An approach to doing, being, thinking and living that starts from the assumption that there is “more than enough” for all life to thrive on earth. As P2P theorist Michel Bauwens notes: we humans have it exactly the wrong way around. We treat our finite and precious Earth resources, the material realm, as limitless and endless, and the infinitely abundant realm of “mind” as scarce; controlling ideas and culture as scarce commodities, property to be “owned”.


A set of methods and methodologies originating from software development which supports teams to work more effectively and efficiently through collaborative practices. Agile teams are typically cross-functional, self-organising and rely on rapid feedback and multiple iterations to evolve their shared understanding of requirements and solutions.


An approach to boundary definition that transcends the Nation-State and invites a new way of living in symbiotic balance with life supporting Earth systems and ecosystems. A bio-region is a geographical area with a unique combination of plants, animals, geology, climate, watersheds and communities. Both the natural forms and the human communities are descriptive features of each bioregion. These edges replace the politically drawn lines currently used to delineate cities, states and nations.

Carrying capacity

The population that can be supported indefinitely by an ecosystem without destroying that ecosystem.

Circular economy

A restorative and regenerative economics that transcends the current linear “take, make and dispose” extractive industrial model. It aims to fundamentally rethink how we make things, mimicking natural ecosystem processes where one systems waste is another’s food, and where human industrial activity nourishes and enlivens instead of poisoning and depleting.

Complexity theory

The study of how complex adaptive systems can integrate to higher orders of complexity – the simplicity beyond complexity. More technically, the study of how order, patterns, and structure appear in complex, apparently chaotic systems that are far from equilibrium, sharing matter and energy (of low entropy) with their environment and exhibiting “self-organization” and stability, apparently avoiding the degradation (increase of entropy) normally required by the second law of thermodynamics.


This is a way of societal organisation to manage a shared resource (”What”), co-governed by its user community (“Who”) according to the community’s rules and norms (“How”). Things that can be managed as a commons include natural resources (land, water, air), and created assets (culture, knowledge), and can be either inherited or human-made, but “The Commons” refers to the process as a whole. For more see

Community currencies

These are currencies that are designed and implemented by communities that share a particular geography, biome or particular need and are intended to complement the government-issued or national currencies. Their purpose is to promote localisation, encourage import substitution, tap into unused or spare local capacity, connect supply and demand when national currencies are scarce and provide a mechanism for communities to fund green and social enterprises.


A generic term for digital tokens/money that are created and stored in a distributed ledger (or blockchain) on the Internet by a network of peers (or nodes). These peers run software which utilises strong cryptography to store and securely exchange value while maintaining consensus on the state of the distributed ledger. The most popular examples are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Monero.

Developmental psychology

The study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire lifespan. It provides essential insights into how best to support change for human and planetary thriving.

Distributed infrastructure

The provision of basic services such as energy, water, and communication through an emergent, connected, distributed network which uses the internet to coordinate and manage the nodes in the network.


A term coined by Jim Ritchie-Dunham to articulate a new economics beyond scarcity. Derived from the Greek roots - eco (relationship), syn (together) and nomics (rules), it describes the principles of wcollaboration, the science of abundance.


The creation of artificial boundaries around land, ideas, cultural artifacts and life forms so that they are viewed and treated as “private property”.

Engaged citizen

A vision whereby resourceful and imaginative citizens self-organise to solve problems and define/manage commons resources in their own communities. These engaged citizens collaborate with the State and ethical businesses to provide distributed services, new ventures and distributed production in their own communities. This is in stark contrast to current view of citizens as passive consumers of services provided by the centralised bureaucratic state.

Ethical Business

An approach to doing business in an economy which is ethical and generative because it prioritises the support of living ecosystems and social life over the mindless accumulation of capital. These businesses would collaborate with the Partner state and Engaged Citizens to provide useful products and services to the market and would not require mitigation strategies in order to minimise negative externalities.


A method of decentralised management and organisational governance that draws from Sociocracy and Agile software development, pioneered by Brian Robertson. Authority and decision-making is distributed throughout a holarchy of self-organising teams rather than being vested in a management hierarchy.

Lean start up methodologies

A methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.


An approach to building community well-being that focuses on regenerating local economies, cultures and production through tapping and celebrating the unique qualities of each place. In David Fleming’s words: Localisation stands, at best, at the limits of practical possibility. But it has the decisive argument in its favour that there is no alternative.

Open source

A philosophy which promotes the free sharing of the design of a product (typically software) so as to allow others to modify and improve the original and redistribute this further. This allows for greater flexibility and faster innovation. Examples of open-source software are Linux, Android, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Wordpress, and Firefox.

Partner State

A vision whereby the State acts primarily as a “hosting infrastructure” and an enabler of “bottom-up”, citizen commons initiatives that are given the requisite space and support to self-organise and solve problems in a collaborative way with the State. This is in stark contrast to the current view of the State as an expert “top-down” bureaucratic service provider to a passive citizenry.

Participatory design

An approach to design (of products through to cities) where all stakeholders are actively involved in the visioning and decision-making processes. It is a counterpoint to top-down, expert driven design. At its core is the view that we are each creative beings, bearing many gifts.

Peer to Peer (P2P) production

A new mode of production emergent from social relations which are connected through non-hierarchical and non-coercive human networks. Technological infrastructure enables the scaling up and widespread use of these human networks.

Regenerative design

A process-oriented, systems theory based approach to design. The term “regenerative” describes processes that restore, renew or revitalise their own sources of energy and materials, creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of human society with healthy ecosystems.

Theory U

A change management method developed by Otto Scharmer that supports groups to find ways to transcend habitual thinking and genuinely create anew, or to “lead from the future, as it emerges”, in Scharmer’s words. “Moving down the left side of the U is about opening up and dealing with the resistance of thought, emotion, and will; moving up the right side is about intentionally reintegrating the intelligence of the head, the heart, and the hand in the context of practical applications”.


An approach to research that integrates and transcends diverse disciplines to create new conceptual, theoretical, methodological and translational innovations. These move beyond discipline-specific approaches to address seemingly intractable problems.

Wicked problems

A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected, systemic nature of these problems with other problems.