I. Constructing an identity of the commons movement
The Hegelian distinction between the thing-in-itself and, the thing-conscious-of-itself turned out the be our starting point. This distinction also applies to (social/political) movements. Hence, there is a need to consciously carve out the core identity of a commons movement (a crucial task before approaching other movements). Given that ECC participants are not the commons movement (see endnote), we can’t simply „declare“ or „construct“ this identity; we can only support its evolution by serving as a platform enabling all parts of the movement to become visible to each other and to the whole.
Respecting diversity is a key principle in the co-construction of a commons-identity (remember: there is no blueprint, nor panacea!). That is, the commons/p2p movement is held together by weak ties among a diversity of actors. The movement is indeed an ecology of different degrees and forms of commitment, sensitivities and ways of approaching the commons. Hence, a core identity of the commons ‘movement’ must be ‘strategically ambiguous enough’ so as to accommodate this enormous variety and to foster the crystallization of the commons.
What are the problems afflicting all existing commons? (e.g. power relations)
What happens outside of commons (e.g., climate crisis)?
How are commons going to be relevant for responding to the various crisis and challenges?
However, working on a movement and personal identity goes hand in hand with doing commons/commoning. That is: We have to work in parallel on different tracks. (see below)
Information on different commons-related issues is abundant. We are pretty well informed already, but there is still a need to acknowledge the different positions and backgrounds we are coming from on the commons agenda. We especially need to foreground issues of equity, gender and global power relations/geopolitics. And, more than information we need to develop „collective sensing organs“, for mass communication (but not a centrally managed organ!). This will be key to create a common narrative as well as diverse commons narratives.
How to build a more coordinated commons communication strategy to support the further cristalization of a commons movement?