Civil Ecology Enterprise Networks

The new form of private ownership held in common

What are Commons Societies?

  • New legal business structures that facilitate an evolution beyond individual social enterprises
  • Not merely a group of social enterprises working under single ownership
  • But an innovative collaborative structure that facilitates new levels of efficacy and relatedness leveraging economic and civil value – even for those not directly involved
  • Allowing entrepreneurial freedom to flourish whilst facilitating an economy for the common good

The first example of this new structure is the Elysia Commons Society

Whilst sharing common aims Social Enterprises and Commons Societies are distinct one from the other

Social Enterprise & Commons Societies

  • Social Enterprise is a significant response to creating responsible business that balances individual and community needs
  • Social Enterprises and Commons Societies are aligned in their intentions and values
  • Holding wider context and commons values in their aims and actions e.g. in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability

Single vs. Multiple Generative Streams

  • A Social Enterprise can be thought of as a single ‘stream’, a dynamic and adaptive flow of values in action
  • A Commons Society is a series of such streams interwoven by the cross linking of organizational entities
  • Social enterprise is able to respond to the socio-cultural context in which it sits. However, a Commons Society is able to generate an internal cultural environment and domestic economy within its structural network of relationships. Thereby additional shared value is leveraged through enhanced collaboration
  • Like a city or a bee hive, it is possible to conceive of successful civil ecology networks as a single entity – as a purposeful society

Like a bee hive, a civil ecology network can be seen as a single entity – a purposeful society

Managing complexity to deliver better decision making

Leveraging Added Value

  • The networked Commons Corporation is more complex
  • Complexity enhances the capacity for adaptability, responsiveness and resilience
  • Every organization in the Commons Society is operating directly in society as a whole
  • However, like an outlying archipelago, the Commons Society stretches around them providing protection from the waves and wind.
  • There is more time to think
  • There is more data available
  • There is more time and resources available to work out the best course of action ( See “Eyes Wide Open” by economist Noreena Hertz)
  • However, purpose is aligned and protected, so motives are never split and decision making is simplified


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