silke helfrich

silke helfrich.png

[jena, germany]


she’s ref’d on dif pages..[commoning.. re imagining value report.. andreas weber..commons..commons transition ] ..adding page as Michel shares this 8 min video (2017) on fb:

work w/commons institute in germany which is large group of people who think about a commons and think about how the idea of the commons transforms our way of being.. of living together

and i’m also w/commons strategies group

in a way we need to stop looking for definitions of the commons

as a notion/concept.. because.. in fact.. it’s not about the thing.. it’s another way of being in the world.. of thinking about the world.. of constantly reshaping and reconstructing the world..

1 min – we should better talk about commoning


commoning means.. being aware that plenty of resources.. we need to make a living.. don’t belong to individuals.. need to be shared with other people..

and that need.. to share resources.. requires skills of sharing.. of knowing how to do it.. of *managing sharing resources.. so commoning is about taking responsibility for common stewardship of **resources.. processes.. spaces.. and the time we have available together.. it’s a practice

*how about this: hlb that io dance

**as jumpstart (back to what i think is something already written on each heart.. how to common).. ibp ness

2 min – social practices that enable us to build a free .. fair.. and sustainable future..

merging 3 core ideas of political tradition: 1\ *freedom.. in relatedness to ourselves and in relation to others 2\ **equity.. we all need a fair share in this world.. at same time.. fair share is building a safer world..  3\ ***sustainability.. because we only borrowed this world from our grandchildren..

*free\dom – what will you do w/your free dom

**equity – everyone getting a go everyday


3 min – i think the political approach of the commons is to bring these three notions.. of usually diff political traditions .. together.. fairness (very socialist idea).. freedom (very liberal idea).. sustainability (very green idea)

4 min – empowering to see so many people all over europe working.. perhaps w/diff words/action/locations.. on a common agenda..

5 min – if we really want to challenge the political agenda.. which today is an agenda of .. enclosing the commons.. denying access to common resources to people.. of market funded mentalism.. w a consequence of raising nationalism.. i think that the dimension of the challenge that we have ahead is..

we need to flip the whole narrative..

indeed.. ie: a nother way..

so it’s not about doing an amendment of concrete laws *here and there.. it’s not about making another **policy proposal.. which will have tough times to get channeled thru to political institutions…

*as the day.. [aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]

**policy change..

it is about commonizing the way we do politics.. about rethinking politics/democracy

decision making.. et al because public consensus always oppresses someone..

disengage from irrelevants..

6 min – if it is rep democracy.. tied/locked into *extremely structured and unfree political processes..  then it’s pretty clear that what the commons needs the most… which is **conversation.. deliberation..  ***time/space for people to figure out how they can ****resolve their own problems.. in their very concrete contexts…

B.. et al

** 2 convos


****or not create them in first place.. ie: gershenfeld sel

so perhaps the most important thing *decision/policy makers can do for us is provide the support.. recognize.. our right of organization.. provide support/space/financing for opening spaces for a kind of liberative democracy.. where **people solve their own problems because they are the ones who know the situation best..

*why..  let’s not wait for permission ness..

**again.. think we can get past.. solving problems as our goal.. to.. doing our art.. as our day..

7 min – rethinking the fundamentals of policy making.. challenging the notion of rep democracy

whole idea of commons is..

raising awareness that uncommon people usually do uncommon things..  a sound message around the commons will be a *simple message around the commons.. **plain language that really ***speaks to people’s hearts

*deep/simple/open enough.. for all of us.. a simple message..

**a nother way book.. but not even a req.. rather.. graeber model law.. because.. idio begs to be our plain language..

***if deep enough.. don’t need to speak to heart.. already on each heart.. ie: maté basic needs ness..

8 min – sometimes it seems to me that we as commoners.. who try to theorize/conceptionalize.. and make sense of the complexity out there.. *aren’t able to speak that plain/simple language

again.. more about listening.. which tech can now do for us.. (eagle and condor ness) listen to all the voices.. everyday.. holmgren indigenous law..


Twitterverse I need your help. I’m looking for a verb, that describes the action of putting things into the world for the betterment of a group. Putting something into the ‘commons’. Commonise sounds right, but isn’t a typical word. Do you know something better?

Original Tweet:


‘commoning means.. being aware that plenty of resources.. we need to make a living.. don’t belong to individuals.. need to be shared with other people..’ @Commonify

@Clogish It’s a term from the #Commonsverse :-) #commoning, see: @monk51295 @FHdeBos @sebvandenbrink @Remco_Kouw @ConnieMaathuis @BlackandBloom @future_cheeks @Fuller_MelissaM @EarthDollar @ajgroen27 @Blauw @ronaldmulder

Original Tweet:

can’t get patterns of commoning in library or prospect.. closest i could come is david’s think like a commoner

@monk51295 @Clogish indeed, it’s called “commoning”; the term is attributed to Peter Linebaugh, but I am pretty sure he took it from historical texts/documents

Original Tweet:


free fair and alive (2018) – authored by david and silke – requested library to purchase

commons transition fb share

“This summer Guerrilla Translation has been entrusted with the honour of creating the Spanish version of the book “Free, Fair and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons” by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich. The book is an encyclopaedic treasure trove of all things Commons, and it is clearly a labour of love on the part of these two authors. The translation will be funded and published by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung as part of a larger campaign focusing on inclusive, commons advocacy beyond euro-centric perspectives.”

Learn more about the fascinating translating process of “Free, Fair and Alive” with this amazing article by Timothy McKeon.…/

‘Free, Fair and Alive:  The Insurgent Power  of the #Commons’. UCLan ICSC Public Seminar  & Book Launch with Silke Helfrich 17 Sept 2019  #ffa #4thecommons #ontoshift .@commonstransition
Original Tweet:


Silke Helfrich (@Commonify) tweeted at 2:47 AM on Mon, Oct 14, 2019:
That’s a good research question indeed! Reminds me of Denis Postle’s work and the close link of @commons_institut to Critical Psychology @davidbollier @mbauwens @_komenz @JoseLViveroPol  @Commons_Trans

perhaps it’s any form of measuring/accounting that gives us stress..

begs we keep commoning free of it


Maurizio Teli defines “The #commons and commoning as the affective infrastructure for non-capitalist politics.” at #commoningITU YEAH @davidbollier @Commons_Trans

Original Tweet:

begs we let go of any form of measuring/accounting

infra: 2 conversations


Silke Helfrich (@Commonify) tweeted at 5:06 AM on Fri, Nov 15, 2019:
„The problem of the #commons movement is, that it is just a movement and doesn‘t find a way to be structured. We need to be – all of us commoners – connected structurally at all levels.“ Ugo Mattei

2 convers as infra

and it has to be everyone or not legit commoning

find/follow Silke:

link twitter

Commons, P2P, fair&free future, passion&interconnectedness


oh no.. via michel bauwens fb share:

Dear friends,
Some of you will know of my long association with Silke Helfrich, with whom I co-founded the Commons Strategies Group, until we parted ways 2-3 years ago: she just passed away.
This is the gist of the message that I received by email:
<She had a tragic accident in the Liechtenstein Alps where she went for a walk before giving a talk for members of the CIPR. >
This is all I know for the moment, I will do a search for more details tomorrow afternoon, but if you see anything, please share it in the comments.
Silke first came into contact with the Commons in Mexico, as an employee of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. She teamed up with David Bollier and Michel Bauwens to form the Commons Strategies Group and translated works by Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom into German. She significantly shaped the Commons debate with her blog , numerous books and articles, lectures and workshops. In 2012 and 2015 she brought out anthologies on the subject of commons, in which she vividly presented and classified the global diversity and the multifaceted commonality of commoning.
Her most important work is also her most recent. In Free, Fair and Lively: The Power of the Commons”she created a process-philosophical theoretical basis inspired by Christopher Alexander. Using the pattern language of commoning, Silke formulated generalizable cores of concrete solutions for recurring challenges in joint action. These patterns can be used in practice, taking into account the respective context, and claim to also extend beyond the level of individual commons associations. They thus serve to deepen and broaden commoning. Some of the patterns will certainly remain inextricably linked with Silke’s name and her love of language, such as “aligning yourself in diversity”, “dealing with conflicts in a relational way” or “deciding in unison”



I am utterly bereft now that my dear friend and fellow-commoner Silke Helfrich @Commonify is gone. Here are some memories & reflections — my attempt to traverse the void:
Original Tweet:

We came to realize that the realities of commoning could not be expressed through the epistemology of property rights or by the premises of market “rationality” and individualism.

need: a means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature.. to get back/to the enough ness of common\ing


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b legit free people