12 Reasons You'll Hear More About the Commons in 2012

1. The Commons is Essential to Our Health, Security & Survival

The commons comprises valuable assets that belong to all of us. This includes clean air and fresh water; national parks and city streets; the Internet and scientific knowledge; ethnic cuisines and hip-hop rhythms; the U.S. Weather Service and blood banks. But it’s more than just things—it’s also the set of relationship that make those things work. When you stop to think about it, most essential elements of our lives exist outside the realm of private property.

Just in Time

As the recession and Occupy movement encourage people to reimagine work and how they get their needs met in the new economy, Timebanks are catching fire. They are a clever tool to circumvent the scarcity and misdirection of conventional money. Timebanks are at heart a simple concept – you work for an hour, earn an hour credit, and spend an hour with anyone in your Timebank community.

From Adversity Comes Opportunity: Shareable in 2011

In Shareable's second year, we investigated the challenges facing us all—the worldwide recession, increased control of the Internet, urban design problems, the changing economic and technological landscape for creators of all stripes, the decline of public spaces—and featured the people and organizations that are building a more cooperative and shareable world, from collaborative consumption entrepreneurs to innovative designers to the Occupy protestors.

Skip Grad School and Make Your Thing: An Interview With Kio Stark

For college graduates in their 20's or 30's facing few job prospects and excessive student debt, graduate school can seem a promising way to sit out the recession. It's far from a sure bet, though: there's no guarantee of future employment, it only adds to the mounting debt post-undergrads face, and it consumes time and resources that could be better devoted to making things.

Are Maker Spaces the Future of Public Libraries?

When was the last time you went to the library looking for a book? How about a 3D printer? The Fayetteville Free Library, a public library in upstate New York, plans to offer its community both options: A traditional, book-filled library, and a Fab Lab to learn new technologies and build new projects.

In recent years, the FFL’s Executive Director Susan Considine has been pushing for a reinterpretation of libraries’ role. 

My Story: Putting Power Back in The People's Hands

I was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. New Haven, aka “Elm City”, is a small city consisting of around 125,000 people, with the majority of the inhabitants being African-American. I was raised in a household that was just below middle class. I had a strong support system from my parents growing up, so you can say I was loved. They made sure that my needs were taken care of. I did pretty well in school (received Academic Honors from 6th Grade until 11th Grade), and played basketball for my middle school, AAU, and high school teams.

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