101: Commoning with David Bollier

In this episode, Michael and Hita speak with David Bollier. David is an author, activist, blogger and consultant who spends a lot of time exploring the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics and culture. In 2010, David co-founded the Commons Strategies Group, a consulting project that works to promote the commons internationally. More recently, he became the Director of the Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

David has authored and co-authored many books, and we focus in particular on his book Free, Fair, and Alive: the Insurgent Power of the Commons, which he co-autherd with the late Silka Helfrich. Much of this book and our conversation focus on the idea of commoning. This is a different take on the commons, think about it less as a physical description of the environment and more about the relationships that we have with each other and the environment. It is also seen as a response to historic enclosures of the commons and a western emphasis on governance and property as inherently exclusionary practices. This approach is an important alternative to the dominant way in which the commons are thought about.

David’s website: http://www.bollier.org/


Bollier, D., and S. Helfrich. 2019. Free, Fair, and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons. New Society Publishers.