Distributing power – the underlying conceptual insight for the Commons Corporation

The hypothesis driving our project is that if power is truly shared then the natural capacity of people to collaborate can be relied on to ensure success.
Power attracts fear and desire – ultimate accountability rests with the top boss in any system. National politicians must claim to be powerful, must accept accountability, otherwise they aren’t attractive. Yet the power they then wield is corrupting and distorting because it is so wide. Similarly, the Boards of large organisations have power beyond their capacity to provide meaningful accountability (just look at Volkswagen!).
Yet a risk must be taken if power is to be truly shared for accountability and ultimate arbitration must remain local with no higher recourse, apart from if laws are broken, however as well as risk there is potential for reward, and that reward is a real opportunity for human beings to flourish in meaningful smaller scale communities.
We have, in the UK, a legal framework established with good intent. That is a good start. Then, the Commons Corporation has its own constitution and regulations that orientate the system towards a collaborative approach.
Therefore, in the Commons Corporation, almost all power is irrevocably delegated to the managers of the organisations with only “structural” powers being retained to protect the cohesion of the system.
Like in a living eco-system, the Commons Corporation naturally grows but is self-regulating because real financial and political power is positively deployed in each self-determining component. That power cannot concentrate in an unhealthy way.

Sebastian Parsons

Social entrepreneur: Designed and founded the Elysia Commons. Co-founded and leads Stockwood Community Benefit Society Ltd. Worked in and led charities such as The Biodynamic Agricultural Association and The English Symphony Orchestra. Business man: runs Liv.co.uk - the ethical online department store. Built the Dr.Hauschka brand in the UK.