Clare Cooper interview with John Thackara, 08 August 2014
John, why do you think so much attention is being paid to the ideas around the notion of ’the commons’ right now?
The commons is an idea, and a practice, that generates meaning and hope. Millions of people are busy in projects to meet practical needs in these precarious times – but a lot of this work feels fragmented. We’ve been lacking an umbrella concept, a coordinating idea, to make sense o the work we do as individuals in the swarm. The Commons is that umbrella idea. Commoning gives shared meaning to the emerging ‘leave things better’ politics that otherwise lacks a name. It’s the opposite of the drive to turn everything into money,
Do you have your own favourite definition of ‘common wealth’?
I’m nervous of definitions; they cause endless disputes and also tend to freeze an idea in time. But I like the way Silke Helfrich talks about the commons as “all the things that we inherit from past generations that enable our livelihoods’. Seen through that lens, the commons can include Read More