NARRATOR: What is the commons? And how can we practice commoning to transform the current social and economic paradigm? Commoning is a way to manage shared resources that depends neither on the state nor on the market. But how does commoning work? Economist David Bollier has a few ideas.

Let's imagine the commons as a shared resource to which everyone has a right. Some people think that managing the commons without state regulation or market forces is impossible. They argue that people will ruin the commons by overconsuming the shared resource or by wrecking shared spaces with pollution and waste.

This argument that people are incapable of managing shared resources for the common good without the state or market as arbiters has been dubbed the tragedy of the commons. And according to David Bollier, it's totally wrong. Bollier says that the people who argue that the commons is impossible to manage make the fundamental mistake of treating the commons as a thing with those selfish commons destroying people existing outside of it.

But the commons isn't a thing, it's a process that involves everyone in the community working to share and distribute it fairly. People continually and diligently build and sustain a commons by negotiating how best to distribute the commons, creating the rules they need to manage the commons together, and building the infrastructure needed to keep the commons thriving for generations to come.

That's how David Bollier's vision of commoning works. With the community using commoning as a way to successfully manage everything from lobster fishing, to the water that the lobsters swim in, to the software used in the computers of people who eat lobster and drink water.

Since commoning is a process that makes for a fair way to manage and distribute shared resources that belong to everyone, David Bolllier thinks it's an important part of the next system.