About Us

Understanding the global commons – the shared physical, biological and cultural resources of the planet – is the grand challenge facing society in the 21st century. Our response to this challenge is The Commons at the University of Kansas, a catalyst for unconventional thinking, interdisciplinary inquiry, and unexpected discoveries across the sciences, arts and humanities.

A partnership between the Biodiversity Institute, the Hall Center for the Humanities, the Spencer Museum of Art, and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, The Commons is both a physical and intellectual space where people come together to establish common ground from which they may express and explore uncommon ideas for the common good. Commons activities can happen anywhere on campus, however, The Commons itself is housed in Spooner Hall. This is a vibrant and active space that can serve many purposes. We hope you’ll join us in The Commons and help foster this new understanding.


The Commons, at the University of Kansas, seeks to bring together scholars and students from the sciences, humanities and arts to explore the reciprocal relationships between natural and cultural systems.


Emily Ryan
Director, The Commons