David Bollier

David Bollier is Director of the Schumacher Center’s Reinventing the Commons Program. He is an American activist, author, and blogger whose work focuses on the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics, and culture.

Bollier’s work at Schumacher Center draws on his experiences as co-founder of the Commons Strategies Group, an international advocacy/consulting project (2009-present), and as founding editor of Onthecommons.org (2002-2010).  He has co-organized a wide variety of pioneering international conferences on the commons, strategy workshops, seminars, and public events, especially in Europe.

His mostly widely read book on the commons is Think Like a Commoner:  A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons (2014), now translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Greek, and Korean, as well as an upcoming Chinese translation.  Bollier’s other books include Patterns of Commoning (2015) and The Wealth of the Commons (2012), both with co-editor Silke Helfrich; Green Governance (2013), co-authored with the late Professor Burns Weston; and Viral Spiral (2009), Brand-Name Bullies (2005), and Silent Theft (2002).

Bollier has hosted an educational film, This Land Is Our Land: The Fight to Reclaim the Commons; taught “The Rise of the Commons” course at Amherst College as the Croxton Lecturer in 2010; served an expert witness for the “design commons” in a trademark lawsuit; and contributed chapters to more than a dozen book anthologies. For twenty-five years, until 2010, he collaborated closely with television producer/writer Norman Lear on a wide variety of non-television public affairs and political projects. In 2012, Bollier received the Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy from the American Academy in Berlin for his work on the commons. 

He was co-founder and board member (2001-2011) of Public Knowledge, a Washington policy advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the information commons, as well as Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication for many years.  In the 1970s and 1980s, Bollier worked in various policy positions in Washington, D.C.– for a Member of Congress, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, People for the American Way, and Ralph Nader. 

Bollier blogs at Bollier.org and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, a place that knows a lot about commoning and inspires a passionate hometown loyalty.

Email David.