Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Expand the common good

Listening to Nicola Bullard and Vandana Shiva in conversation at the final thematic session of the Global Network Congress was fascinating. Both insisted that transformation isn't about the big idea, the era of the meta project is over. Bullard said that one of the most important things she had learned was that being involved in the process was important. Getting involved in those processes often means that many small changes begin to take place. Part of the work of critical involvement is then about patience and trusting the process. It is much more important to get workable local projects going, to use horizontal networks as a way of encouraging people to reconnect with reality again, this is also where our creative action and creative thinking can be worked through.
Shiva spoke movingly about the importance of local identity and the need to revalue the local after all of the delocalisation that has been taking place. Both insisted that the addicts of the current economic model have no new ideas and that this is a good time to to start promoting news ideas.
They ended with the idea of trying to expand the common good. The only way to counter the fragmentation of life is to reclaim the commons, those things such as air, water, land, seeds, healthcare, which belong to all of us together. This is a bit like the creative commons form of copyright but more about a creative way of resisting patenting and commercialising the whole of the basis for life by using our common creativity and energy, by identifying and affirming what it is we hold in common.