Peter Barnes



Cofounder and president of the socially responsible telephone company Working Assets. In 1995 he was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California for his innovative leadership. But even before his successful role as a social entrepreneur, Barnes was interested in the commons and its appropriate form of ownership. A former journalist, he covered ownership issues in his articles for Newsweek, The New Republic, The New York Times, and other media venues. In 1973 he convened an influential conference on the subject of “Who Owns the Land?” Now retired from Working Assets, his 2001 book from Island Press is titled Who Owns the Sky? Our Common Assets and the Future of Capitalism. The book is a remarkable look at the future of our economy, one in which we can retain capitalism’s virtues while mitigating its vices. He is currently at work on "What We Share: Toward a Modern Theory of the Commons." Together with colleagues from the Tomales Bay Institute, he co-authored the newly released The State of The Commons 2003/04: A Report to Owners.

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