Commons transition and P2P: a primer

A new primer explains the origins of the commons and P2P, how they interrelate, their movements and trends, and how a Commons transition is poised to reinvigorate work, politics, production, and care, both interpersonal and environmental. Co-published by the P2P Foundation and the Transnational Institute.


The Commons, as an idea and practice, has emerged as a new social, political and economic dynamic. Along with the market and the state, the Commons is a third mode of societal organization. The Commons and Peer to Peer (P2P) together form a system based on the practices and needs of civil society and the environment it inhabits, evolving away from obsolete, centrally planned systems or the competitive dictates of market economies. But what are the Commons and P2P, and how do they interrelate? This Primer explores these concepts.

The Commons is a concept and practice that has been steadily gathering increased attention and advocates. Deeply rooted in human history, it’s difficult to settle on a single definition that covers its broad potential for social, economic, cultural and political change. The Commons is now demonstrating its power as a “key ingredient” for change in diverse locations and contexts around the world.

The P2P Foundation, with its particular focus on the relationship of the Commons and P2P practices, is supporting this Commons transition by helping to share knowledge and develop tools to create common value and facilitate open, participatory input across society. This short primer explains the Commons and P2P, how they interrelate, their movements and trends, and how a Commons transition is poised to reinvigorate work, politics, production, and care, both interpersonal and environmental.

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Original source: Transnational Institute.

Read more about the background to the project at Commons Transition

Photo credit: Commons Transition