A modular approach of a project development process based on a protocol of 8 patterns

The School of Commons is  a poly-centric peer learning network sharing and developing practical tools for commoning. If you want to set up your own school, please contact us by mail: marieke@timelab.org

There is an uncountable amount of tool sets, cookbooks, guidelines, transition plans and manuals for transition. These very rich platforms of instruments try to develop a global and shared empirical research that can support local communities and governments to develop a path for transition towards a more sustainable, healthy and balanced future. Through sharing experiences, local initiatives develop in a decentralised, resilient way. But why should we create another platform with more tools? What does this add to the ones that are already there? We don’t need extra tools or platforms. We need a protocol for a decentralised and resilient development for sharing practical research and knowledge on commons. Above all based on the work already done by so many people around the world.

The School of Commons adds 6 specific insights to the existing platforms and tries to establish a sustainable protocol for sharing through practical research.

  1. it organises the open source tools into a non-linear, modular plan based on 8 patterns
  2. it evaluates and adapts existing open source tools with a specific focus in creating commons
  3. it creates a protocol for poly-centric knowledge centers
  4. it adds a peer review, inter-vision and train the trainer through an international network of coaches
  5. the initial protocol of 8 patterns is to be further developed en improved through application in other cultural contexts
  6. the knowledge exchange though the network it opens up cultural and context specific differences


Based on analysis of different urban commons experiments all over the world, a protocol of 8 patterns emerged. The patterns focus on the key elements of changes transforming our city into enabling platforms for a systainable, social, collaborative and circular ecosystem.