About

How the minnows repelled a shark, by Ken Sprague

The purpose of this Building Commonweal Blog is to inquire into the question, ‘What kind of society or commonwealth do we want to co-create, and how do we get there?’ We are faced with serious challenges such as global warming, rising social inequality, affluenza, market fundamentalism, and a vortical, chaotic, uncertain, ambiguous, changing world.

However, there are people, communities, civil society organisations, farms, businesses, governments everywhere who are making a difference and working for the common good. People are leading and learning from the social future as it emerges.

This blog will tell their stories, to help answer the societal question, ‘What next?’ So people can join up the dots, and better navigate using maps of the emerging ‘commonweal/th society’.

My 2010 book, Common Wealth for a free, equal, mutual and sustainable society was too long. People mostly wanted chapters or short articles, not the whole thing. However, the invitation to speak in the USA from November 1st-24th 2016 offers a golden opportunity to meet people similarly engaged in New England, California and New Mexico, and to share the learning stories.

One useful practical thread for me is drawing on biodynamic farming, having set up various community land trusts and the UK based Biodynamic Farm Land Trust. Another social map is the process view of societal or social threefolding, which came from my work as a facilitator, of strategic planning and trisectoral partnerships. This is a process map of society as threefold, comprising the interacting dynamics of the economy, politics or rights, and of culture. Societal threefolding was originally suggested by Rudolf Steiner amidst the chaos of post-1914-18 war Germany, and could be useful for pushing ‘the market’ back into its healthy, but limited place.

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