October 7, 2018


Note: il existe une version en français.


This document is edited collectively as part of the IN COMMON Collective Conversation.

This is version 1.0.0 of the In Common Charter. See version history.

The ongoing conversation about this Charter is open to all!


The IN COMMON Charter defines technical, collective and political orientations of the IN COMMON project, as well as the conditions by which resources can enter the public collection of the project. The Charter is based on the principles set forth in the Mapping for the Commons Manifesto, and summarizes them into 5 principles.


I. Aim for the Common Good

IN COMMON serves to document the Commons and commoning and to federate communities undertaking their promotion and defense. This documentation effort is founded on a work of human geography.
Are considered “commoning collectives” all collectives that respect the 4 fundamental principles of Social Economy:

  1. A social purpose to serve the community (in contrast with profit)
  2. Management autonomy: the collective is self-operated, following its own rules, and has a high degree of independence from subsidizing powers and market powers.
  3. A democratic decision process: members of the collective have a right of control over the management of the association, and take an active part in decisions that concern them (“one person, one voice”).
  4. Primacy of labor over capital:

    “The formulation of this principle covers a wide range of practices within social economy organizations: use of surpluses for the development of the activity, limited remuneration of capital, limitation or absence of capital gains when transferring shares of capital, improvement of remuneration and working conditions, distribution of all or part of the profits between associate members (users or workers) in the form of rebates or other advantages, setting aside for future investments, allocation to other social projects, etc.” (see: ConcertES)

II. Independence

IN COMMON must ensure that the communities concerned produce and update the data themselves. To do this, IN COMMON must multiply the moments of consultation that will allow the communities concerned (commoners) to agree on the method and objectives to be pursued, to stay on course.

IN COMMON will pursue self-hosting the project’s infrastructure, using and producing free software and open data.

III. Interdependence

To avoid becoming an island and isolated initiative, IN COMMON must adopt open taxonomies and share data in order to share them and ensure a form of interoperability between different citizen mapping systems: locally they are maps such as Dewey Maps, the RCR or GASAP map, and globally they are initiatives such as OpenStreetMap, Transformap, Communecter and Civics.

IN COMMON will collaborate with these and similar projects and use free software licenses and open data license that promote the autonomy of the Commons.

IV. Free Information

IN COMMON must maintain the free and documented code (publicly available via git, and licensed under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL)) and open access content (under the Open Database License (ODbL), and Creative Commons licenses (e.g., CC-BY-SA), and via our public API). Users must use copyright (and copyleft!) and author’s rights whenever necessary to assert the right of all to reuse collectively maintained contents.

V. Transparency

In order to preserve users’ trust in this data sharing work, IN COMMON will have to keep track of the map creation process, offer users a right of control over the process, and allow them to access the archives (code repositories, wiki, Discourse).

Identify, Promote & Defend the Commons

The Commons are under threat everywhere on earth, from pollution to mega-projects, genocides and war, institutional inertia and corruption, greed and incompetence.

Identification of the Commons

IN COMMON will keep the conversation open as to what is considered a Commons, and the extent of power asymmetry with regard to predatory behaviors against citizen participation and local use. It is our duty to assert the existence of the Commons, in order to recognize threats and opportunities alike.

Promotion of the Commons

IN COMMON software and collective, and sister projects, help with making visible what all of us share, and – by the principle of interdependence – are responsible for. Making visible what is common and how these commons evolve is an important part in devising adequate institutional arrangements to manage the Commons collectively and take responsibility for their preservation.

Defense of the Commons

IN COMMON has vocation to facilitate the work of commoners in struggle to defend the Commons wherever they are, and whatever the threat they face: climate change, access to water and food, aggressive land grab and enclosure, threats to self-determination, etc.


The following persons and groups undertake to support the IN COMMON project for the identification, promotion and defense of the Commons and adhere to the present Charter.

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