Commons Engine
Commons Engine | Commoning
Commons Engine solves real-world problems through helping to generate commons-resource sharing organizations
Sharing Economy, P2P, The Commons, Mutual Credit, Asset-Backed Currency, Microtransactions, Holochain, CryptoCurrency
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What is the Commons?

The “Commons” or “commoning” is a social system for the stewardship of natural resources (like water and land) and shared assets (knowledge artifacts). Commoning expressly focuses on the dynamics of aligning resources, community, governance, and stewardship!


The Commons Engine attends to each of these ingredients, manifesting a fundamental change in thinking that reinvigorates work, politics, production, and care for each other and the Earth.

Our contributions to the future of commoning


We offer patterns and tools for implementing constellations of currencies. Monetary — as well as non-monetary — currencies are critical pieces of engaging and rewarding economies that foster trust and drive accountability. For example, they can…

  • enable micro-transactions to reward all project contributions (e.g. funding open-source software).
  • use demurrage to protect against hoarding.
  • involve portable, participant-controlled reputation metrics to signal shifts in ability and experience. 
  • mitigate risk through agreements to share costs of software components that benefit the commons.

We are now accepting participants into our Currency Design Master Class. Registration information can be found here.

Data Commons

Data Commons is a way to ensure fair and widely beneficial access to many data classes that help producers sense-make and align their efforts. In a sense, a “data commons” could encompass a broad and lofty dream of a “user” controlled Internet, unfettered by IP and even the owner/user hierarchy itself!

But in the context of the Commons Engine, data commons…

  • collect, catalogue, and secure access to data that help groups steer according to their values (e.g. to transition to regenerative agriculture practices).
  • elicit cooperation in tracking the provenance of data – even for data participants choose not to share.
  • involve more than data; also software and its development, necessary for mutualizing data collection and maintenance.
  • deepen participants’ relationships to their geographical and historical contexts.

We weave together unique packages of tried-and-true solutions to help producers and entrepreneurs move from economies of extraction to commons of p2p value sharing.

Building on Holochain
  • Uses open-source patterns to create a distributed application ecosystem that actually gets more efficient as it scales.
  • Optimized for building mutual credit currencies. Mutual credit is the simplest practice to avoid predatory bank loans; it uses peer-to-peer, asset-backed credit to widen access to wealth in communities.
  • Intended to make distributed applications accessible to the mainstream by providing hosting through a “sharing economy” style network called Holo.
  • Affords an opportunity to replace governance-from-above with scalable cooperative governance.