Ownership rights, Commons and Companies: interface with the research program “Undertaking in Commons”

The Coop des Communs anchors research into reality of Commons and SSE by:

  • Organizing interfaces between researchers, companies and SSE and Commons networks, allowing the latter to use the research to:
    • Build political positioning and alliance strategies
    • Produce seminaries, conferences… about the different research themes,
    • Propose research subjects, interactions… with researchers
  • Contributing to research by providing contents and delivering it (seminaries’ videos, website….) and by adding the value of their contributions towards the actors.

The Coop des Commons is partner of the 2015-2018 CEPN Research Seminary (Center of Economics of the Paris-Nord University). Four years of studies have resulted in the publication of “Le retour des communs” book in 2015. Coordinated by Benjamin Coriat, Fabienne Orsi and Sebastien Broca, this new research seminary tries to re-think the notions of company, of entrepreneurship and its new forms and is developed towards 5 directions:

  1. Reconsider the very notion of company and more specifically by analyzing it under its angle of bundle of rights and forms of power sharing,
  2. Precise why forms of company and activities from sharing economy are innovative and are different from those present in the traditional SSE sector, based on mutualism and cooperativism.
  3. Identify and analyze the different types of business models of the sharing economy and the Commons actors,
  4. Propose ideas allowing the development of these new forms of companies, their payment methods or the commoners remuneration, to ensure their long-term reproduction,
  5. In an international perspective, explore the way that innovative forms of actors and communities, inspired by Commons, can allow the deployment of new forms of creation and of resources’ exploitation.

Cities, territories and Commons

“The city production” by the habitants

The Coop des Communs

  • Contributes to organize and to valorize the works made by l’Atlas des Chartres of urban commons towards SSE companies. It broadcasts its contents, proposes to participate in “exploratory workshops” to meet actors, it contributes to exchanges, to the production of practical case sheets, to lend its expertise to SSE companies;
  • Organizes the interface between SSE actors, and particularly in fields such as social action and social protection for institutional experiments on territories (Zero Unemployment Territories, Contributive territories, Commons Assemblies….) to allow them to build political positioning and alliance strategies, to produce work in terms of seminaries, conference…. To propose study subjects, interactions…. With the researchers

The Coop des Communs supports and completes the work made during several years by Remix the Commons. This international group of activists worked on a “Urban Common Charter Atlas” describing the way the “city” and its populations produce juridical tools to make the Commons live and recognized by the public authority. The academic world starts to analyze the cooperation tools peer by peer and the sharing in the cities and in the territories.

Towards the construction of the “Commons School”

The Coop des Communs, with the support Remix the Commons, proposes to build a Common School to train SSE administrators, policymakers and employees to:

  • Adapt their missions and their practices for the implementation of urban Commons,
  • Construct a Commons vocabulary understandable (web semantic), to work with SSE and Commons actors,
  • Organize an exchange seminar with the Labsus Commons School (Italy) that experiments a training program in the context of the implementation of regulations to protect the Commons (Bologna charter).

Social protection and Commons

The Coop des Communs sets up a monthly collaborative research group that put together both SSE and Commons experts and social and work protection specialists. This group aims to produce something innovative and common, with perspectives of action.

Members of the group are contributing to a long-term dialogue based on trust (mutuals, work and activities cooperatives, work and social protection experts, ecological transition economists, unionists, intermittent artists…). The research production is fed by the observation and the analysis of practices in several countries of the EU. Beyond the group member for the collaborative research, the association invites academics in the different fields concerned (law, economy, sociology, histories) and SSE and Commons experts.
The working group is at the crossroad of at least three concerns:

  • New forms of activities and employment are emerging, related with SSE and Commons, lacking a social protection:

The renewed awareness about the Commons existence drives to rediscover or to invent production modes and resources uses specifically designed to be shared through a process of shared governance. The question of protection for “Commons participants” against the “accidents of life”, at short or long term, is poorly asked, even left behind by the youth “Commoners” who do not see necessarily the necessity. Some people consider transposing the intermittent artists system; others defend the implementation of salaried employment forms via the Cooperation for Activity and Employment (CAE).

  • The experienced “Mutualists commons” is not that committed on that subject:

The future of work and of social protection, the articulation of the forms of responsibility and solidarity has been at the heart of the mutualist concerns since their introduction when they have created in a certain way commons. While one is looking for revitalizing their capacities, mutual also find subjects of reflection and of collaboration with the Commons movement, which can learn from their large and wealthy experience.

  • In a context of merchandising the social and the sustainable development :

The evolution of new forms of activities modifies completely the link between work and employment, blurring the boundaries between wage labor and classical independent work. It also blurs the relation between workers and social protection. In this movement, we tend to forget the complex institutional character of social protection and to reduce it to a set of measures in favor of social intervention. Fundamentally, the sustainable development’s goals are forcing us to rethink our model of development.

Commons and service of general interest in international treaties

Patents are about the living things, the value of our actions in the web becomes the basis for remunerations, the numerical platforms allow us the market goods and services that for a long time had been considered the purpose of social exchange between neighbors, … while the Commons are changed by the collaborative economy, how to valorize them in the Treaties? If globalization wants to live together with re-localization, how to ensure that global won’t deconstruct the Commons – that make consensus locally, in the respect of autonomy for local powers in the decision-making process, which is guaranteed by the law? The notion of general interest, used in the EU treaties, or the term “virtual good” used in some international treaties, or also the fundamental rights of citizens are they sufficiently adapted to these issues?

The Coop des Communs proposes to progress in terms of identifying and analyzing these issues and to bring solutions. It is about identifying logics to implement common goods, their risks and opportunities, but also their perspective. It organizes a seminar that brings together lawyers, researchers and activists.