The platform of the Commons Cluster is outlined in the Jan 15 2013 NGO thematic consultation submission proposing that the UN "Adopt The Commons Approach at All Levels Of Government and Throughout Society to Achieve Real Sustainability goals and MDG Development"*
We advocate for and provide services to communities that organize themselves as commons on how to work internally and how to work with external stakeholders as partners sharing a common environment. Communicating internally is hard enough, but with external stakeholders you'r often dealing with other communities that expect the world to work by their own internal practices, and so have different languages and expectations.
Because there are numerous kinds of natural examples, including those of indigenous peoples acting in partnership with their environments, there are richly varied examples to learn from and emulate. The most familiar are our own communities, in which different roles evolve for people to take and work together as a whole, as also occurs in any business as the employees learn to do different things to work together as a team. It's seeking that "organic fit" of different parts working as a whole that appears deceptively simple when studying the smooth ways natural system designs work, as we also see in the complexly differentiated roles of cells in our own bodies. It's not random trial and error, but creative experimentation with fitting differences together that does it, adaptive response and ecological entrepreneurship.
Jessie Lydia Henshaw
Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs