for a Commons Transition

We help people, organizations and governments transition towards open knowledge, commons-based approaches to society

The Commons Transition Consulting Group is a team of Commons and P2P-oriented researchers with new approaches to policy design and societal solutions. We help governments (national, regional, municipal) navigate the shift towards more decentralized models of organization inside and outside of government. We believe that this will not only lead to greater efficiency and reduced government spending, but also pave the way to a more engaged citizenry.

Our services

We offer short format workshops (1 or 2 day) as well as longer term strategic engagements

Policy Design

Learn through case-studies and practice how to create and apply policies that introduce open, commons-oriented and open source state logic.

Participatory Processes

Discover how to involve citizens in governing through participatory processes, participatory budgeting, open space methodologies and more.

Cooperative Social Services

Explore how local co-operatives can develop multi-stakeholder community oriented services while changing the logic of how people work together.

Understanding peer production

Learn how you can benefit and facilitate this new way of individuals or groups creating value together. Find out how to harness peer production to enable people to build the next Wikipedia or Linux.

Design Globally, Manufacture Locally

Discover how open design can lead to practices such as open farming technologies and the 3D printing of tools and objects, reducing transportation costs and creating resilient communities.

Reintroducing The Commons

Learn how creating shared resources and the legal structures that protect them can set the conditions for sustainable businesses, environments, and cities in order to help people flourish.

Our Experience

The Commons Transition Team has worked with governments, regions and municipalities including Ecuador, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Greece and Spain.


Ecuador: Towards an
Open Knowledge Society

16 Policy proposals for Ecuadorian government exploring what their state might look like if they adopted an open source, commons-based approach to their society.


Italy: Social Solidarity

Experience-based policy ideas for the reform of public services through the adoption of user-controlled models of service design and delivery. Strategies for multi-stakeholder models of government/community partnerships and the rise of social co-operatives.


Greece: Technological Openess and Development

Commissioned to research and coordinate public policy proposals aimed at the development of post-capitalist growth models based on technological openness for Syriza.

Our People

  • Testimonial

    Michel Bauwens

    Head of Research

    About Michel Bauwens

    Michel Bauwens is the founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. He is a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group, with Silke Helfrich and David Bollier, organizing major global conferences on the commons and its economics. In the first semester of 2014, Michel Bauwens was research director of the research group, which produced the first integrated Commons Transition Plan for the government of Ecuador, in order to create a ‘social knowledge economy’, with fifteen associated policy papers.

  • Testimonial

    John Restakis

    Researcher: Cooperative-Commons Convergence, Civil Society

    About John Restakis

    John Restakis is a pioneer in the introduction of social co-ops to Canada and the US, and has provided research and policy advice on social co-ops as a civil model for the design and delivery of public services for governments in British Columbia, Ecuador, Wales, and Greece. He has provided training and policy development on the social co-operative model developed in Italy for over 20 years

    In addition to his role within the co-op movement, he researches and teaches on co-operative economies and the social economy, and lectures widely on the subject of globalization, regional development and alternative economics. His professional background also includes community organizing, adult and popular education.

  • Testimonial

    George Dafermos

    Researcher: Commons-oriented Productive Capacities

    About George Dafermos

    George Dafermos is an Internet researcher and copyleft activist affiliated with the P2P Foundation. He holds a PhD in Technology Policy and Management from Delft University of Technology and is an internationally recognised expert on issues related to the digital commons, peer production, open/user innovation, online communities and new organisational structures enabled by the Internet. His personal website is accessible here.

  • Testimonial

    Janice Figueiredo

    Researcher: Commons Infrastructure for Collective Life

    About Janice Figueiredo

    Janice Figueiredo is a Brazilian commons activist. She worked for 20 years at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), primarily as IT Project Manager in Washington, DC, USA, where she led the development of institutional IT projects in a multi-cultural environment, and audited the IT activities of several Latin-American Country Offices of the institution. From 1997 until 2009 she was in charge of the Information Technology activities of IADB’s Office in Europe (based in Paris).

    Since 2009 she has directed her research toward areas of collective intelligence, collaborative movements, P2P dynamics, the Commons, the open and sharing society, social business, complementary currencies, sustainable development and poverty reduction, with particular interest in exploring alternative models to the conventional economic paradigms based on centralization and scarcity.


  • Testimonial

    Vasilis Kostakis

    Researcher: Commons-oriented Techno-social Infrastructures

    About Vasilis Kostakis

    Vasilis Kostakis is Senior Research Fellow at the Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. He is also Founder of the interdisciplinary research hub P2P Lab​ and longtime collaborator of the P2P Foundation. Kostakis publishes and consults governments and organisations on the political economy of the commons; technology governance; innovation policy and sustainability; desktop manufacturing; digital currencies; and constructionist learning. His work combines theoretical sensitivity with action research and fieldwork, aiming at understanding phenomena from an insider’s perspective.

  • Testimonial
    Rachel O'Dwyer / Lecturer, Digital Media Scholar,

    The commons transition project draws together vital research, practices and proposals for enacting forms of commons-based production on a transnational scale. It traces a blueprint for how we might collectively produce new vocabularies, politics and policies for social emancipation going forward.

  • Testimonial
    Primavera De Filippi / Legal researcher on distributed online architectures , Berkman Center for Internet and Society

    The Commons Transitions constitutes a possible shift from a traditional, capitalist society based on the notions of “ownership” and “exclusivity” towards the establishment of a modern Commons-based society based on the notions of “access” and “sharing”.

  • Testimonial
    Neal Gorenflo, Co-founder, Shareable

    Commons Transition has a direction that's close to my heart, to explore pathways to a commons-based society in which ordinary people take on the joys and challenges of charting their own destinies together in every sphere of life.

Our Clients

Get in touch with us

Feel free to send us a message through the form below, we are happy to talk you through what we do and how it might apply to your areas of interest.

Contact Address

Realengracht 196
1013 AV Amsterdam

Office Hours

9-00 am to 6pm
Monday to Friday






Partner StatePolicy DesignParticipatory Processes
Cooperative Social ServicesPeer Production
Global Design, Local ManufactureThe Commons

CT platform

The Commons Transition Consulting Group is a part of The Commons Transition Platform, a database of practical experiences and policy proposals aimed toward achieving a more humane and environmentally grounded modes of societal organization.

Image Credits: “Panorama” by Mike Photo Art, “Frankfurt Main Panorama” by tausend und eins fotografie, “Colori di Bologna” by Martina, “Athènes – Plaka – 19-03-2007 – 7h37” by Panoramas. (CC BY-ND). Image of Michel Bauwens at OuishareFest 2013(CC BY-NC-ND), courtesy of Stefano Borghi, used with permission,