The Long Now of the Commons - People, Infrastructures and Dilemmas

How can Wikipedia produce a wide encyclopedic knowledge base through the contribution of volunteers dispersed across the world? Join us for a one-day seminar with the latest knowledge about collaborative commons.

Over the past few decades, concerns around the future of the commons – meaning collectively managed resources endangered by different forms of enclosures – have opened up inquiries into promoting fairer and more sustainable ways of being and acting together in the world.

Commoning – the social practice of managing resources for everyone’s benefit – promotes ways of resisting and creating alternatives to the inequalities, contradictions, and threats of contemporary neoliberal western societies. Concrete examples of commoning abound in any human sphere: from the re-appropriation of urban spaces (e.g. through social housing, hackerspaces, urban gardening) to the nurturing of open digital spaces and infrastructures (e.g. commons-based peer production, creative commons); from environmental care (e.g. environmentalist collectives, energy saving communities) to political actions for (re)democratizing the economy and the society (e.g. platform cooperativism, anarchist commons).

In a historical moment of renewed political, social, cultural, and economic turmoil, it is increasingly important to sustain and consolidate practices of commoning, despite the challenges at hand. By acknowledging that "there is no commons without commoning" (Linebaugh, 2009), this event aims to disseminate knowledge about contemporary forms of commoning as historically, culturally, and politically situated practices. As such, the people, infrastructures, and dilemmas involved in commoning will be at the center of this full-day public seminar. The event will gather contributions by internationally renowned researchers and practitioners who have developed considerable experience on the topic over the past years.

The day will be structured around presentations with ample space for comments and questions from the audience. Students, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers interested in the topic are invited and welcome to attend the event. 

SPEAKERS AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Commoning for housing justice. Ferreri, Mara - University of Northumbria.

  • Citizen labs as commons laboratories. Local and international approaches. Garcia, Marcos - Medialab Prado, Madrid.

  • Free, Fair and Alive: The Power of the Commons. Helfrich, Silke - Founding member of Commons Strategies Group.

  • Mapping the firm-project network. O’Neil, Mathieu - University of Canberra.

  • Peer Production and State Theory: Envisioning a Cooperative Partner State. Pazaitis, Alex - Tallinn University of Technology.

  • Caring about the commoners who care. Poderi, Giacomo - IT University of Copenhagen.

  • Urban commons: towards more democratic cities? Seravalli, Anna - Malmö University.

  • Commoning and Participatory Design – a Love Story? Teli, Maurizio - Aalborg University.

ATTENDANCE AND ORGANIZATION

Attendance is free and open to everyone. To help with the logistic, please sign up here.

The event is organized by Giacomo Poderi (Department of Computer Science, IT University of Copenhagen) and Joanna Saad-Sulonen (Department of Digital Design, IT University of Copenhagen), and it is funded through the project grant 749353, of the H2020/MSCA-IF-2016 call. The event is hosted by the IT University of Copenhagen.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

ALEX PAZAITIS is a core member of the interdisciplinary research collective P2P Lab, spin-off of the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology and of the P2P Foundation. He holds an MA in Technology Governance and is Junior Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the Ragnar Nurkse Department. Alex is a core team member of the COSMOLOCALISM project and has been involved in numerous research activities, including scholarly papers and research and innovation projects. He has professional experience in project management and has worked as a consultant for private and public organizations. His research interests include technology governance; innovation policy; digital commons; open cooperativism and distributed ledger technologies.

ANNA SERAVALLI is a senior lecturer and design researcher at The School of Arts and Communication Malmö University. She has a background as product and service designer and holds a PhD in Design and Social Innovation. Her research explores questions around alternative economics, participation and democracy in the urban context. She closely collaborates with citizens, NGOs, civil servants and small entrepreneurs in exploring new modes of production, participation and decision making in urban production and city making. She is the coordinator of Malmö University DESIS Lab.

GIACOMO PODERI is a Marie Curie postdoctoral researcher at the IT University of Copenhagen. His current project focuses on the sustainability of different commoning practices (e.g. urban, digital, knowledge commons) and takes particular interest at commoners’ long-term commitment. His research interests concern the interplay between society and Information and Communication Technology through the lenses of co-construction and participatory processes. More concretely, he is interested in the role that participation plays in mediating use, design, and development aspects of ICT. His latest publication is "Sustaining platforms as commons” in CoDesign 15(3).

MARA FERRERI is research fellow in Human Geography at the University of Northumbria. Until recently she held a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain (see: http://commoninghousing.net/). Her work on urban precarity, commons, housing and temporariness has been published in international journals such as Transactions of the IBG, cultural geographies and Geoforum. She is a founding editor of the open-access international Radical Housing Journal.

MARCOS GARCÍA is the artistic director of Medialab-Prado since 2014, an initiative of the Madrid City Hall, devised as a citizen laboratory for the production, research and dissemination of cultural projects that explores forms of experimentation and collaborative learning that have emerged with digital networks.From 2006 to 2013, he was in charge of coordination and programming at Medialab-Prado, alongside Laura Fernández. Previously, from 2004 to 2006, they set up the education programme of MediaLabMadrid, developing the cultural mediation programme and the Interactivos? project, a platform for production and research into the creative and educational applications of technology. Marcos has taken part in numerous international events about digital culture and the commons.

MATHIEU O’NEIL is Associate Professor in Communication at the University of Canberra and Adjunct Research Fellow in the School of Sociology at the ANU. His interests are the sociology of fields and controversies, social network analysis, and labour and organization studies. He is currently investigating waged and volunteer labour in F/OSS projects thanks to a grant from the Sloan Foundation. Mathieu’s research has been published in Social Networks, Information, Communication and Society, Réseaux, and Organization Studies, amongst others. In 2006 he contributed to the founding of the Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks, a world leader in e-social science, and in 2010 he founded the Journal of Peer Production.

MAURIZIO TELI is Associate Professor at the Department of Planning, Aalborg University, Denmark. His research focuses on participatory design and commoning in relation to digital platforms. He has more than fifty publications, including the book “Beyond Capital: Values, Commons, Computing and the Search for a Viable Future” (co-authored with David Hakken and Barbara Andrews, Routledge, 2016) and the co-edited special issue of CoDesign - International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts “Repositioning CoDesign in the age of platform capitalism: from sharing to caring” (with Gabriela Avram, Jaz Hee-jeong Choi, Stefano De Paoli, Ann Light, and Peter Lyle, 2019).

SILKE HELFRICH is an independent activist, author, scholar, and speaker. She cofounded the Commons Strategies Group and Commons-Institute, was former head of the regional office of Heinrich Böll Foundation for Central America, Cuba, and Mexico, and holds degrees in Romance languages/pedagogy and in social sciences. Helfrich is the editor and co-author of several books on the Commons, and she blogs at www.commons.blog. She lives in Neudenau, Germany.