Toward Co-operative Commonwealth: Transition in a Perilous Century

Announcing a Unique Learning Opportunity for Changemakers Everywhere

Complete picture

I believe the power of the whole program comes from the staging of the content, so the logic and understanding grow as the participant progresses. I have indulged myself with every bit of content presented. The picture feels very ‘complete’.

Enabling group discussion

“Since we are trying to use the course to help build our local climate change efforts, the opportunity to discuss the course materials with other local participants has been particularly important. The discussion groups are enabling us to build relationships among interested local people, link the course materials to our local context, and at least surface ideas for specific actions that may be appropriate in our community.”

Critical and creative

“I really appreciate the extraordinary quality of the course: wide-reaching, critical and creative material carefully curated and presented. Given the value I see in the course, I’d love to find the best possible ways of making use of it.”


This kind of multi-dimensional, integrated, historical perspective is not the day-to-day conversation in my practical community development work so I really valued seeing this story told in this clear, compelling, and sophisticated way linking analysis and action.

Formulating strategies

“I especially appreciated the linking up of the economic, social, and environmental dimensions in the historical perspective offered, the way of analyzing specific issues, and formulating strategies to bring about substantial change.”

Collective and individual

I think the course is doing a beautiful job of outlining higher-order motivators at the collective level. How to do this at the individual level has some urgency to it, as mounting malaise, grief, and feelings of being overwhelmed seem to be increasingly dampening flames that are burning within.

Expanded understanding

“I’ve been a commercial grower, and a horticulture tutor for 19 years, and have basically spent a lot of my life in the food security/resilience/permaculture/organics space. However, even with this background, and just with reference to the food transition module, I genuinely felt my understanding was expanded.”

Testimonials from the 2022 edition, with registrants from 22 countries

Toward Co-operative Commonwealth:
Transition in a Perilous Century

5th Edition

Registration opens: Now Open
Start Date:  January 29, 2023

Synergia collaborates with practitioners, policymakers, and academics to create and advance change that makes a difference in communities, regions, and broader systems, especially alternatives responding to local and global crises.

Cooperative economic democracy is a central theme throughout our work- a framework of concepts, values, and practices that give priority to 

  • resilience over economic growth
  • co-operation over competition
  • sufficiency over efficiency
  • well-being over the right to possess
  • fairness and equity over the primacy of markets, trade, and capital
  • decentralized and democratic ownership over centralized power and private ownership
  • climate justice and just transition
  • the commons over the rights of private property, and
  • our dependence upon nature over our right to dominate it. 

These are not merely theoretical propositions. They are choices about what is paramount for transition in a perilous century. They are the basis for a comprehensive alternative to the status quo – a compendium of ideas, models, and movements that are essential to our collective capacity for transition and survival. These alternatives, and the means to apply them, are the focus of our work.

Several questions frame our thinking and guide our work:

  • How can we meet our basic needs in ways that advance fairness and resilience where we live and contribute to the restoration of ecosystems and GHG reduction?
  • How do we shift the narrative from the mantra of endless growth to one of well-being, sufficiency, solidarity, and living within the natural limits of the planet?
  • How can citizens, communities, organizations, institutions, movements, and progressive businesses co-operate to craft and execute strategies that build solutions that counter the status quo?
  • How do we diffuse and amplify the impacts of existing models and solutions to advance system change, and best navigate energy descent and climate disruptions?

Our contribution to this global call for a transition to sustainability is threefold:

  • Designing accessible, high-quality educational resources and training programs that can be leveraged by change agents everywhere to navigate systems change and adaptation where they live and in collaboration with others working in different spaces.
  • Providing training and education programming through intensive, face-to-face courses. 
  • Seeking collaborative relationships with all like-minded networks and organizations to advance our collective goals.

Synergia’s mission to inspire, educate and animate people to act is relevant to both those beginning the transition journey and those who have been in the trenches for years. 

Our invitation to the 2023 MOOC embodies these principles and aims.