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The Periscope

Curing Ignorance Through the Lens

The First Commons Country


Ecuador is making strides towards becoming a post-capitalist society.

While a few companies have opened up to post-capitalist ideas such as open source patents, Ecuador is the first and so far only country to embrace moving towards a holistically commons-based framework. The FLOK Society (which stands for free, libre, open knowledge) was founded in conjunction with the government, with the intention of opening up education, technology, and civil society so that everyone has access and is a part of these resources. Other initiatives relate to sustainability and the arts. Underpinning this idea is the belief that the neoliberal model in Ecuador has exploited its people and resources and that a new model needs to take its place. The commons model that is being established pays particular attention to indigenous groups. Many of these communities have been hurt by ‘biopiracy’ from scientists and pharmaceutical companies, so the FLOK Society is working to implement Commons-Based Reciprocity Licensing.

Michel Bauwens, creator of the P2P Foundation was brought on as the Research Director and says, “To work for a sustainable society and economy is absolutely crucial for the future of humanity, and while we respect the freedoms of people to engage in market dynamics for the allocation of rival goods, we cannot afford a system of infinite growth and scarcity engineering, which is what capitalism is.” Bauwens explains more here:

Photo by M+M Photographers, licensed under Creative Commons.