What’s New at Commons Network HQ?

Over the past few months, we have made some important changes in our organisation. We are happy with the way our organisation is evolving and we want to keep you up to date by sharing these developments with you.


  • Commons Network is now also a Dutch non-profit

In the autumn, we made it official: we are now a Dutch stichting, or non-profit for Dutch law. After moving our headquarters to Amsterdam last year, it felt natural to have a legal entity here too. This makes it easier to collaborate with Dutch partners.

  • Commons Network has a new Supervisory Board

Over the past few months we’ve been updating the composition of our boards. We are really proud with the people that joined us. Spring Gombe is now member of the Supervisory Board. Godelieve van Heteren is the new Chairperson of the board. We are happy with the hands-on board we have now (and the expertise they bring) and we are confident that they will guide us through the next phase, which will see growth in scope and scale.

  • Co-founder David Hammerstein steps down as director

David Hammerstein co-founded Commons Network together with Sophie Bloemen in 2014. Together, they turned a small policy shop into an international civil society organisation with offices in Amsterdam, Brussels and Valencia. Now, David has stepped down as director. David will remain a solid part of our team in the position of Senior Advisor. He will also spend more time on local political struggles in his home region of Valencia.

  • Thomas de Groot becomes Head of Programmes

Thomas joined Commons Network in 2016 to re-work our long-term strategy and to re-position us in the changing political landscape. He stayed with us to focus on community and campaigns. After our move to Amsterdam, Thomas spent the bulk of his time on our programmes in European cities and he was the lead on Urban Policies. Thomas has kept growing in the organisation, taking on many tasks. He now has the lead on programme development and starting in January, Thomas will become Head of Programmes.

  • Jens Kimmel becomes Storytelling Lead

Jens Kimmel will be working on storytelling and project development around our new Programme ‘Imagining the commons’. Jens joined us in 2017 to research urban commons in Amsterdam. He continues with the mapping of urban commons initiatives in The Netherlands. This fall, he officially launched the online platform that features the ever growing and interactive commons map of Amsterdam. Jens started spending more and more time on the organising aspect of our work and focused on connecting of Dutch commons movement, overseeing the formalisation of the platform for Dutch commoners De Meent. Storytelling is key for connecting initiatives and visibility of the commons.

  • New members of the Advisory Board

Paul Keller and Daphne Büllesbach joined our advisory board. Paul Keller was director at Kennisland and is now a research fellow at the Institute for Information Law (IVIR Institute) in Amsterdam. With Paul we co-developed the Vision on a Shared Digital Europe and we are happy to now have him as part of our inner circle. Daphne is former Executive Director of European Alternatives, a long-standing partner of Commons Network, with whom our international work has had many overlaps. Daphne is now Managing Director at Humboldt Viadrina Governance Platform in Berlin. We look forward to continue working with her on transformative politics for Europe.

  • Interns Ruth and Taru finish their work

After half a year of inspiring collaboration, our interns Taru and Ruth will leave us in January. They have both exceeded our expectations by doing really good work. Taru researched the links between capitalism and mental illness and how the practice of commoning can help make it better. Ruth researched the new Dutch environmental planning law and how this helps or frustrates the commons in Holland. Both projects have the potential to become full-blown Programmes at Commons Network, so we’re sure you will hear more about this in the near future. Both will also probably organise a public event to present their work, so make sure you follow us to receive an invite. We are sad to see them go, but we are confident that we will stay in touch.


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