The Generative Commons - Founding Document

The Generative Commons

This living agreement is being actively improved as we work together to answer the question:

How can we build an open, generative commons that protects and develops ideas, livelihoods, and positive social, economic, and environmental structures, while preventing harm and negative externalities?

The Parties to this agreement recognize that this unique moment in history, it is incumbent upon people of goodwill around the world to work together to solve the global grand challenges, and co-create a better world.

A key element of generating creative solutions is the stewardship and synergy of the wisdom, knowledge and ideas which humanity has accumulated to date, as well as the value that is created when wisdom is operationalized in community.

The Genesis of This Document

This document lays the foundation for a “Generative Commons”, and should be a living document that is continually improved, revivified, and propagated in ways that are useful to society and life as a whole. This is a starting point to a continuously improving higher order system for developing ideas and property into the fullness of their potential, in community.

The Generative Commons was born in a discussion about Intellectual Property rights and responsibilities, as a way to free a growing community of sovereign individuals, organizations, and communities from the traditional language of IP clauses, which all too often involve ownership and exclusion, at the expense of stewardship and inclusion.

To that end, we make the following statements.

The Generative Commons

The intent of "The Generative Commons" is to hold assets in common for the good of all. The "Generative Commons Agreement" is a way for participants to learn and agree that we are all working together, guided by our best higher purpose together.

The Generative Commons is intended to be a higher order system, which forges the underlying local systems of stewardship into a functional unity that meets the needs and solves the problems inherent in all human attempts to organize people, knowledge, and technology to create value.

Goals and Intent

Our intention to create a vibrant ecosystem that provides a purposefully stewarded environment in which ideas can develop into the fullness of their potential and flourish, while properly measuring and incentivizing the creation and distribution of value.

Our intent is to nurture, participate, and steward together The Generative Commons, which includes our collective inheritance of culture, relationships, infrastructure, data, information, knowledge, and wisdom.

The Generative Commons is intended to provide a pathway to the long-term stewardship, development, and application of creative ideas and property. It is intended to go beyond previous systems to achieve a broader vision of offering stewardship and development pathways for all types of IP, including trade secrets, trademark, patent, and copyright. It also intended to extend these stewardship concepts to all forms of property, and to connect out to other parts of the Meta System which must conspire in order for ideas to develop into the fullness of their potential.

This Generative Commons founding document is a work in process, beginning to address the need to build a framework for this wider treatment and collaborative use of all forms property.

It is intended that The Generative Commons establish a rigorous framework based in timeless wisdom, which includes primary consideration of the long-term social and ecological implications in the development pathways of any idea.

The end result may be something like the integration of all types of property into a clear functional unity, which addresses licensing, use, and systematized collaboration that protects both the livelihood of those who contribute to it, and the wellbeing and development of all life across all time, while helping all ideas, people, organizations, and communities develop into the fullness of their potential and flourish.

The Generative Commons will be structured so as to steward ideas in trust, facilitate their collaborative development, incentivize the contribution of ideas and property to the system, and benefit all life.

This will require a higher order system far more rich and complex than simply “copyright”, to facilitate the active collaboration and development of property into their best and highest potential. While the range of licenses and agreements needed to achieve this ambitious goal will be significant, our goal is to create simplified, legally sound, standardized, and interoperable agreements for all forms of property and its development and use.

The Generative Commons itself should have, among other things:

  • A sovereign identity and governance structure
  • A voice in higher order systems
  • An proactive strategy to acquire, protect and preserve (property)
  • A strategy associated with estate and organizational succession planning

While this project will forever necessarily remain a work in progress, we believe that the process of collaborating to create a truly Generative Commons models the future we hope emerges.

Protecting Against the Misuse of Empowering Wisdom, Science, and Technology

Wisdom, knowledge, and technology are powerful tools. Human beings, possessing creative consciousness, are responsible for choosing towards what end they will direct their creative efforts, and the tools which accelerate and empower those efforts.

We are not naïve to the reality that there are forces at work in the world which actively seek to obtain and use the most powerful tools they can in ways that are malevolent and antithetical to the wellbeing, dignity, and elevation of life.

These abuses include physical harm, social harm, and economic harm. Among predatory economic practices is the work of “patent trolls” and similar entities who seek to accumulate and exploit “intellectual property” while actively preventing it from being utilized, improved, and propagated for the wellbeing of life.

Creating and Letting Go

If we prevent the release of ideas into community, we harm the intentional process through which knowledge should be creatively elevated, iterated, and improved on in community, and we hold the ideas back from people who may be especially gifted to work with them, and who would not otherwise know or have access to the baseline of prior understanding.

Knowledge, our collective inheritance, should be continuously elevated, improved, and operationalized by those capable of doing so. By being open-handed, collaborative, releasing and giving away, we protect the knowledge and innovation from being destroyed, and more importantly we protect the core process of innovation. Both at the microcosmic level of domain specific knowledge, and at the macrocosmic level of the totality of what we know and who we are and who we are becoming as a creatively conscious species.

Regenerative Economic Empowerment

Our intention is to navigate towards regenerative economic models that support enriching the Commons while supporting strong, profitable, sustainable individuals and organizations.

There are a variety of ways to contribute to the process of creating value. From the originator of the idea, to the one to reviews and improves the designs, to the one who creates a prototype, to the one who produces and scales, to the one who markets and distributes.

Example: Many open source projects are great examples of this, coupling a foundation or non-profit responsible for the code with a company or companies that customize that code for paying clients. We suspect there are many interesting, parallel arrangements that we will help elaborate and share in the future.

Proactive and Intentional Gathering and Protecting

Our intention is to intentionally curate together and publish, rapidly, the accumulated ideas, wisdom, knowledge, inventions of humanity to date within a proper Generative Commons in order to proactively prevent the nefarious capture and exploitation of our collective inheritance.

Around the world there is a tremendous reservoir of valuable ideas which are either unprotected by the current system, or have only been protected in certain national systems, while remaining unprotected in others.

This higher order system can help transcend and forge into functional unity the loose patchwork of global IP law.

The Generative Commons is responsible for developing an intentional process for the rapid accumulation and organization of knowledge.

Rescuing Ideas from Nefarious Acquisition and Suppression

There is an additional vast store of ideas which have been nefariously acquired and suppressed by large corporations in order to protect their current market positions and legacy technologies.

The community should undergo an effort to identify and resurrect the ideas and innovations which have been intentionally suppressed.

Meta Science

All efforts to pursue and properly organize and apply knowledge and understanding through rigorous and systematic process can be categorized as science. All aspects of science are chapters within a higher order book, or a meta science, which asks the question: what should we do in light of all we have come to know? It is the science of duty and right action. Organizing knowledge, and operationalizing it into consistent, wise, right action.

It is our initial recommendation that to avoid importing the pathological and irreconcilable ideologies plaguing our species into a Generative Commons that would propagate them, all ideas are brought into the Generative Commons as hypotheses, which are available to the community to experiment and build upon, or disprove. This will ensure that the Generative Commons becomes a rigorously stewarded living repository of our current best ideas, understanding, and interpretation of the mystery, and not dominated by any a-priori ideology. This is an key antidote to the chaos of irreconcilable politics and ideology.

This gives us the foundation to navigate with humility, in community, towards the deepest truth, wisdom and insights that we have yet to learn.

Fractal Nature

The best designs are perfectly consistent, from highest level concept to lowest level detail. This system needs to accommodate ‘marks’, protections, and value exchange at every fractal level, from individual, to organizational, to community, to the global community of communities.

Generation and Stewardship Of Ideas

Copyright and Licensing

“Creative Commons” has done an excellent job of wrapping copyright terms in easily implemented ways, such as CC-BY. We include their work here by reference. The Generative Commons provides a licensor that stewards value for future generations and community development.

Patents and Licensing

Providing simplified pathways and licensing for innovation that reward inventors, encourage collaboration, stimulate creativity, protect current livelihood, support environmental stewardship, and preserve compounding benefit for future generations.

Trademarks and Licensing

Protecting brands and identities in trust for long-term mutual community benefit.

Trade Secrets and Licensing

Protect developmental processes confidentially so that good ideas can be developed for future patenting in a way that optimizes each concept prior to patenting and maximizes benefit for the community.

Operationalizing Ideas to Generate Value

Organizing, producing, managing, marketing, accounting for, and creating value feedback loops.





Producing / Manufacturing


Promoting and Distributing


Learning and Cross-Pollination Of Ideas & Innovation

This ultimately leads to a different theory of life-long learning and development based in practical projects and problem solving.

Connections To Other Parts Of The System

Beyond this attempt to forge a higher order system that integrates international idea and value stewardship frameworks into a functional unity, is the higher order ‘Meta System’ that must integrate all highest order domain system into the total functional unity of all human activity within the context of the total living system.

Other elements of the Meta System that Lionsberg is serving as the interim receiver / sponsor of include:



Real Estate / Facilities Development


Learning / Human Development


Incubation / Acceleration / Maturation / Reproduction


Manufacturing / Publishing / Marketing / Distribution, etc.


Value Measurement / Accountability Feedback System.

Accountability provides a feedback loop on a levels of impact and analysis.

  • Economic Value / Profit / Sustainability
  • Environmental
  • Social / cultural
  • Generational (thinking across time)
  • Co-creative Displacement and hospicing the old. As we innovate we displace things, and we have to properly account for all externalities of the creative cycle.
  • Monitoring unintended negative externalities…
  • Etc.