The Commons

Maximize use of the available wisdom. People care. People are capable

Founded in 1979, The Commons ( is an institute of the whole focused on researching and solving the challenges of building sustained, high-performance collaborative cultures, using a whole systems/design science approach. The Commons’ basic strategy is to aggregate best practices into toolkits, organized to assist businesspeople and other civic leaders to be more financially literate, procedurally literate, systems literate, and emotionally literate.

The first commercial spin-off of the intellectual property is Performance Management Institute

Systems of Participation and Involvement:            

What is a commons?:

Executive Summary:


Sustainability Achievements: 
Collaborated with Michael Hackleman at Earthmind, Mariposa '1976-78 Produced 'Designing our Future Now' Colloquium with Matt and Gail Taylor in San Francisco, sponsored by all 12 sustainability-oriented organizations in the Bay Area. 1979 Attended the Rio Prep Convergence, Biltmore Hotel, LA 1980 With support of both Mayor Tom Bradley, and his political opponent, created a $10k Los Angeles City Council start-up grant, including all-city facilities access, to build a best practices database for citizen-driven civic innovation. 1988 Integrated the environment and econonmy into the Inaugural Class of Leadership Santa Barbara County (now in its 24th year) as two full days on Sustainable Economics after it showed up in the documentation as a major in 110 focus groups with almost 2,000 leaders in the county. 1990 Ecological Accounting: Industrial Ecology at UC Berkeley’s Hass School of Business - a joint afternoon session for 75 people with Gil Friend, focused on Ecological Accounting, Resource Throughput and Triple Bottom Line Metrics. 2000 Supported the work of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry operations and strategy to scale 'Cradle to Cradle' market adoption. 2006 Supported Fair Trade/Organic Fashion Company to transition from 10 years of investment in supply chain to full market scaling with 6 consecutive profitable years. 2008 Developed Value Creation Accounting and Integral Operations Finance, which enable resource effectiveness and waste reduction to link to cashflow and return, as well as cost control. 1977-2014
Sustainability Challenges: 
In R&D on Green Math ®: Integrating Business Acumen with Resource Effectiveness Why is it that since Green Business is simply smart business (ref. Gil Friend's The Truth about Green Business), it is not catching on and spreading virally throughout the global marketplace? Stuart Valentine of Centerpoint Investment Strategies in Iowa has an answer. “Until we connect sustainable business practices to a more comprehensive triple bottom line financial reporting framework, sustainable business will never realize its full potential. What is the implementation path that will catch on and spread?
Contact Information
Jahn Ballard
708 Gravenstein Hwy North, #135