the Commons

(Currently: Headed to Cuba)
An inquiry into communities imagining and living economics differently

Equipped with a bicycle, a thirst for adventure, and an unrelenting hunch we can figure this out - how to live justly and compassionately with each other and nature - this is one woman's pursuit to understand, analyze and communicate what that future might look like.


The economy cannot grow infinitely. Likewise, capitalism, although afforded numerous chances, has yet to yield social and economic justice. It is time to start thinking about our next moves. Fortunately, the gears are already in motion - communities tucked in every corner of the globe are troubleshooting what's next.


Pedal south through Central and South America visiting, learning from, and writing about communities and projects that are exploring alternative modes of production to meet their collective needs.


The world becomes friendlier and more tractable when navigated by bicycle. Without exhaling CO2, this steel geared, companion, hauls my bedroom, kitchen, closet and entertainment across varied terrain. It also, has an uncanny knack for starting conversations, opening doors, and eliciting kinship across generations and cultures.


Fisheries, open source software, and the air are all examples of commons. At their core, commons require collective action. Non-excludable and rivalrous in nature, commons face “the free rider dilemma”. For example, one can receive the exclusive benefits of driving an atmosphere suffocating truck but suffer only a fraction of the damages. This is called the “tragedy of the commons”. Theoretically it is inevitable, empirically it’s hardly the rule. In 2009, for this observation and the resulting research, Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Cooperation is not a unicorn.


There are two key sections to this site. In the travelog expect to find a few adventure stories and in the commons, the good stuff :)


Como esta exploracíon es sobre lugares donde la gente habla Español me gustaría ofrecerla en Español y en Inglés. Pero hay que empezar de a poco, espero que el traductor de google sirva provisoriamente. En el caso de econtrar materiales secundarios que vengan orginalmente en Español, los dejaré así.

As this exploration wends through spanish speaking places I would like to offer it in Spanish and English. However, one has to start small, I hope google translate will suffice in the interim. I will leave supporting materials originally produced in Spanish in Spanish.