A project to explore how the commons transform public action in Europe
The partners of the project

La 27e Région

La 27e Région conducts action-research programs to test new innovative methods for designing public policy involving all public stakeholders. To this end, it mobilizes the capabilities of multi-disciplinary teams composed of designers, idea generators, and social scientists from many fields (ethnography, sociology, participant observation) and engages in ground-level actions (do-it-yourself projects, adult education actions, etc.). Both these approaches prioritize the concrete experience of users, civil servants and citizens to serve as the starting point for re-examining public policy. In 2015, La 27e Région started reflections on the potential impact of ‘commons’ on public action.


ANIS is a platform for various projects and collectives related to commons and collaborative digital. The organization hosts the Catalyst Collective, a research and experimentation laboratory in which the Maker’s movement, the assembly of commons, the network of Third Places and questions on the retribution of shared resources have emerged. Theses researches have also led to the creation of open cooperatives in neighborhoods’ center, enabling vulnerable people to train and conduct meaningful economic activity.

The city of Brest

Brest is a pilot city in the consideration of commons by the public sector. The culture of digital commons has been politically supported for many years. The city is willing to promote the appropriation of commons on its territory through many actions: organization of events, networking, support for local projects, etc. Since 2009, the City of Brest has organized ‘Brest in commons’: 2 weeks of initiatives and events to highlight all the actors who take into account the notion of commons within their projects.


Created in 2007 and based in the Paris region, the CAE CLARA (Link Cooperative of Activities and Artistic Resources) is an Activities and Employment Cooperative which offers a legal framework and an administrative support to facilitate the development and the implementation of job-creating activities. The cooperative brings more than 130 entrepreneurs together. The CAE model participates in new models of entrepreneurship and allows everyone to undertake while sharing the common needs of any entrepreneur.

Esopa Productions is one of the brand names that has been developed within CAE CLARA and it will be a partner on this project. Esopa is helping creations in non-dedicated places, stimulating debates in public spaces and participating in action-research and transversal projects, addressing in particular the question of public space. Esopa also develops the workshops of the collective ’Et si on prenait l’air(e)?’ which is its laboratory of reflection and experimentation. The workshops take the form of a meeting platform between artists, local government officers, urban planners and architects to think about the issue of urban commons and issues related to the transformation of the city.

La Ville de Grenoble

Grenoble, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, is a transition city of 160,000 inhabitants, which is a candidate for the European Green Capital Label. Within the municipal organization with nearly 3,000 employees, the ‘commons’ direction, which is attached to the management consulting mission, aims to support managerial and organizational transitions to better integrate the reality of commons.

In Grenoble, more and more initiatives are emerging on this issue (temporary use and ephemeral urban planning, common energy, open data, assembly of commons, …) while the City is committed to develop many experiments with citizen participation and social innovation. The debate with the citizens commits Grenoble in its future, around major issues: global warming, digital revolution, development of the collaborative economy, quality of use of housing, new solidarities, new services, etc. The commons have their place in these perspectives.

Métropole Européenne de Lille

The Lille European Metropolis brings together 90 municipalities and more than one million inhabitants in a territory that is both rural and urban, made up of big cities and villages. Aware of the challenges of public policies, the MEL strives to strengthen the position of citizens and to develop a culture of collaboration and public innovation in its metropolitan project. This process of transformation in the way public policies are conceived is also part of her appointment by the World Design Organization (WDO) as the world’s 2020 design capital. It is in this context that she has initiated work on commons and public action.


Created in 2016, POP is made up of social enterprises that play a role in digital social innovation and are located in the Hauts-de-France region. POP Up is the support agency for the digital and collaborative transition of the POP group. It supports individuals, communities, organizations, and territories in the social, economic and ecological transition. POP also trains and empowers them to act on their environment through the development of digital uses and collaborative practices, acculturation to open innovation methods and design.


Since 2012, SavoirsCom1 has been leading a multidisciplinary collective of more than 100 members from diverse backgrounds: librarians, journalists, teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, etc. The objective of the collective is to make the elected representative, the public decision-makers and all the local actors aware of the challenges of knowledge commons, and to act for appropriate public policies. Placing public policies under the sign of the commons means guaranteeing the interoperability, readability, appropriability and the quotability of the commons of knowledge, and contribute to the development of an information culture that can foster the development of knowledge and learning. Therefore, the goal is to protect over time a resource and the rules established by the community that shares it.

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