Becoming in Common

Hannah Elizabeth Field

Sharing my journey of learning about and experiencing commoning through my PhD process. Exploring commons as a way of being in community and in landscape.


Becoming is to evoke a picture of constant change and evolution. As I, we, experience anything it impacts us in some way, whether consciously or sub-consciously. We are inherently interconnected with all beings, human and non-human, through our interactions with them and these form our life-stories.


Commons can be defined as “
The idea of a common might be familiar in your everyday language:
“I’m going for a walk on the common.”
“We have this in common”
“This is licensed through Creative Commons.”

These examples reach towards an understanding of the commons as something shared and there are many types, forms and processes. They can be cooperative communities, places that many people value, contested spaces, opportunities for collaboration… there is so much more to commons than you might realise.

There is a wide breadth of examples, but also a depth in our collective human experiences where we are common in our heritage of commons.

To be in Common

There is a community of people that cares and has responsibility for the common – a commoning-community (J.K. Gibson Graham, 2016). A commoning-community includes ecosystems, species and ecological functions and processes.

The common could be a landscape looked after by a community, and I will be focusing on these types of common in my PhD.

Commoning is a process, activity or practice that comes from multiple relationships and negotiations between individual people, and between and within organisations, institutions and ecosystems.

Research focus
  • Common land in the UK.
  • Understanding how commons work, including governance and decision-making in different contexts, identifying what the challenges are and supporting knowledge co-production to find solutions.
  • Working alongside the Our Common Cause project.
Something shared

Commons can only be managed through social relationships and shared knowledge.

David Bollier in his essay The Commons as a Template for Transformation.


Led by curiosity to learn and participate.

About Hannah

Currently working on my PhD, my diverse background is in conservation, forestry, communications and education.

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