Sustainable, Just, and Democratic
Edited by Melissa K. Scanlan
Chapter 6: Three legal principles for organizations rebuilding the commons
This chapter describes three principles for organizations to embed in their legal, financial, and governance structures in order to build commons and move beyond the extractive structures of conventional business. “The commons” is emerging as a unifying framework for the creation of sustainable and equitable economies, and organizations everywhere will increasingly ask their lawyers for guidance on how to set up a “commons-based” entity structure. Land trusts, energy cooperatives, water mutuals, worker cooperatives, food cooperatives and housing cooperatives will all require that lawyers approach legal structural design with a mindset that decisively rejects business-as-usual. These principles emerge from practice and are designed to be immediately applicable in any organization.
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