Welcome to the Commons social change library!
The Commons vision is an Australia that has well informed, skilled, collaborative and effective movements for social and ecological justice.
This online library is a space for education and learning. Our collections include articles, manuals, training materials and practical guides to inform and equip you to influence public policy and engage in political structures.
We gather the best campaigning and organising resources from Australia and around the world.
Our work includes:
- monitoring needs and emerging trends;
- encouraging people to share their knowledge with each other by contributing to the library’s collections;
- connecting people with the knowledge that will enrich their work; and
- amplifying existing capacity building endeavours.
The Commons is an Australian initiative with global inputs and ripples.
The Commons pays respects to the traditional owners of the land in which we operate and wherever this site is accessed. We recognise the central importance of struggles for Indigenous self-determination and justice within the broad project of creating a progressive future.
Why the Commons?
The name ‘the Commons’ references the common good, the shared property of all people. The Wikipedia entry on the commons states:
The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. Commons can also be understood as natural resources that groups of people (communities, user groups) manage for individual and collective benefit.
We view the collective intelligence of people as part of the commons so we gather and share the best thinking of people involved in social change to support future action.
Guided by this concept the Commons:
- Is free of cost to use and does not operate for profit
- Is equitable, inclusive and accessible
- Aims to be beneficial to many
- Reflects inputs from many
- Has a culture that celebrates cooperation and collaboration
The Commons is committed to being accessible to the breadth of the Australian public. We aim to overcome barriers to access including those related to ability, education levels, language, income, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and any other oppression or systemic disadvantage. Contact us if you have feedback about making the Commons more accessible.
Please note that all additions of materials to the Commons Library have been made with good will, with the intention of appropriate acknowledgement and respect for licenses. If you have any concerns about the inclusion or presentation of materials on the Commons please contact us to discuss.
For more information about the Commons Library Limited or any of our resources or projects, please contact a Librarian.
About the Librarians
Holly Hammond is the Commons Library Director. Holly brings over 25 years of social change experience to this role, with almost 15 of those years spent supporting movements to be more effective through training, facilitation and coaching. An important aspect of her work has been writing, sourcing, editing and distributing articles and educational resources. You’ll find several of Holly’s resources in the Plan to Win and Plan to Thrive collections on the Commons.
Holly Hammond has developed this latest iteration of the Commons in collaboration with Aurora Adams, India Prior and Antje Dun. We have built on the work of former Commons librarians Justin Whelan and Michael Poland. The website has been developed by Glenn Todd from Dvize.
We appreciate all of the contributors who are filling the Commons Library virtual shelves, including founding collections from OPEN, Mobilisation Lab, the Change Agency, Australian Progress, ChangeMakers, Original Power, Plan to Win and Plan to Thrive.