Bringing the discussion on The Commons to Dakar at the World Social Forum

The World Social Forum and the World Forum on Science and Democracy will be two opportunities for the commoners to interact with other civic and social movements.

A list of discussion is now open for volunteers at :

Discussing the Commons in the World Forum on Science and Democracy (WFSD)
The World Forum on Science and Democracy (WFSD) will be held on February the 4th and 5th. Its objective is twofold :

  • questioning the functionning of the scientific institutions and funding (science and technology political orientation, means of production of knowledge, independence fo scientists…)
  • promoting alternatives considering Science as a common (open archives, open educational resources, open scientific publication, open data…).

Two frames are proposed by the WFSD : plenary sessions and self organized workshops. We would like to  propose a set of workshops and a plenary session based in the two following issues :

  • Struggles for Commons knowledge : open science, diversity in the production of knowledge, alliance…?
  • How researchers address the issue of the elaboration of the notion of commons and the analysis of the populare experiences, with and by social and civic movements ?

Perhaps the result of such workshops could be a note written with participants, not at all a declaration, but a proposal of shared agenda of work for the period from now to Rio + 20.

We will be pleased  to organize this with all the organizations that will be in Dakar and will be volonteer to work with a such approach or at least that agree to discuss it and to participate in the elaboration of a shared program.

Discussing the Commons in the The World Social Forum
The World Social Forum (on February the 7th and 11th) is a place to try to built a large political debate and discussion. A such process aims at to take in the table of the discussion political questions linked with commons, to move towards a politicization of the issue of the commons, and a shared strategy by activists and social movements. The articulation of such questions could allow us to elaborate a global vision of the place and the role of the commons in the project of social and political transformation with social movements.

Some questions suggested to make the proposal concrete :

  • How to design the welfare state at the age of commons ?
  • How do the Rights of Mother Earth and the Commons approach complement each other in re-designing international solidarity?
  • What about popular education in the commons context ?
  • What are the transformations of political processes and governance  in the era of the commons? How are changing the ways of doing politics ? what consequences and opportunities for social movements?
  • What rôle does economic actors play in the commons (free software, wiki…, foundations, corporations, mutualism, local solidarity economic actors, …) in the economy at global and local levels ? How ? what alliances ? Business …and so what ?
  • What are the roles of the commons regarding the consequences of the exploitation of natural resources (war, slave-work, environmental diseases, destruction of cultural patrimony, … ) ?
  • What are the structures needed by social movements, and that they will assume, in order to be able to spread the idea of the commons as a political objective or demand, and to build an inclusive dynamic that allow people who are not at this point producers of commons to become part of the game ?
  • this list is open to new questions …

Other existing initiatives in relation with the Commons at Dakar could be linked in order to be able to  agglutinate the proposals of activities in the World Social Forum.

A list of discussion to prepare the work on The Commons in Dakar.
A list has been created for bringing the discussion on the commons to Dakar in February 2011 at the World social Forum and at the World Forum Science and Democracy. The address of the list is : Anyone can be registred at

This space is wide open to all women and men who wish to exchange their ideas and experiences of the commons for social and political change.

The discussion list is moderated for non-registered and non moderated for registrants. The archives are accessible to registered people. We do not want that languages will be an obstacle to participate, but we are not able to provide a systematic translation of the discussions. So we recommend using preferably English, French or Spanish in the list. This list is hosted by VECAM and moderated by Valerie Peugeot, Herve Le Crosnier, Alain Ambrosi and Frederic Sultan. You can contact them by sending an e-mail to

This proposal was made with the input from Rosa Acevedo, Alain Ambrosi, Genevieve Azam, Michel Bauwens, David Bollier, Nicola Bullard, Beatriz Busaniche, Silke Helfrich, Wojtek Kalinowski, Gaelle Krikorian, Hervé Le Crosnier, Heike Loeschmann, Olivier Petitjean, Valerie Peugeot, Simon Emmanuel Roux, Miguel Said Vieira, Frédéric Sultan. The most of them have subscribed to the discussion list.

If you wish to take part in this discussion in order to prepare for Dakar, join us!

Comments are closed.