Mapping the Commons - from (t)here to here

(Placeholder to develop the report on BMDE and the importance of actual engagement in the territory.)

From here to there marks a linear progress from one determined point to another, and expresses the undetermined path that will develop into a roadmap to reach a specific goal, set in advance as a desirable objective. This expression is often used to engage in a road towards a quantifiable output, and tries to predict a set of discrete steps to follow in order to reach expectations. The resulting roadmap is brought forward to teams and funding institutions as a rational, comprehensive depiction of a deterministic bet on a future engineered to become the future.

Although roadmaps from here to there are very satisfying to the mind, reducing risk to a bearable minimum, they have to deal with many imponderables. Inherited from engineering approaches, roadmaps tend to work well in that context where machines must abide by the laws of physics. Our universe tends to favor ‘good enough’ assumptions, that with time and effort can help propel rockets to the stars in a pretty accurate and effective way. Strong of its success, technoscience amplifies its power over domains beyond its scope, by the virtue of its effective predictive power. But engineered solutions often lack insight into complexity, and roadmaps tend to hit unforeseen limits that, from an engineering perspective, amount to errors.

From (t)here to here tries to account for this complexity, and also for the fact that how predictable things might be, complex systems are not only things, they involve many trans-individual relations affecting each other in unexpected ways. Here, the (t) reminds us to consider the present situation as a hit-or-miss goal inherited from a past that didn’t play well along the lines of prediction. In retrospect, the oracle was wrong. The expression, turned around from its deterministic perspective, also insists on the importance of focusing not only on the expected goal, but more importantly on the actual path taken, of which the goal is but one step that will hopefully be taken.

Mapping the Commons is the stated goal of Dewey Maps, by a non-profit association in Belgium that nurtures a support network to local Press initiatives. If the original intent was to provide the local Press with yet unavailable information about the Commons, the cartography project of Dewey largely broke beyond a technical endeavor to venture into the network’s core competence : small-scale participatory democracy.

Because local Press is about informing the neighborhood, it’s a powerful tool to engage inhabitants and develop community ties. Following this lead, Dewey Maps creates an inventory of common resources that people can tap into and nurture themselves: the map is not the territory, but Dewey Maps proceeds from investing the territory and gathering inhabitants to explore, promote, defend, and organize the commons around them.

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Dewey ASBL

Translation of

Dewey is a support network to local Press initiatives. Active in the Brussels region, the network gave birth to three antennas (Dazibao in Saint Gilles, What For in Watermael-Boitsfort, and Ezelstad in Schaerbeek). These antennas are in(ter)dependent ; that is to say their fully autonomous in practice, while sharing contents (with Creative Commons licenses) and tools (free hardware and free software, etc.).

Dewey develops cartographic tools in Brussels and in Belgium. In 2015, the network launched a free software map called “Bruxelles, mode d’emploi” that gathers a large ensemble of local shared resource. Given the unexpected success of this tool, they decided to integrate it to the OpenStreetMap community (in collaboration with the Transition network) and to extend its use to other places in Belgium («Belgique, mode d’emploi» project).

Dewey plays a third role of «local action nursery». The association supports in particular local initiatives fostering the defense of common goods in the region of Brussels. In 2015, the association enabled launching the Latinis garden – on the Josaphat uncultivated land in Schaerbeek – and the food recuperation project Récup’Kitchen.

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Mapping the Commons

A Double+ Problem

Natural language is rid with blur. …

Four actually

  • Pixels ( in Ixelles

“the cartography project largely broke beyond a technical endeavor to venture into the network’s core competence : small-scale participatory democracy. Its aim is to enable the Brussels citizens to engage into local forms of production, exchange and communication, independently of the most institutionalized structures, like market-based and state-controlled institutions. To put it briefly : the map can guide citizens across local solidarity networks, and make them visible and valuable to the users.”

In collabotation with and “Réseau Transition”.

'tcheu, il est chouette ce commentaire :slight_smile:

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Can you describe it? How did it come to be?[quote=“mathieu, post:5, topic:118”]
small-scale participatory democracy

Can you tell us more about your vision?

  • Pixels was launched in june 2016 by a group a people related to the transition movement (“Ixelles en Transition”), and coordinated by Caroline Durieux.
  • Dazibao was created on year earlier by pMP* (Petite Maison du Peuple), a local association from Saint-Gilles interested in different forms of civic engagement
  • What For was created in january 2015 by a group from Watermael-Boitsfort, coordinated by Victor Wiard, a PhD student in communication science.
  • Ezelstad was created was created in march 2014 by one of Dewey’s co-founders, Mathieu Simonson

so four entities how does the unity between those independant structure function how do they communicate

Each of these 4 independent platforms signed the Dewey chart, with its 3 central principles …

  • small-scale information
  • pluralist information
  • constructive information

this is not a simple statement as ultimately citizens make the map that they use as a guide, is it the circularity of the process that contribute to its meaning.
The cartoparties also happen in places that are chosen for their engagement, it feels the cartography as an online plateform serves as a binding, a social media? is this true?

“solution-based information”

“might serve as a social media”