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In 2013, Commons Action for the United Nations will provide training for those members of the Commons community affiliated with the United Nations who would like to learn how to be more effective within the United Nations Structure.

An Outline of the Three-Part Training

Participants will be given an overview of how the United Nations is itself fostering commons at all levels and the diverse decision making processes that allow us to give our input effectively to individual governments, the UN Secretariat and to our fellow Civil Society Organizations. By working with these, we can be indirectly in contact with people at every level of society worldwide. At the same time we shall have an opportunity to further develop our advocacy skills, individually and as a part of a team.

This training is meant both for those who will actually be working with these groups at the United Nations itself, and those who will be using our Instant Response Network to interact with the UN from the comfort of their own homes.

This Training will consist of three 2-hour sessions, approximately one month apart.

Each Part will be divided into two halves. The first half will consist of a presentation of the topic under discussion; the second half will take the form of a workshop centering around “hands-on” learning.

The three sessions will be recorded for anyone who wishes to attend but is unable to make the scheduled dates.

The sessions will focus on the following themes respectively: 

Part I. The United Nations: the most powerful creator of global commoners that has ever existed in the whole of human history. Part One will explore the organs and other relevant parts of the United Nations. It will do this as a way to support what to many might seem an outrageous claim and also to clarify which parts of the UN’s many decision making processes are most relevant to us as advocates of the commons approach to global problem solving.

We shall then focus on those channels that provide us with most opportunity to introduce commons approaches into the UN’s work. Our objective is to maximize our effectiveness when advocating the commons and the many ways in which a commons approach can empower us all– individual global commoners, the United Nations and via the UN all Governments worldwide–to come to grips with our economic, social and environmental crises at all levels.

Part II. The Commons.  Content to follow.

Part III. Strategy.(Provisionally scheduled April 17th, same times) The objective of  this workshop is to gain practical experience in thinking strategically when interacting with the United Nations and its Member States. It will grow out and help us put into practice  what we have learned in the two previous sessions. Part III  will also build on both the strategy outlined in our Draft Strategy Plan, (available using “search” on; as well as that developed during our strategy meetings beginning on Feb. 18th (which is President’s Day in the USA). It will take the broad brush strokes outlined in the latter and focus on how do we individually put strategy into practice in any interaction with the United Nations. It is hoped that all participants will be able to build on what we develop in this workshop throughout much of 2013 including our teams in New York and Geneva.

You can participate as an auditor or as an active participant. Active participants will be asked to undertake a small assignment  to prepare for the hands-on part of the training when we shall all learn from one another’s input. .

The Assignment for those Attending Part One

  1. Choose a country to focus on for whatever reason
  2. Prepare a one-minute elevator speech with that country’s delegate centering on examples of commons in that country;  how it would benefit from paying attention to the phenomenon of the commons; and what both you and s/he would get out of a subsequent meeting..

Background materials will be available to you via the to help you with this and other similar assignments.

To register

Go to, register your name and if applicable your organizational affiliation and why you chose that country to focus on for your assignment (for instance: you bumped into the delegate in the cloakroom; it just came to mind; you like what you have read/heard/seen in the press; you have a sense that that country will benefit from taking a commons approach; or you believe that that country will resist a commons approach and it will be necessary to get that country on board);

Deadline: Wednesday Feb 6th midnight WST, Thursday, Feb 7th: 3 am EST, 9 am CET.

Part I of the three-part TRAINING: GROWING THE COMMONS TOP DOWN AND BOTTOM UP facilitated by Dr. Lisinka Ulatowska is open to anyone who is interested in gaining experience in advocacy at the UN.  It will be held on:

Monday, February 11th from 8:45-11 am WPT, 11:45-2:00 pm EST; 5:45-8:00 pm CET.


Lisinka Ulatowska, a veteran of more than 41 years working within the UN system will conduct each training session and will be joined by others with experience working within the UN structure. Please write to us at, if you wish to be placed on our mailing list for future announcements of our activities.

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