eutopia workshop

Eutopia(Noun) A place of ideal well-being. As a practical aspiration compared with utopia as an *impossible **concept. eutopia (Noun) The condition of being properly placed, as opposed to ectopia.  – wiktionary

utopia ness

*impossible is irrelevant.. and perhaps **concept ness (having to define it) is part of the problem

word smithing here.. don’t care what we call it.. as long as we get there..


via solidarity hall’s in the great silence ..eutopia workshops w michel and nathan:

This is the first in Solidarity Hall’s new series of Eutopia Workshops, live online conversations delving into the global Pluriverse, as it’s called — a pluralistic, post-development world, one “in which many worlds fit,” as the Zapatistas describe it.

To explore these ideas, we are launching our series of Eutopia Workshops this week on Wednesday, April 8, at 10:00 AM EDT. The workshops will be Zoom sessions livestreamed to YouTube or Facebook (TBD) in order to have audience participation with questions.

wed apr 8 8am

An announcement of the first of Solidarity Hall’s “Eutopia Workshops” series, to be held Wednesday of this week.
It may be helpful to also read these:

The truth is: to renovate the future, we will need a place (virtual for the moment) to work.

The poet W. H. Auden once suggested that most people carry around in their minds one of two imaginary landscapes: either Eden or Utopia. The Edenic people tend to be liberal arts types, lovers of fantasy, tradition-minded, often religious. Whereas the Utopians are friendly to modern technology, readers of science fiction, analytical, and serious-minded about the world’s problems.

And yet . . . we are no longer in Auden’s Eurocentric world. We are moving into the global Pluriverse, as it’s called — a pluralistic, post-development “world . . . in which many worlds fit,” as the Zapatistas describe it.

To find our way forward here, we need spaces in which to do our work together, bringing both our familiar cultural tools and also those from other cultures, from alternative epistemologies. We need to reinvent Ivan Illich’s CIDOC center and his sense of conviviality in order to better understand and be in solidarity with the buen vivir social movements, for example, which have arisen in recent decades in the global South.

The center of this conviviality will be our (online) Workshops, where the Edenic-minded will be able to engage with the Utopians (or rather, in our term, Eutopians) in order to think well about a new society already emerging.

The original group (of solidarity hall) was myself (Elias Crim), Mark Gordon, Grace Potts, Susannah Black, Daniel Schwindt, Matt Cooper, Paul Grenier, and Mike Stafford, mainly.

 the phrase we’re using to describe a new series of online Zoom conversations we’ll be hosting. First, why “eutopia”? Because a eutopia — which is defined as a place of practicalaspiration — is different from a utopia (defined as “nowhere” and an impractical dream).

Second, a workshop implies a process, a collaboration, a creative effort with the goal of something practical at the end

We review the P2P Foundation’s Peer-to-Peer: A Commons Manifesto.

p2p commons manifesto

common\ing et al

In this article, I want to go beyond utopian reflections to what we might call eutopian proposals — i.e., proposals which (according to the Wiktionary definition of “eutopia”) bring us to “a place of ideal well-being, as a practical aspiration (compared with utopia as an *impossible **concept).”

utopia ness

*impossible is irrelevant.. and perhaps **concept ness (having to define it) is part of the problem

word smithing here.. don’t care what we call it.. as long as we get there..

And the particular eutopian vision I want to visit here is the P2P Foundation, an international network of researchers and advocates co-founded and headed up by the remarkable Michel Bauwens.

coommoning yes.. but if your defn of eutopian includes money (any form of measuring/accounting).. then delving into the tragedy of the non common

let’s not waste this opp on that

The arena in which the P2PF operates might be broadly described as the Global Commons which, according to author David Bollier, is “a shared resource, co-governed by its user community according to the community’s rules and norms. Things that can be *managed as a commons include natural resources (land, water, air), and created assets (culture, knowledge), and can be either inherited or human-made, but ‘The Commons’ refers to the process as a whole — the synergy between the elements of a community, a resource and the rules for its co-governance.”


*if managing – red flag for tragedy of the non common

common\ing et al

In short, this is a movement toward a new political economy, no less, whose aims include ending biosphere destruction as well as promoting free (shared) cultural exchange rather than innovation-inhibiting patents, copyright, intellectual property laws, etc

red flags for tragedy of the non common: exchange

bachelard oikos law et al

Given the breadth and depth of the P2P Foundation’s work, I want to limit this article to their recent Peer-to-Peer: A Commons Manifesto, a 70-page ebook describing how this shift to a new economic / social ecosystem is already underway in numerous seed forms and where it is going. (Another excellent guide to this transition is this work by Nathan Schneider.)

everything for everyone

michel and nathan

What’s being proposed here is nothing less than a new blueprint for our societies, one which is both commons-centric and which includes a new (technology-enabled) mode of production via peer-to-peer networks and platforms designed to allow us to collaborate and share.

let’s just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city  with 2 convers as infra.. via tech as it could be..

The umbrella movement over this work is called the Commons Transition and their website’s Commons Transition Primer is a well-designed introduction to these concepts, with substantial resources in all formats to go deeper.

commons transition primer

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

— Arundhati Roy

indeed.. let’s not miss it

ie: by not realizing we now have the means (tech as it could be) to listen to every voice (roy voiceless law).. and an incredible opp – in the great silence (to virus leap) something we’ve not had/used every before.. it’s why we keep circling back to tragedy of the non common ness

let go

roy another world law et al

Why do we need a public workshop and what work will go on there? And why will the work be called “eutopian”? Solidarity Hall in its first decade could be described (in W. H. Auden’s phrase) an “Edenic” project: literary, reflective, somewhat restorationist, given our attention to figures like Wendell Berry, Christopher Lasch, Jane Jacobs, G. K. Chesterton.

W H Auden, jane,

And yet: we have always had a kind of utopian or prophetic streak, as shown in our writing about Simone Weil, E. F. Schumacher, Dorothy Day, or Ivan Illich. It is this latter outlook we will emphasize going forward, while in no way leaving behind our Edenic inspirations. Eden and Eutopia, we are arguing, in fact go together in integral imaginations.

E.F. Schumacher, ivan, garden enough, .. et al

So then we come to Eutopian thinking in which the focus is not on utopia (i.e., “no place” and with overtones of the impossible) but instead on eutopia (i.e., the “good place” with the suggestion of practical aspiration). Thus Eutopian thinking, in our definition, is a form of non-ideological thought, as found in the work of figures (all of them deeply formed by Western tradition, be it noted) such as Hannah Arendt, Czeslaw Milosz, Simone Weil, and Cornel West, among more recent examples.

hannah, cornel, ..

Eutopians tend to think in similar ways. They are usually:

  • Improvisational, agile
  • Relational (including anti-racist and pro-woman)
  • Convivial (in Ivan Illich’s sense — exercising freedom in interdependence)
  • Commons oriented (i.e., toward the original solidarity economy)
  • Reflective, intellectually independent, spiritually open

To explore these ideas, we are launching our series of Eutopia Workshops this week on Wednesday, April 8, at 10:00 AM EDT. The workshops will be Zoom sessions livestreamed to YouTube or Facebook (TBD) in order to have audience participation with questions.

Free registration (in order to receive live Zoom link) is here.

Are we about to return to commoning, the original modality of humankind?


tweets during session:

In Great Silence: Eutopia and the Recovery of Hope – Solidarity Hall

‘when we scaled we invented hierarchy to manage’ @mbauwens

‘anything should be managed at the most local level’ -mbauwens

we have means to do that ginorm-small today (ie: 8b daily)

perhaps what freeman et al really meant/wanted

‘it isn’t commons unless it’s something produced collectively’ – mbauwens

because of our interconnectedness.. is anything not produced collectively..

‘commons only human institutions that have historically maintained resources’ – mbauwens

perhaps enough ness happens when we let go of any form of measuring/accounting

‘we see a very large action around commoning’ – mbauwens

great opp to make sure we’re not just creating more ‘tragedy of the non common

ostrom’s work’ – mbauwens

perhaps even her 8 perpetuates more ‘tragedy of the non common

‘what i see now is the 5th phase.. cosmo localism.. not just moving things but actually making things’ – mbauwens

the ecosystem is a commons’ – mbauwens

has to be everything (all of us) as ecosystem.. or we’ll just be spinning our wheels on more tragedyness

‘we spend 3x more energy to transport than to making.. so just by doing this we can save 75% of human footprint w/o losing anything’ – mbauwens

‘ie: cars only used 5% of the time.. can maintain transportation w/90% less steel.. also cheaper.. so more inclusive.. w/in our tech/org capacity’ – mbauwens

‘also need diff forms of consciousness.. need to see diff in of peter pogany – mbauwens

‘in that kind of accounting.. you don’t see ecosystems.. ‘ – mbauwens

perhaps we don’t see ecosystems in any type of accounting

‘can we integrate thermo dynamic systems with decisions we make’ – mbauwens

perhaps if we let go enough to just listen to 8b daily curiosities  ie: cure ios city

‘pogany: our societies are complex adaptive systems.. & only change thru chaotic transition’ – mbauwens

carhart-harris entropy law et al everyday

‘pogany says we are in a chaotic transition.. in midst of non linear change’ – mbauwens

great opp for non linear leap.. so that we can start having/enjoying chaotic changes everyday

‘we are moving in my view.. to a common centric society.. commoners have a chance to re create market/state that works for them’ – mbauwens

perhaps not deep enough (esp during the opp we are facing now – to virus leap)

one thing i appreciate about mbauwens work is the historical/spiritual imagination.. & finding things that seem like they have never happened before.. but have’ – ntnsndr

imagining we have means/opp to try something not yet tried ie: letting go of non commoning

‘(on) what hasn’t worked.. i’m concerned that things expected to work.. have not come to pass.. we need to recognize there have been deep flaws’ – ntnsndr

‘how to we do the work that tends to not be supported in these models.. what would be strong enough to resist’ – ntnsndr

ie: cure ios city

‘what formations are going to be strong enough to play that role’ – ntnsndr

ie: 2 convers as infra

‘i think this is a really critical moment for commoners to realized who really are our allies’ – ntnsndr

has to be all of us.. our it won’t work

ie: thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman

”community rule’ is an attempt to make it really easy to adopt governance rules’ – ntnsndr

imagining the energy we’d realize if we let go enough to let daily curiosity ‘rule’ ie: what we need most is the energy of 8b alive people

‘pogany says system we’re leaving was at cost of nature.. sees next as w/nature.. how do we translate that.. ie: thermo dynamic flows.. set coercive limits.. give nature a place at table’ – mbauwens

cost of nature because most of us are not us (whales in sea world)

‘problem w market is that we measure.. so don’t take into account things we can’t measure.. econ should serve common good.. let’s take that seriously’ – mbauwens

yeah.. seriously.. ie: let go of any form of measuring/accounting

‘we will judge you on how well you serve the common good’- mbauwens

enter tragedy of the non common ness

‘all economies are built on the commons.. so to get away from money measurement.. (move) toward judgment measurement informed by -but not reducible to – numbers’ – JohnMedaille

again – entering/perpetuating tragedy of the non common ness

‘are we trapped by history? are there things we can do to org to spread good seed forms’ – Don Feldman

ie: 2 convers as infra

that deep.. otherwise spinning our wheels w whales in sea world

‘sorokin’s integrative culture..need some kind of steady state..integ..i think we will need to go to very strong coercive structures..dangerous..what if we allow you to be creative..merge necessary coercion in sphere of liberty’ – mbauwens


necessary coercion?


‘(on) healing enough so people can get to commoning’ – Inez Aponte

let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence

ie: ubi as temp placebo.. (people thinking they have money when really just getting whatever they need)

‘i see debt jubilee as way to unite a lot of people.. bi is more controversial than that.. jubilee is a one time event that resets everything’ – mbauwens

‘via ghent 2017 – if you live in market system.. everyone for own private interest.. lack of reg very dangerous for commoning people’ – mbauwens

why it has to be all of us we’re tragedy ing.. if we don’t org for all of us

‘we can’t trust self reg of marketers.. w commoners it’s diff.. ‘ – mbauwens

but not really.. has to be all of us

‘need some kind of reg framework’ – mbauwens

ie: 2 convers as infra would wake people up to ie: knowing/desiring enough ness

‘if reg state is likely to be oppressive.. (need) another vision.. ie: barcelona city as platform’ – Elias Crim

ie: cure ios city


links shared in zoom chat:


post by elias crim april 2020: how to understand the great quiet we’re in:

We are all, in a way, Thoreau self-isolating in his cabin, with time for reflection.

that would be great.. and yeah.. maybe some are.. but too many aren’t in a safe (resourced by others) space.. and too many of the ones that are.. are being bombarded/suffocated by the supposed to’s.. of school/work.. moved online (ie: zoom mtgs all day et al)

While humans are in a great pause, nature is taking a breath.. Amidst great human suffering, with no discernible end in sight, we find ourselves — both the religious and those not — not merely in isolation but in something like an enforced silent retreat.

this is what we need.. and we can do better.. (than thinking ineq quarantine is enough).. ie: art (by day/light) and sleep (by night/dark) as re\set.. to fittingness

I offer two brief suggestions, two metaphorical options for understanding this silence.

One approach — especially for those who imagine themselves as practical-minded, etc. — is to take this moment as a glimpse of Eden, especially if anyone still harbors skepticism about the gravity of the climate crisis. Some have argued it’s simply an impossible dream to think of a world in which nature could not only return but be restored.

garden enough ness

The other approach — for the despairing greens among us — is to understand this moment as a glimpse of utopia (or better, eutopia*), especially if the events of recent years have damaged our ability to imagine new social realities.

Undeniably, this crisis is a dire warning about our lack of preparation and foresight in so many things. We are already hearing the cries urging us to go back to the Old Normal, the one that led up to these multiple catastrophes in the first place.

Our ability to withstand these powerful ideological forces may depend on the strength we’ve drawn during this moment of nature’s “reset.” Let’s use this time of silence well

ie: cure ios city

2 convers as infra (getting us back to silence retreats.. first thing.. everyday)

via tech as it could be..