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Great Lakes Commons

Part of our mission at On the Commons is to initiate and catalyze commons work. This has led us to become a collaborative incubator, providing initial funding and infrastructure, as well as staff and communications support to new commons projects, such as the Great Lakes Commons Initiative.

A growing network of leaders throughout the Great Lakes region has been tremendously helpful in advancing the Great Lakes Commons Initiative over the past year. And today we’re delighted to announce a new phase of development with the creation of a new website www.greatlakescommons.org. We encourage you to visit the site, and discover the many exciting ways to get involved.

Reflections from the Great Lakes Commons Gathering

October 24, 2012 | by On the Commons Team

Seeking to reclaim the Great Lakes as a commons, seventy visionary leaders came together this fall


Great Lakes Commons Map is a Tool for Building Awareness

September 3, 2013 | By Paul Baines

Paul Baines explains his crowdsourced project--and another way folks in Toronto are growing the movement

A Review of Shiney Varghese's "Water Governance for 21st Century"

April 25, 2013 | By Ana Micka

Lessons from Water Trading in the U.S. and Australia

Reclaiming the Great Lakes as a Commons

November 29, 2012 | By Alexa Bradley & Julie Ristau

A new approach to protecting water for everyone--including future generations

Tar Sands Threaten Environment a Thousand Miles Away

November 29, 2012 | By Emma Lui

As many as 17 oil refinery expansions are being considered around the Great Lakes

Words and Works from Great Lakes Gathering Participants

October 24, 2012 | By On the Commons Team

Read observations from Great Lakes gathering participants on the state of the Great Lakes and our time together

The Reemergence of Social Charters

October 24, 2012 | By On the Commons Team

Another tool for reclaiming the commons

Great Lakes Commons Initiative: A Game-Changing Plan

September 3, 2012 | By On the Commons Team

An effort to declare and live the Great Lakes as a commons, a protected bioregion and a public trust

What We Can Do to Protect the Great Lakes

September 1, 2012 | By On the Commons Team

Creating a commons charter to govern management of the lakes will protect the public interest

Fine Art Photographer Looks at the Human Dimension of Lake Michigan

August 29, 2012 | By Jessica Conrad

"My goal is to create a contemporary picture of the lake, and I can’t think of a better way than by showing the people who interact with it daily." — Kevin Miyazaki

Waterkeeper Alliance Declares Great Lakes a Shared Commons

May 25, 2012 | By Alexa Bradley & Jessica Conrad

A new resolution passed by the international organization founded and chaired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.


10 Water Commons Principles

July 11, 2012 | By Maude Barlow

A co-creative approach for protecting the planet's future

Participate in the Great Lakes Commons Initiative

April 24, 2013 | By On the Commons Team

An Update on the Great Lakes Tour

April 24, 2013 | By On the Commons Team

On the Commons, Council of Canadians, FLOW, and others travel to communities around the Great Lakes


April 24, 2013 | By On the Commons Team

Participate in our public art project and lend your voice to the Great Lakes Commons Charter

A Social Charter for the Great Lakes

April 24, 2013 | By On the Commons Team

. . . will help us define the future we want to create for the bioregion

The Great Lakes Commons Gathering

September 29, 2012 | By On the Commons Team

September 30th – October 2nd, 2012

Our Great Lakes Commons: A People’s Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever

May 2, 2012 | By Maude Barlow

Great Lakes Need Great Friends Tour: Calendar of Events

May 1, 2012 | By Council of Canadians

Pledge to Reclaim the Great Lakes as a Commons

January 1, 2012 | By On the Commons Team

Who will define the future of the Great Lakes? You will.

Reclaiming Our Great Lakes Commons

December 1, 2011 | By On the Commons Team

Briefing Summary