Young people have awakened. They are participating, building and striving to nurture a purposeful community.
To develop learning ecosystems that encourage a million youthful leaders in finding creative ways to address persistent social issues in their communities.
Build an online & on-ground platform for meaningful volunteering, purposeful fellowships and social entrepreneurship.
The University of Commons, also referred to as लोक विश्वविद्यालया, is a commoners collective formed at Mindtree.org, that works towards one goal of uniting the self with the community.
The idea of University has brought together individuals and communities to learn by practicing and challenging the status quo; Commons is the space that allows for both change and learning to happen.
“the university believes in self-development by community development & collective development of creative abilities. University is a community, Commons is a mindset”
The idea of the University of Commons was seeded in ‘Cambium’, in Mindtree, Bangalore, where many big ideas take shape. ‘I Got Garbage’, ‘I Got Crops’ and ‘I Got Skills’ are potent models of cutting edge technology products for social change that paved the way for the University of Commons. We understand that with a little but right support, people can empower, govern, and determine a sustainable, mostly satisfying future for themselves.
In early 2014, some of us shared a common purpose, beyond the modern & urban way of living. And along with our own work with farmers, weavers, and waste pickers, we constantly questioned the obliviousness around us, esp. that of middle and upper class. These discussions and reflections exposed the inadequacies of the functioning society, which upheld our culture and reasoning.
We knew that something needed to be done.
Some of us got together and designed an immersion curriculum that could make others feel the way we did. The tribe grew and soon after we saw ourselves on a journey to having conversations in bigger circles. A circle where everyone had chosen their own path of commoning. Knowingly, unknowingly, we created this space for learning and sharing. Space where the community is at the center of experience!
We called ourselves the University of Commons.
More and more commoners and aspiring commoners are joining the university. The collective has grown from humble beginnings, and over the years developed our own understanding of social change, or ‘commoning’ as we call it.
In our conversations, we keep referring how the university will evolve in ‘300 years’! Everything we do, we try and see through the long-term view. Above all we have learnt, is that Life can only be lived – now!
In a world that pressures us to be somebody else, we create a space where we can be our whole selves. We create spaces where we can be wonderfully weird, where we can be open with our thoughts and feelings.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles…The credit belongs to the man who is in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, sweat & blood…” Theodore Roosevelt
Be with them!
We believe in people. We believe in commoners and their style of commoning. None of us know who might change the course of history. So we treat everyone as though it might be them.
Its not about age. The young in you is built to learn. Unconcerned with the judgment of others, the youngness wholeheartedly embrace the awkwardness of being a beginner. They dive in, stumble, and learn rapidly from their mistakes.
We set our gaze on our long-term vision and take the long-view on the daily decisions we make. We recognize that building something that matters doesn’t happen overnight, and we press forward with long-term wisdom.
Be the Change!
There is no substitute of leading oneself into action. Action that is backed by knowledge & fearlessness. We, commoners, begin with the change we wish to see around us. And yes, we enjoy every bit of it..