Cities and international law in the Urban Age: LabGov presents research on the role of cities and city networks in global urban health governance in the Hague

Cities and international law in the Urban Age: LabGov presents research on the role of cities and city networks in global urban health governance in the Hague

On 14 & 15 March, the Asser Institute Center for International and European LAW in The Hague is hosting an international conference on the internationalisation of cities: Cities and international law in the Urban Age. The conference is part of Asser’s research project on global cities and international law, ‘The Global City: The Role of Law, Then and Now’. The conference co-chairs, Helmut Aust (Freie Universität Berlin), Janne Nijman (T.M.C. Asser Instituut/University of Amsterdam) are working on a book project on this topic and the conference is gathering chapters’ authors to discuss preliminary drafts of their contribution. The conference supported by the Municipality of The Hague and the Gieskes Strijbis Foundation and benefits moreover from close contacts with the International Law Association’s Study Group ‘The Role of Cities in International Law’ .

The conference program is available here.

LabGovs’ researchers Christian Iaione and Elena De Nictolis will contribute with a chapter on The Role of Cities in Global Urban Health Governance, named “Glocalized Laws for a Commons-based Urban welfare State”. The chapter investigates the role of cities in the institutional and regulatory framework of global health governance. The chapter proposes an empirical analysis of international and EU case studies of policies calling upon cities to improve urban health and welfare and provides innovative legal and financing tools for urban health infrastructures.

The conference gather a pool of scholars dealing with a number of cross-cutting issues regarding the relationship between cities and the international law and global governance. The conference hosted a keynote speech by the prominent scholar Yshai Blank (Professor of Law and the Head of the Ph.D. Program at Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law). Among the many panels, the Panel V. The changing relationship between Cities, States and International Law chaired by Dimitri van den Meerssche hosts contribution by LabGov Georgetown scholars Sheila Foster and Chrystie Swiney The Urbanization of International Legal Relations and contribution by Eduard Fromageau on the Role of Cities in Global Administrative Law, (a field where the Italian legal scholar Sabino Cassese is a leading scholar). The contribution by Professor Barbara Oomen (Utrecht University, project leader of the Cities of Refuge project) on Cities, Refugees and Migration in Panel III highlighted the role of cities in securing human rights protection, analyzing several case studies such as Barcelona, which is investing considerable efforts towards implementation of human rights through a strategy based on supporting urban commons.

Urban Clinic LabGov EDU 2019 Module II

Urban Clinic LabGov EDU 2019 Module II

Co-working session “Entrepreneurial lab” with Alessandro Piperno

The Module II of the Urban Clinic of LabGov EDU 2019 continues with a Co-working session on March 2nd, “Entrepreneurial lab” facilitated by Alessandro Piperno (Phd student at the Department of Economics and Management of LUISS University).

The co-working session takes place in the LUISS Campus of Viale Romania and starts at 10 am with a recap on the project idea that the LabGovers (the students enrolled in the Urban Clinic) are incubating: a network of digital community gardens spread among city neighborhoods that among the other things provide contents on food, wellness and healthy lifestyle. The co-working session of the “Entrepreneurial lab” of March 2nd is focused on the design of the social business model of the entrepreneurial idea.

After an introduction on the main features of a social enterprise, an hybrid enterprise aimed at solving social challenges with a sustainable business model, the group worked on the identification and definition of the main services that the enterprise wants to offer. This phase of the co-working session leveraged on the work carried by the four LabGovers’ working groups in the period between the modules.

After the definition of the service, the LabGovers are divided into groups and worked on the social business model canvas, identifying its core elements: stakeholders; actions; resources; types of intervention; channels to distribute the service; beneficiaries of the action and targets; clients and users; revenues; costs.

Urban Clinic LabGov EDU_2019. Module II

Urban Clinic LabGov EDU_2019. Module II

Workshop “Social Business Modeling” with Professor Francesco Rullani, March first 2019

The second module of the Urban Clinic of LabGov EDU 2019 focuses his activities on social entrepreneurship. The module is composed by a workshop, carried out by Professor Francesco Rullani on the organization of social enterprises and social business modeling and a co-working session facilitated by Alessandro Piperno, an “Entrepreneurship Lab”.

The workshop on social business modeling was hosted on March 1st 2019, at the LUISS campus of Viale Romania and consisted in a lecture by Francesco Rullani. Francesco Rullani is Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship and Management of Innovation at LUISS Guido Carli in Rome (IT) and Coordinator of the ERSHub (the Hub for Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability). 

Professor Rullani starts its presentation on “The Commons and Business models” with a discussion on the major philosophic and journalistic work of the political philosopher Hannah Arendt. Professor Rullani argues that the main message that we can take out of the book Is that within a hierarchical regime there is a detachment between the task that one must carry out (the order to be executed) and what one does to concretely carry out the task. The banality of evil is represented by the fact that, within the totalitarian regime, the approach of the people towards their actions was de-humanized. The human dimension was banalized until it disappeared, and so was the perception of the true meaning of the action.

The lecture then moves towards Milgram experiment on human behavior that was carried out in the aftermath of the Eichmann process in Jerusalem (1961) A social psychology experiment conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, it measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure that was instructing them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience, for instance violent acts. They had to administer electric shocks to a subject to which they were posing questions. For every wrong answer, the voltage of the electric shock increased gradually, until they reached levels that would have been fatal. The electric shocks were unreal (the learners were in fact Milgram’s collaborators). The experiment highlighted the role played by obedience to authority in a closed and hierarchical system.

The learning point is that life in social systems is filled with coercive systems that impose and nudge behaviors. And such systems are stronger than the community ties, because they have the capacity and the strength to absorb individuals’ responsibilities. The two main systems are the State and the Market.

Those systems solve their problems through bureaucracy (the State) and transactions (the Market). The systems are designed to reproduce mechanisms on which they are based and to expand their sphere of action. f you ask the bureaucracy to solve a problem, it will do it by producing procedures, while if you ask a community to solve a problem it will produce responsibilities. The social sector (in Italy, the third sectors) is mainly composed by communities regulated by systems based on responsibilities. Those systems solve their problems through bureaucracy (the State) and transactions (the Market). The systems are designed to reproduce mechanisms on which they are based and to expand their sphere of action. f you ask the bureaucracy to solve a problem, it will do it by producing procedures, while if you ask a community to solve a problem it will produce responsibilities. The social sector (in Italy, the third sectors) is mainly composed by communities regulated by systems based on responsibilities.

 A key issue with the social sector is though economic sustainability. There is in fact often a tension between the creation of economic value and the normative foundations of such communities and this tension is one of the factor hampering the production of value in social enterprises. Other factors hampering the access to value production in social enterprises could be, for instance, the lack of access to credit warranty (which could be solved through the creation of collaborative and solidarity networks between social entrepreneurs) or the lack of skills. The social enterprises therefore often comes out with hybrid solutions, hybrid practices that allow them to use their productive capacity by integrating marginalized subjects and pursuing the social good. Example in Italy is the case of “Made in Carcere” (made in prison). The project consists in laboratories of construction with waste materials. In the labs, learning and facilitation to enable access to capital, skills and distribution for the access to the final market are provided. This is a case of a social enterprise that produce a positive impact both socially and environmentally by working against the sense of not being the creator of one’s life that affects an individual when she/he is in prison. By giving them access to such opportunity, they cease to be prisoners and begin to be workers responsible for what they produce and for what they do.

Urban Clinic LabGov EDU 2019 Module I

Urban Clinic LabGov EDU 2019 Module I

Co-working session “Idea Generation lab”, February 23 2019.

The first module of the Urban Clinic of LabGov EDU continued with the first co-working session, the “Idea Generation Lab”, that took place on Saturday February 23rd, 2019.

In the idea generation lab, the LabGov team facilitated the emersion of a shared project idea leveraging on the body of knowledge generated during the Opening day of the Urban Clinic, on the intersection between agricolture and technology as a tool to improve welfare in cities. The idea generation lab began with an inspirational speech by Raffaele Ciriani, President of the Italian Association of Apicultures and Barbara Invernizzi, landscape architect and expert in the facilitation of community gardens in complex urban environments. Barbara Invernizzi will accompany the LabGovers throughout a laboratory of self-construction of prototype a mobile beds garden (beginning on March 9).

The inspirational session was conducted by Raffaele Cirone, President of the Italian Federation of the Beekeepers. He has created two urban apiaries, in the center of Rome. One on the Rooftop of Confagricoltura building and the other in the a police station. The bees monitor the quality of the air and the urban environment. Such an interesting idea!

After the inspirational session, the facilitation session began and the team asked the LabGovers to identify keywords main issues that emerged from the opening day of the Urban Clinic. The keywords and main issues were then clusterized in macro-themes, on which the project will be build upon.

In the second part of the co-working session, the LabGov team introduced to the students the social value proposition canvas. The LabGovers were then split in four groups that worked on the social value proposition canvas separately. Then, in the plenary session, each group shared their work and the team synthesized the groups’ work and filled in a unified canvas. The project idea was therefore defined starting from the shared elements included in the groups’ work.

The LabGovers were ultimately divided in four groups, that will work on gathering the data and carrying out key tasks necessary to refine the project idea generated during the session and move towards the next co-working session: group 1) desk research 2) logistics and material for mobile garden tutorial 3) interviews on community garden (conducting interviews with representatives of community gardens in the city 4) guerrilla research (survey to LUISS students to validate the initial project idea with a first sample of respondents).

Festival della Partecipazione, L’Aquila 11-14 ottobre

Festival della Partecipazione, L’Aquila 11-14 ottobre

Il “Festival della Partecipazione”, promosso da ActionAid Italia e Cittadinanzattiva in collaborazione con Slow Food Italia e il Comune de L’Aquila è una quattro giorni di laboratori, conferenze, dibattiti e concerti, una fabbrica di idee per costruire le nuove forme della politica, dell’attivismo e della cittadinanza.

L’edizione 2018 si svolgerà dall’11 al 14 ottobre e ha lo scopo di proporre e approfondire un approccio fattuale, articolato e critico alla partecipazione democratica dei cittadini. Attraverso dibattiti, incontri, laboratori e concerti il festival mira a riflettere sullo stato della partecipazione democratica in Italia e in Europa.

Christian Iaione, co-fondatore di LabGov, interverrà all’Auditorium del Parco Sabato 13 ottobre nel panel intitolato “Aree interne e periferie urbane: vivere ai margini e riprendersi il futuro”. 

Il dibattito si concentrerà sulle aree interne del territorio italiano, provate dalla carenza di servizi negli ambiti di scuola, sanità e mobilità e dall’indebolimento demografico che le contraddistingue.

Il Festival è un luogo aperto a cittadini comuni, alle comunità degli aquilani e degli abruzzesi e sempre più a interlocutori ed esperti internazionali, ma anche a organizzazioni ed esperienze di attivismo civico, a interlocutori e partner pubblici e privati della partecipazione civica, ai media tradizionali e ai nuovi media, ai mondi della ricerca, della cultura e dell’arte. Non si tratta di un pubblico, ma di un insieme di partecipanti con l’occasione di scambiare e discutere informazioni, prodotti, idee ed esperienze.

La scelta de L’Aquila ha un forte significato simbolico: la città sta attraversando un complesso percorso di ricostruzione urbana e civica e crediamo che questo Festival possa essere un catalizzatore concreto di partecipazione al cambiamento.

Per più informazioni visitare il sito del Festival