The Commons Library

About us

The Heinrich Böll Foundation is part of the ecological, feminist and social justice political movement known as the Green political movement, which has emerged far beyond the Federal Republic of Germany. We share the ideas of the German political party “Alliance 90/Greens”, while maintaining organisational independence. We work with partners in over 60 countries and have a network of 34 offices worldwide. The Heinrich Böll Foundation is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Foreign Office (AA).

Our vision

Among our principles and values, we strive to uphold human dignity, defend the right of future generations to a healthy environment, and promote equal opportunities for all, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, social origin and religion. Our core principles are sustainable development, democracy and human rights. Furthermore, we adopt an approach that aims to develop close collaboration with various civil society organisations in order to strengthen access and dynamic participation of different sections of society in both decision-making and social, cultural and economic processes.

The Commons

A key economic concept for sustainable development

The world we have inherited no longer works. It is enough that the future of the planet and civilisation as we know it is under threat. And yet, countless commons, experimental projects and committed social movements are opening up important avenues for the future. 

We need to imagine new and better ways of being, doing and knowing. To do this, we must first recognise and move beyond narratives of capitalist progress and state power. Today, in the face of climate change, species extinction, economic inequality, authoritarian repression, racial and gender discrimination, among many other ills, we must confront the structural problems of the market/state system.

Capitalism has captured and corrupted our democratic processes. State bureaucracies and transnational markets are often unable to solve many problems. They are too big, too powerful and too remote. Too complex and legalistic. Too eager to transfer responsibility and risk. For too long we have relied on centralised, hierarchical and unaccountable institutions that disempower us. 

Could we imagine a post-capitalist way forward?