Blog Markets What is the BCK?

About the Bank of Common Knowledge (BCK)

The Bank of Common Knowledge (BCK) is a pilot experience dedicated to the research of social mechanisms for the collective production of contents, mutual education, and citizen participation. It is a laboratory platform where we explore new ways of enhancing the distribution channels for practical and informal knowledge, as well as how to share it. BCK is a project initiated by

1. Copyleft ethics

Copyleft originates the project. We apply the philosophy of copyleft to the transmission of knowledge.

The starting point is the idea beyond the commons, the common land. But, what is a common?

The concept comes from mediaeval England, when it was decided to protect some land from the expansion of private developments. It was necessary to keep access to other lands around them. Then those common spaces where also commonly managed.

The Bank of Common Knowledge wants to expand this concept originally linked to land into knowledge and comunication. From the physical territoire we move to the inmaterial production. The understanding of knowledge and public comunication spaces as common spaces to be protected, expanded and shared.

2. Mission and meaning of BCK

Create, protect and expand knowledge, exchange and spread. Re-evaluation into common knowledge.

3. The motor

Individual and collective needs to be more autonomous and general lack of resources for the everyday issues. In short: urban survival.

We look for alternative, cheap and affordable, even free ways to find answers to all sort of needs. We share practical or theoretical knowledge in all disciplines, from medical to crafts, to technology to civil rights. All we need to know for the every day life.

We collect share and protect knowledge rarely valued, common knowledge in traces to be lost, knowledge locked on a patent system, knowledge not able to be approved by science. All matters.

The Bank of Common Knowledge wants to allow people conscious of the value of knowledge to assemble, produce, create and transmit in new communication and exchange circuits, free from restrictive hierarchical roles.

You are very welcome to participate and send us or recommend us DIY manuals (text, audio, video), experts or reports of similar experiences.

The Bank of Common Knowledge is organized as an open source model of knowledge transfer, a laboratory for inventing and trying out new forms of production, education, organization and distribution, involving new roles for producers and receivers, experts and amateurs, teachers and students, as well as new relationships between the production of image, text, and audio material and their subsequent diffusion in the public space.

4. Mutual education network
We would like to see the concept of "learning" as a network that offered every individual the chance to share their current interests with other, similarly motivated peers.
Right now we are working on several strategies to lay the foundations of this meeting point and mutual education network. We are also testing various knowledge transmission and communication formats, from games to demos, workshops, first person experiences, challenges, first help kits or theoretical dissertations. These practices are the basis for the video manuals currently being produced in the Bank of Common Knowledge.
However, the main goal of the project is not to build a video portal, even if that ends up being one of the consequences. The real challenge for the Bank of Common Knowledge is to build a model of transmission and free exchange whose social organization and self-training strategies can be easily replicated.

5. P2Pedagogy, the power of distributed peers

The Bank of Common Knowledge project adapts the techniques of peer-to-peer media sharing to peer-to-peer education, allowing discrete chunks of information to be broken down and passed on via a network of volunteers.


"For too long information and knowledge have been slowly being privatised, This is wrong and I applaud your intiative to put knowledge back where it belongs; at the service of the community"
Karen Rodgers, Montessori teacher. Cambridge

"Homage to Catalonia." Looks like some kinda freeware copyleft Durruti Column.
Bruce Sterling

"This is an excellent, more mainstream reimagining of skillshares. It is a promising shift in how we organize cultural production. With the current modes of organization crashing around us (you only have to look at the RIAA and MPAA to see it) it's great to see people stepping up and building something new, with freedom and community at the core of their considerations."
James David

"A fantastic project in distributed thinking and collaborative public participation"
Christopher Edwards

"I am writing a PhD at the Sorbonne on what i call transactional arts and i woudl like to quote your bank as an example"
Daniela Alina Plewe

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