Commons and humanitarian approach?

It is still a challenge to identify which commons can be shared in humanitarians actions…


During an interview with Michel Bauwens (founder of the P2P foundation, and author of numerous books and articles, specialists of commons), he recommended me to leave behind what I had been taught, in terms of organisations or processes, and to think in terms of commons. Indeed, as opposed to flows of goods or money, collaborative approaches are based around commons, whether knowledge (such as Wikipedia), or resources.

However, it is still a challenge to identify which commons can be shared in humanitarian actions.

It is clear that knowhow is key in many cases, will it be how to grow vegetables (as in the example given in HORIZONTAL LEARNING Engaging freedom’s possibilities, by Doug Reeler, 18 pages, 2005, or how to take care for former prostitutes, willing to find another way of living (to be published), or how to deal with mentalities using theater in Egypt (see ).

Logistic resources also seem an obvious possible topic, although they refer to much, from my point of view, to traditional humanitarian action, including delivery of goods or services, and to few involvement of local populations.

Well, this has still to be searched, possibly involving locals to avoid possible western bias…. To be followed.

Author: Olivier Lebel

Olivier Lebel's main interest is about collaborative approaches and humanitarian. OL is a specialist of non profit organisations, having spent 15 years serving them, for the French Red Cross (as deputy ED and ED), for the Catholic Church (as USG for the French Bishops Conference), and for Doctors of the World (as ED). He has also spent 15 years as manager in various private corporations, in building and security, water supply, or medical imaging. Olivier Lebel holds an MBA from INSEAD, and is engineer of Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Télécommunications.

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