THE COMMONS SOCIETY – Enlivening & Resourcing Communities & Nature

The Commons Society is a regenerative architecture of ownership, finance and distribution, which at scale generates a stable, sustainable, fairer economy without government intervention or change in the rules of exchange. Its whole-system, game-changing synergetic structure generates Common Wealth out of the dysfunction of the capitalist market and bestows sovereignty on its communities by changing the rules of the economic game from within.

The Commons Society ownership design limits the degree to which capital can accumulatie and concentrate in one single place. This is firstly because wealth, as it is created, is spent in ways that create virtuous circules of transformation. It is also because the organisational units (eg companies) are not traded within the Commons Society which means the biggest and richest cannot simply buy smaller competitors.

Surplus wealth created by corporations is traditionally distributed to share holders. In the Commons Society the dividends are paid to the Commons Society which then distributes them according to the rules of its governance. 10% is retained for administration then 30% is paid back to the co-workers that made the surplus, 30% is re-invested in the economy of the Commons Society, and finally 30% is spent the civil aspects of the Commons Society, eg health, education, conservation and the arts.
In this way the Commons Capital is used to drive three virtuous circles of positive social transformation.

Because the surplus from the corporations is being shared into the Commons Society for the benefit of all the consequence of every co-workers activity is positive for everyone. This means that whatever the task being done, each person’s success is not just good for them, but it is good for all. The Commons Society is a community of endeavour where all work is meaningful and there is shared purpose.

The Commons Society is a new mutual model of finance, ownership and distribution for a regenerative economy

In the 19th century social innovators established Provident or Building Societies so that ordinary people could buy and own their own homes. In the 21st century, Commons Societies will enable communities to own companies and create a more sustainable, fairer economic system by investing in the human and natural Commons. Please read our website and support us in building the first Commons Society!

We just need to re-configure what already exists

A Commons Society takes for-profit companies out of the short-term shareholder-value ecosystem into one that delivers fairness and community wealth as a matter of course.

Today, when an economic enterprise is successful, the fruits of that success flow disproportionately to those with capital. This is the core reason why we have ended up concentrating wealth amongst the very few at the expense of the many.

Stock markets were conceived to fund enterprise and they still can do that. But mostly they are a betting casino of secondary share trading and have very little to do with the real needs of the companies who are listed on them.

Imagine if for example the entrepreneur could be rewarded as they exit their ownership and thereafter the corporation’s success continues in perpetuity to benefit the community through the products and services it provides but also by sharing its profit.

A Commons Society ( like a building society) provides the framework to achieve this, at scale, and with a legal structure that uses well-known legal instruments in a new arrangement.

  1. Profit is shared with the community wisely
  2. Power is fully vested in the management of the organisation
  3. There is transparency throughout the system
  4. All co-workers may belong to the Commons Society, which is democratically governed

Building the first Commons Society

We have a 3 step path to take Elysia, the first Commons Society, to scale:

  1. Raise £10,000 for the creation of the constitution and registration with the Charity Commission.
  2. Raise £200,000 to develop a partnership with the capability, credibility and expertise to raise:
  3. £20,000,000 to build the economic engine to demonstrate the Commons Society for real.

This film was created during our journey as we tried to encapsulate the potential of the Commons Society. We are currently in the process of producing a professional animation to  show how a Commons Society can work.

Join the Commons Society Association

The Commons Society Association carries the impulse of the Commons Society, it is the home of the idea.  If you would like to support then please join us – or make a donation.  We are fundraising £10,000 to create and register the first Commons Society constitution for Elysia – the first Commons Society.

The Commons Society

  • Opens up a new space between public and private ownership – which is regenerative of human and natural capital
  • Builds a community wealth management system that invests in people and nature
  • Introduces a new systemic logic into the market that is not solely dependent on the goodwill of individuals

Our vision is to create at least one Commons Society in every region of the UK and beyond! We have recently applied for the Buckminster Fuller Prize 2016 for a whole systems solution that can help “make the world work for 100% of humanity..without ecological offense or disadvantage to anyone”.
Projections show that a network of commons societies of this kind can develop a parallel new economy of significant size within the existing system creating a mutualized zone within the ‘free’ market that shares wealth in a completely different way. Hence our focus is not only the mutualization of individual enterprises but building towards the systemic mutualization of a zone within the market, independent of banks, shareholders and government.
Please explore our website to find out about this new model of regenerative ownership , how it works and how you could get involved. Or download a copy of our flier – here. Our long term aspiration is to see Commons Societies in every region of the UK, Europe and beyond.

Stockwood Community Benefit Society

This film is about one of the founding projects of the Elysia Commons Society that demonstrates our values and capabilities. It was made by the Community Shares Unit and explains about how the Stockwood Community Benefit Society that put a rural business park and 150 acre organic farm into trust in a £2.6 million deal (

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