A year and a half ago, On The Commons brought 70 people together from around the Great Lakes bioregion to explore how a commons approach might help us create a life giving future for our Lakes. Since then, the Great Lakes Commons has continued to come to life in many ways, with a growing network of people taking up this emerging initiative and finding ways to contribute. There are educators and academics bringing commons principles into their classrooms and scholarship; there are artists inviting communities to explore their relationship to water; there are new alliances and links between communities and issue campaigns; there are local projects that assert a new (and very old) water ethic of responsibility to and for water and there is a renewed interest in the commons-oriented legal strategies contained in public trust doctrine and treaty rights.
Excitingly Great Lakes Commons has also hosted the collaborative development of a social charter for our Lakes, involving leaders from various communities, US, Canadian and First Nations. We now have a draft Declaration for that Charter and are seeking broad community support and responses. We want to inspire a new public discussion – one that explores and helps define the principles we feel should guide Great Lakes water governance - and one that activates commons leadership everywhere in the bioregion. We are launching the Charter over the next month.
Be part of this new story – Our Great Lakes Commons rising. This work needs an active and engaged community. Here are some ways to :
- Watch our new video about the Great Lakes Commons and share it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTBVZDZBbdw
- Read the Social Charter Declaration, sign on your support and add your thoughts on the principles – www.greatlakescommons.org
- Add your images, video or story about “commoning” the Lakes to the collaborative map www.greatlakescommonsmap.org
- Help us illustrate and illuminate the Great Lakes Commons by sharing your art, writing and other creative work in our website gallery
- Join and participate in our new 'collaboratory' (collaboration + laboratory) where we can keep this cross-border exchange going in our member forums: http://www.meetup.com/Great_Lakes_Commons/