

Monday, Nov 1., 2010

10 am – 12 pm
An Overview of the Commons as a Transformation-Paradigm

Keynotes & Debate
Ruth Meinzen-Dick, President, International Association for the Study of the Commons, USA

Michel Bauwens, Peer2Peer Foundation, Belgium/Thailand

Moderation: Silke Helfrich

2 – 3 pm
The Commons as a challenge for classical economic patterns & thinking
and a new narrative of the 21 century

Keynotes& Debate
Alberto Acosta, Economist, FLACSO, Ex-President of the Constituent Assembly of Ecuador:
Yasuní-ITT Initiative, an opportunity to rethink the world

International Commons Conference (ICC)

Berlin, (October 31), November 1/2 2010


An epoch in modern history has ended. The growth imperative of market capitalism is evidently endangering the ecosystem. Confidence in governments as reliable steward of people's interests has been shaken. Therefore, a new path forward is coming into focus: The commons!