About Us

What is Global Commons Trust?

We are a growing group of individuals, organizations and other non-proprietary stakeholders who believe that shared resources should be held in trust for the commonwealth of the planet. We believe that a Global Commons Trust is needed so that the world’s commons are recognized and protected through a binding international trust for the benefit of humanity and all beings.

Who is involved in this project?

Along with a team of international associates, James Bernard Quilligan is helping to organize Global Commons Trust on behalf of the Commission on the Global Commons. Preliminary support has been provided by Centre for Global Negotiations and many other organizations.

What is the mission of Global Commons Trust?

GCT is dedicated to inspiring and developing a trusteeship managed by the global community to

• preserve the bulk of depletable commons for future generations
• rent a portion of depletable commons for the production and consumption of present generations
• generate dividends for the benefit of all people and species and for the repair and restoration of depleted commons
• enhance and generate replenishable commons

What are the objectives?

Global Commons Trust will
• provide a repository of information about common goods, commons trusts, commons rent and social charters
• establish a nexus of commons organizations through Commons Action for the United Nations and elicit input from individuals and groups on commons issues
• unite world leaders and policy makers through a multilateral platform for the global commons

Is Global Commons Trust itself a commons?

Yes. The partners of Global Commons Trust are commons organizations. We maintain this space as an information and cultural commons dedicated to helping individuals and groups reframe, preserve and manage their common goods. We hold this asset for our partners — and anyone wishing to join — as an example of commons trusteeship.

Is Global Commons Trust an NGO?

No. Non-governmental organizations typically base their activities on human and civil rights, which makes NGOs dependent on a social contract with a state (or group of states) for the approval of their specific objectives and programs. By contrast, commons organizations maintain that the global commons is entrusted to humanity for the benefit of all beings, which means that commons rights are sovereign to all people and do not need to be granted or legitimized by a state. Global Commons Trust is educating NGOs to identify themselves as commons organizations and protect the rights to their own commons. Through the collateral of these partnering organizations, stakeholders and their trustees, GCT is developing new approaches for holding the assets of the global commons in perpetuity for the sustenance, security and well-being of humanity and all species.

Shouldn’t the United Nations be the trustee of the global commons?

Yes. Global Commons Trust believes that the United Nations will ultimately develop a more representative capacity in protecting the commons on behalf of the people of the world. GCT supports the 1995 proposal of the Commission on Global Governance to revitalize the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations for this purpose. In the meantime, Global Commons Trust is modeling a form of global trusteeship based on the realization of the common rights of humanity for the benefit of all beings through natural and customary law.