• Video Intro to the Commons
    Introduction to the concept of the Commons and the particulars of the Ann Arbor Community Commons slideshow with voice-over by Chad Monfreda.
  • First Ward: an Ann Arbor politics Group
    Are you unhappy with Ann Arbor politics and the journalism, or lack thereof, that follows it? Last night, the Ann Arbor City Council stripped Jeff Hayner of his committee assignments. If you have been following Ann Arbor politics, you know that the mayor and his allies have been wanting to repeal proposal A, so that…
  • Indigenous communities: DIY Internet
    The infrastructure of the Internet should not be owned by a few companies. For thousands of years, Commoning principles have enabled communities to share water from a stream. As we are now streaming educational services to children via the Internet, shouldn’t we learn how to better share that stream? There are many examples like the article linked below, where Indigenous communities simply took control . . .


Imagine a space where everything is shared.

A self-organized system by which communities manage resources (both depletable and replenishable) with minimal or no reliance on the Market or State.

David Bollier

And Now it’s Beginning to Happen!

Join the Garden Committee

The Garden Committee is a public group, so anyone is welcome to join. Learn about the other members by clicking through to their profiles. You can send them public and private messages and you can post updates in the home tab of the Group. Learn about how groups work here. Once you are registered for the site, you can ask about starting your own Group.

“Here are some photos from the first workday at the Center of the City. Seven volunteers worked for four hours each. We weeded the large garden nearest the elevator shaft. Next up: Planning for planting.” – Rita Mitchell

Our new experiment in #MakingDemocracy

Make Group Decisions Easy

Contact us to get invited to an experiment in #MakingDemocracy. DrRon has purchased a lifetime subscription to Loomio. The tools enable people to avoid meetings where everyone just wants to tell others how their idea is better and no one wants to collaborate. So people with divergent opinions are encouraged to participate in this experiment. The tool was created over six years ago by a worker owned programmer cooperative in New Zealand that included people who have been involved with the Occupy movement. The screenshot to the left is not associated with the Ann Arbor Community Commons. “Michigan Internet” is experimenting with Loomio.

Integrative consent decision making

Some of us, in and outside of the Initiating Committee, are experimenting with integrative consent decision making as a tool that can be used on and off-line for #MakingDemocracy. We live in a world where the institutions of democracy have been disintegrating under the influence of algorithms from Facebook and Twitter. These algorithms are designed to promote the polarization of groups from the national level down to the local community. As a result, people spend less time with critical thinking, which can promote discussions that lead to more democratic outcomes. Instead of a thoughtful evaluation of a proposal or a comment, people are lured into deciding which team they will join. Are you more like a prosecutor or a scientist? A prosecutor comes to the table with a conclusion and looks for data to support that conclusion. A scientist starts with collecting data and draws different conclusions as a function of results obtained. Today, the voices of individuals are drowned out to the point, that even asking a question is objectionable. Communist China pays people to both censor and add information to the Internet. How many Ann Arborites can answer the question: “Which out of state paid consultant makes the most comments on social media about local issues and which team is paying his fees?” So, for just a moment, forget about which team you have joined and experiment with the idea that people can come to the table with different opinions, yet still formulate and approve a proposal together.