All That We Share

All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons is a wake-up call that will inspire you to see the world in a new way. As soon as you realize that some things belong to everyone—water, for instance, or the Internet or human knowledge—you become a commoner, part of a movement that’s reshaping how we will solve the problems facing us in the twenty-first century. Edited by award-winning journalist Jay Walljasper, All That We Share is an indispensable introduction to fresh ideas that touch all of us.

All That We Share covers the full spectrum of the commons around the world from water and Wikipedia to streets and public spaces.

What others are saying

“I have been studying the commons for several decades now; to my surprise and delight this wonderful book taught me many things I didn’t know. Jay Walljasper has done us all a great favor.”

—Lewis Hyde, author, The Gift and Common as Air

“Bubbling with ideas and inspiration for creating neighborhoods and nations where everyone, not just a wealthy few, can enjoy the resources—and opportunities—that by right and reason truly belong to us all.”

—Sam Pizzigati, editor, Too Much

“An important book that is coming at just the right time. This is a book that makes you think. And then it will show you how the commons can be saved, both locally and nationally.”

—Moshe Adler, author, Economics for the Rest of Us

About Jay

Jay Walljasper chronicles stories from around the world that point us toward a greener, more equitable and more enjoyable future. His focus goes beyond what’s in the headlines to chronicle the surprising real life of communities today. Jay is editor of and a Senior Fellow Fellow at Project for Public Spaces, a New York-based organization that helps citizens enliven their communities by improving public places.

He is also a Contributing Editor of National Geographic Traveler, reporting regularly on sustainable tourism initiatives, and as an associate of the Citistates Group, a public affair consortium focusing on metropolitan regions. Walljasper is the author of The Great Neighborhood Book (2007) and Visionaries: People and Ideas to Change Your Life (2001). His new book, What We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons appears in July 2010.His experience includes being editorial director and editor of Utne Reader, executive editor of Ode magazine, and a travel editor at Better Homes & Gardens.

All That We Share book cover

Inside the book

Download a Sample Chapter


  1. What is the Commons
  2. Why the Commons Matters Today
  3. First-Person Tales of the Commons
  4. How the Commons had Endured Through History Down to the Present
  5. Economics
  6. Politics & Social Justice
  7. Our Communities and Public Spaces
  8. Our Environment & Health
  9. Information
  10. What We Can Do to Restore the Commons
  11. A Future Scenario of a Commons-Based Society

Commons On the Road

On the Commons is visiting many communities over the next year. Please let us know if you'd like to stay informed of upcoming events and/or help host an event in your community! Email us