A Global Call to Share the World’s Resources

Kosmos, a “Journal for Global Transformation,” recently published A ‘global call’ from our friends at Share the World’s Resources (STWR), which is in turn taken from Sharing.org (which offers its material under a Creative Commons License, as we’ve begun to do with our materials on The Contribution Economy).

The lead-in to their article expresses as well as anything I’ve seen recently the current problematique, the central challenge and response of our age:

“Across the world, millions of campaigners and activists refuse to sit idly by and watch the world’s crises escalate, while our governments fail to provide hope for a more just and sustainable future. The writing is on the wall: climate chaos, escalating conflict over scarce resources, growing impoverishment and marginalisation in the rich world as well as the poor, the looming prospect of another global financial collapse. In the face of what many describe as a planetary emergency, there has never been such a widespread and sustained mobilisation of citizens around efforts to challenge global leaders and address critical social and environmental issues. A worldwide ‘movement of movements’ is on the rise, driven by an awareness that the multiple crises we face are fundamentally caused by an outmoded economic system in need of wholesale reform.

“But despite this growing awareness of the need for massive combined action to reverse ongoing historical trends, clearly not enough is being done to tackle the systemic causes of the world’s interrelated problems. What we still lack is a truly unified progressive movement that comprises the collective actions of civil society organisations, grassroots activists and an engaged citizenry. A fusion of progressive causes is urgently needed under a common banner, one that can create a consensus among a critical mass of the world population about the necessary direction for transformational change. As many individuals and groups within the progressive community both recognise and proclaim, this is our greatest hope for bringing about world renewal and rehabilitation.”

Since our ideas of “contributionism” and of “Commons Credits” are clearly somewhat related to this, it seems important to acknowledge and incorporate the idea of sharing in all that we do. As they note, “The renewed concept of the commons has also fast become a well-recognised global movement of scholars and activists who frame all the most pressing issues of our time – from unsustainable growth to rising inequality – in terms of our need to cooperatively protect the shared resources of Earth.”

STWR, a UK-based “independent civil society organisation campaigning for a fairer sharing of wealth, power and resources within and between nations,” argues that “a call for sharing wealth, power and resources is central to the formation of this growing worldwide movement of global citizens:”

As more and more people raise their voices for governments to put human needs and ecological preservation before corporate greed and profit, this demand for sharing is consistently at the heart of civil society demands for a better world. In fact, the principle of sharing is often central to efforts for progressive change in almost every field of endeavour. But this basic concern is generally understood and couched in tacit terms, without acknowledging the versatility and wide applicability of sharing as a solution to the world’s problems. For this reason, STWR argues that the call for sharing should be more widely perceived and promoted as a common cause that can help connect the world’s peace, justice, pro-democracy and environmental movements under a united call for change.

 This seems an enormously useful emphasis, and suggests a number of ways of moving forward with the renewed creation of regenerative communities. The organization invites individuals to sign a declaration of a commitment to sharing that makes the following key arguments:

  • Sharing is our human nature
  • Our failure to share is a root cause of the world’s crises
  • Sharing is the key to creating a better world
  • A demand for sharing is on the rise across the world
  • Sharing is a common cause that unites us all

You can add your name, as I have, at http://www.sharing.org/global-call/english.

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