Commons Canvas Training


Length: 0.5-2 days.
Purpose: Using the CANVAS approach teaches participants how to use the canvas to capture understanding of the financial flows in a commons initiative in order to create the basis for a business plan.
Why attend?  Learning to use the CANVAS will give you a good tool to help take your initiative from idea to viable enterprise.
Main contents: The CANVAS method, how to unitize your offerings, finding alternative funding solutions, understanding membership and creating business plan.
Includes: How to capture data for Business Plan, Manual and pro-forma business plan in Excel.

Creating a business model in a conventional way is daunting enough. But how can you create a viable financial model for a whole commons initiative, community, sustainable initiative or social enterprise? It IS possible as many initiatives up and running demonstrate, but you need to find a balance between achieving sustainability, creating the operations you want, and balancing the budget. The CANVAS  is based on a participatory approach using a large board.  The canvas method is designed as a way to work through possibilities to, for example, ensure your commons initiative is financially viable, plug the leaks in your local economy, to grow from  your Transition initiative into a Reconomy- initiative social enterprise or to make your Permaculture design into a thriving enterprise.

To teach the canvas methodology so that participants can use it to support the development of their own initiatives.


Those involved in the financial aspects of an initiative that are aiming towards sustainability, or permaculturists who want to add a financial dimension to their design work.


  • The eleven blocks
  • Clarifying intention: from money to what money buys
  • Stakeholders as investors
  • Identifying services and unitizing them
  • Supply chains and customers
  • Finding resources
  • Infrastructure; investment and return
  • Rent pooling: counting all revenue possibilities
  • Putting management into place
  • Waste as a resource
  • Legal forms: mapping legal form to intention
  • Agreements as the basis of stakeholder cooperation
  • Permaculture principles related to initiative finance
  • Pulling it all together in a business plan

This participatory workshop takes you through the method step by step, applying it to a chosen case.

The workshop is accompanied by material for later reference: a booklet and a template business plan in excel format adapted to the workshop outputs.

We offer a range of workshop configurations, from an introduction of a few hours to a tailored initiative -focused workshop of two days to a train the trainer course that is five days.

Stephen Hinton has a background as a management trainer and consultant. He is a co-founder of Transition Sweden and is active in the eco-village movement through involvement in the Eco- Village Änggärdet. Stephen served on the Board of the Swedish Co-operative no-interest JAK BANKEN.

For price quotes, orders or more information, contact Stephen Hinton.


Number of participants: 10-50

Price: Ask for offer.