The Solar Commons...
...was first imagined, then researched and realized by Kathryn Milun, a legal anthropologist whose academic work on commons and human awakening to climate change prompted her to step outside the university and seek community collaborators to build a solar equivalent of the successful commons of yore.
A special call out is due to the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and its Vice President of Programs, Bob Berger. Solar Commons owes a large amount of its success today to the vision and trust of Mr. Berger. We hope that our future success demonstrates the importance of your investing in projects that tie environmental support to helping communities of need.
The earliest legal mind to take on the Solar Commons idea is Timothy Walsh at Henson and Efron law firm. In fact, without Tim's brilliant and creative legal mind, Solar Commons would have remained a mere legal aspiration. From the beginning, Tim encouraged the anthropologist to be creative with the tools of law and, on the back of many a napkin, showed her how to problem-solve with legal concepts. Tim is now the lawyer for the Solar Commons nonprofit, along with his associate Allison Plunkett.
Another early supporter, On The Commons, provided fiscal agency, financial and strategic help with a generous understanding of the long arc of labor needed to reclaim and rebuild the commons. Thanks to Julie Ristau, the former Executive Director of On The Commons.
Commons interlocutors--through conversations and writings--most helpful to the early development of Solar Commons are: David Bollier (whose many books and outstanding commons blog site remain sites of inspiration) and Peter Barnes (whose book, Capitalism 3.0: A Guide To Reclaiming the Commons, remains one of the clearest articulations of commons as an activist vision for the US today). An early fellowship at the Tomales Bay Institute brought the anthropologist/Solar Commons founder the generous intellectual comradeship that would eventually seek new partners, closer to home, on that Little League bench.
Other early associates of the Solar Commons project include: Mark Wilhelm at Green Ideas who brought the Solar Commons idea to the attention of the Arizona USGBC and helped launch the idea's first economic forays into the world of business; and Michael Jackson at the HDR Architecture firm who designed our earliest plans for using right-of-way as commons.
In Phoenix, Alan Carlson, the Executive Director of the Newtown Community Land Trust was a steadfast ally of the Solar Commons from the earliest days until, hopefully, the near future when Newtown become the next Arizona trustee of a Solar Commons.
Also in Phoenix, Joe Viola with Snell & Wilmer law firm was an important supporter of the original Solar Commons project.
Finally, in the long and hard process of getting the first demonstration project built, the genius business mind and collaboration of Valerie Rauluk, Director of Clean Energy Corporation was invaluable and sine qua non.
Solar Commons Sponsors---this sponsors' page will list the many funders who supported the early work behind the demonstration project.