On the Commons


2104 Stevens Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN55404
United States
Organization Type: 
Arts Organization
Programs and Services: 

On the Commons (OTC) is a commons movement strategy center founded in 2001. Our purpose is to activate the emergence of a commons-based society by:

  • Building and bringing visibility to the commons movement.
  • Initiating and catalyzing commons work that focuses on commons-based solutions.
  • Developing and encouraging commons leadership.

Over the past eleven years, we have initiated successful co-creative projects and innovative strategies for protecting our essential commons, such as water, food, farmland, and seeds; showcased commons-based solutions on a local and national level; and inspired commons activists to make a difference in their communities and the world.


The Need for New Ways of Working

On the Commons strives to match the way we work with our worldview and vision for a commons-based society. We feel that building genuine, egalitarian collaboration requires that we shed competitive, hierarchical, and enclosed ways of operating and challenge ourselves to approach our relationships with each other, as well as our work in the world, as reflective of a deep commons practice. To this end, we are a network-based, hybrid organization. We have a leadership team in the field, a small board of directors, and co-directors that manage our general operations. We resource our work in a variety of ways including foundation grants, sustaining donors, consulting, and fee for service work.

Our efforts to build an organization and organizing approach that is aligned with our worldview is not only vital to On the Commons. We also see a commons-based structure and approach as vital to the future of social change work.