Expeditie: toekomst - Toekomstwandeling
Wardie Hellendoorn BY-NC-SA

Commons Lab

Waag enjoys to base her thinking on the concept of the commons, a shared resource managed by a community. Sustainability and inclusivity are of the utmost importance in this arena. Commons exist outside of the state and the free market and create value that cannot be expressed in financial terms alone. In food cooperatives, for example, farmers and consumers work together to grow and sell food for a fair price. The Commons Lab researches the creation and management of common resources. Additionally, we believe that everyone should own their own data and determine where and when it can be used.

The commons: a shared resource managed by a community. Sustainability and inclusivity are of the utmost importance in this arena.

The Commons lab explores how creating and managing communal facilities could lead to a more inclusive society. The lab also maps out existing commons and promotes introducing commons into many different fields. We also focus on the design of digital, legal, and financial platforms that facilitate self-organisation.

Commons are a fertile ground for bottom-up initiatives and they encourage a sense of independence and autonomy. We contribute to research into the role of commons in areas such as urban development and digital public space. We also work in the area of gaming for the commons, based on the idea that you can learn best about commons by working the concept in a game format.

Current projects

Code of Conduct
Commons Lab

Code of Conduct for the social economy

Working closely with the European Commission (Directorate General GROW), Waag Futurelab and the Commons Network are joining forces to develop a Code of Conduct together with individuals, organizations and agencies in the social economy. All with a shared goal to share, collect and build data management capacity within the ecosystem.
Commons Lab

Glimpses of green energy

Glimpses of green energy looks into the energy transition, on places we normally can't see. Artwork explains the challenges and gives a unique behind the scenes experiences of the energy transition in Amsterdam-Noord.
Platformcoöp Accelerator-programma
Commons Lab

Platformcoöp Incubator

Together with the Commons Network, Waag is working on a Platform Co-op Accelerator programme that will connect and advance start-up initiatives that work with the commons. This way, we are encouraging a circular, local and fair economy.
Open HEM nu, Waag, 2022, Vivent Solar via Unsplash
Commons Lab

Open HEM now!

Commissioned by the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland and Top Sector Energy, Waag is developing a Public Stack for home energy management systems: Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS).
Commons Lab

Charging the Commons

Charging the Commons is a project exploring the design of digital platforms for resource communities.
Energie Referentiearchitectuur, Waag, 2023
Commons Lab

Energy Reference Architecture

In opdracht van Topsector Energie Digitalisering en de Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) onderzoekt waag een referentiearchitectuur voor de Nederlandse energie infrastructuur.  
Amsterdam bicycles mobility
Commons Lab


Urbanite will analyse the impact, trust and attitudes of stakeholders with respect to the integration of disruptive technologies in the mobility sector.
Contemporary Commoning
Commons Lab

Contemporary Commoning

The research project Contemporary Commoning focuses on the ways the commons can contribute to new forms of (digital) public space and initiate different forms of urban development.
Public Stack Summit
Commons Lab


Atelier is a five-year project funded by the European Commission that focuses on shaping energy-positive neighbourhoods. Residents, local stakeholders and companies will work together in these neighbourhoods to create a local energy system that generates energy sustainably.