We like to remind people that although they think they want money, they actually want what money can buy. If they could get it without money they would. In fact, back in the 1700s while Adam Smith was dreaming up modern economics, people were fairly self sufficient: they made their own clothes, and shoes, grew their own food and kept cows for dairy products. Indeed, much of what people needed was not available to buy. Part of Smith’s vision was to get people into factories to help drive transformation to a more “modern” society.
A commons initiative is where people are PROWSUMERS.
Producers, Owners and Consumers and the lines between produced services and bought services get blurred.
In this section we can start with collecting dreams. You can ask yourself ” if money were no object and luxurious life was possible what would you want to get from the commons initiative?” For example, is it a business, a place to meet, a home, a garden?
Why should it be so that that which is essential to you, you buy as a consumer? This is surely not resilient if you expect the financial system or indeed your own economy to be compromised. Would it not be more prudent to identify that which is most important to you and invest in a community that will provide you with it, even if the current money system fails?
You can do this exercise in pairs and then swap around. The purpose is to help you clarify your intentions. One person says ”I want a cafe” the other says, OK, what is good with that? The first one answers and the other asks ”what is good with that” and repeats until you get to a point where the intentions are crystal clear. In many cases, people say they want for example a garden, but the intention behind it may be different (some may want a green space, others home grown veggies). And it may be possible and desirable for the shared asset to serve multiple intentions.
Capture the intentions and describe them for the prospectus. Don’t worry about qualifying them or quantifying them, this comes later in the unitization section.