What is it?
The Commons Platform is a new social media platform, based on values, built by everyone for everyone and owned by everyone. It is private and secure, open source and decentralised, and enables everyone to collaborate on community organising, resource-sharing or anything else that makes their lives better.
What does it do?
As it grows people are able to create collaborative alternatives to the extractive monopolies like Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit etc by sharing resources and skills and trading with each other without intermediaries.
By creating a wiki of the supply chains, employment practices etc of companies, it is even possible for everyone to create an ethical commerce alternative to Amazon.
We are also aiming to be a platform for independent media and meaningful content, where members can set their preferences to find content that is curated and helps them to get involved with the things they really care about.
What are the advantages?
All of these solutions will be interoperable leading to more ease: for example if you need a drill you could find out at a glance who in your neighbourhood has one you could borrow, or if someone is giving away/selling one, or where you could buy one at a local shop so that money stays within the local economy, and you could even have it picked up and delivered to you by someone in the network who is a driver or just someone passing by – all on the same platform without needing to open different windows for ebay/freecycle/amazon etc.
At scale it would start to change the narrative about what is ‘profitable’ outside of the network too: as large numbers of people get together to source products and services that are ethical it drives companies and corporations to produce goods in ways that cause less harm.
What are our aims?
Our aim is that the Commons Platform enables a new way of organising and collaborating on a local and global level, puts power back into the hands of communities, creates safety for those most marginalised, helps people engage with each other and media in a healthy way, and creates a new economic framework within the network which values everyone and all forms of labour/contribution – even those currently not recognised in existing economic systems – leading to much fairer wealth distribution and more equal societies.
We also aim to increase digital inclusion and digital literacy so that this is available to more people who currently cannot access the internet.
Rather than an internet of things, we are building an internet of people and connections that enable everyone to share things, skills and time in ways that contribute to a better world for everyone.
How do we work?
We are working as a collaborative group of 500+ co-creators on building the Commons Platform, starting from collectively agreed values, crowdsourcing time, ideas, expertise, skills, spaces to hold workshops, and collaborating with existing organisations to build an interoperable ecosystem of technologies which people can use to make their lives easier and create positive social change.
We currently hold our co-creation workshops in London but we aim to be inclusive and accessible, so everyone can get involved even if they are not able to attend.