Value in the Commons Economy: Developments in Open and Contributory Value Accounting
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What is at the heart of the problems erupting worldwide? Is anything good emerging from these multiple crises? Can a new system grow from within the old one? Is it already here, visible and thriving? These questions are addressed by Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Niaros in this report, Value in the Commons Economy, co-published by Heinrich Böll Foundation and the P2P Foundation. The authors’ main thesis describes the ‘value crisis’ affecting our current world as a sign of an underlying transformation in our ‘value system’. Society is shifting from a system based on value created in a market system (through labor and capital) to one which recognizes broader value streams. These streams are experienced as ‘contributions’ to structures based on the co-construction of shared resources, also known as ‘commons’. While this new system of value creation and distribution still operates within the mainstream value orthodoxy today, the Value in the Commons Economy report emphasizes how pioneering communities are working on expanding the new system from within, and building the potential to eventually break free of those confines.
Featuring real world case studies, such as Enspiral (a New Zealand based entrepreneurial coalition of mission-driven entities), Sensorica (a commons-based “Open Value Network” with partial market interfaces) and Backfeed (a blockchain-based prospective infrastructure for encouraging and rewarding peer production), “Value in the Commons Economy” addresses significant questions regarding the evolution of value.