Be ready for the first civic Collaboration Fest in Bologna!

Be ready for the first civic Collaboration Fest in Bologna!

collaboIt is more than a year since the municipality of Bologna adopted the Regulation for the care and regeneration of Urban Commons, that was also translated into English few months later (you can read it here).

Since that moment, the idea behind the project itself has rapidly spread not only in Italy, where tens of municipalities decided to adopt the Regulation, but also all over the world.
Indeed, this regulation, that is part of a greater project based on the idea of the
“City as a Commons”, has been appreciated by international commons activists such as David Bollier and Michel Bauwens, here and here.

So, after a year, Virginio Merola, Bologna’s mayor, has established the Civic Collaboration Fest, a whole day dedicated to celebrating the spirit of the city of Bologna, which is already called by many “civic collaboration”, with the aim to mobilize Bologna’s citizens who get to work every day in order to make the city more liveable and beautiful.

Virginio Merola’s words are emblematic: “I would like to see Bologna full of enthusiasm every second Saturday of May, every year, with all the people realizing what could be our potentials. For this reason, the Civic Collaboration Day is dedicated especially to our indisputable right to look for happiness, fighting every day against our biggest enemy, that is the resignation. We all know that collaborating together for the common good is what has made of Bologna a special and different city. We face every problem in this way, working together in every field and facing every prospective obstacle. And it is in this context that the first Italian Social streets and the Iperbole Civic Network were born”.

So far, thanks to the regulation adopted, more than 100 collaboration pacts have been signed between the Administration and the citizens. Doubtless, these pacts have triggered a new civic sense.

That is why next month, on the 16th of May, Santa Viola neighbourhood is waiting for more than twenty-thousand people for the first Civic Collaboration Fest, occasion in which the visitors will enjoy the many events thanks to the efforts of more than three hundred volunteers.

As regards the programme, the Fest will start at 10 a.m. at the MAST, with the “Cities as Commons” international conference with the mayor Virginio Merola, professor Sheila Foster – Vice Dean and Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land use and Property law at Fordham University School of Law – the international commons activists David Bollier and Neal Gorenflo, and professor Christian Iaione – LabGov’s coordinator.

In the afternoon, at the Pontelungo sport complex, it will be time for the “Bologna Collabora” co-design session for the collaborative governance of Bologna. The session will follow the three aspects that public policies must consider, that is to say living together (collaborative services), growing together (co-ventures) and making together (co-production), which are the three axis through which Co-Mantova too was designed.

Finally, from 7 p.m. on, in via Emilia Ponente, the “Purple Night” street fest will take place.

To join all the activities, please fill in the following form! And, to take a look to the full programme and to obtain any further information, please follow this link.

Save the date, see you in Bologna! 



A distanza di poco più di un anno dall’adozione da parte del Comune di Bologna del regolamento sulla cura e la rigenerazione dei beni comuni urbani, il prossimo 16 maggio si terrà a Bologna la prima festa della collaborazione civica.

L’evento è stato fortemente voluto dal Comune poiché, citando le parole del sindaco Virginio Merola: “la Festa della Collaborazione civica è dedicata soprattutto al nostro sacrosanto diritto di ricercare la felicità, combattendo ogni giorno il nostro nemico più grande che è la rassegnazione. La Collaborazione per il bene comune, lo sappiamo, è ciò che ha sempre reso speciale e diversa Bologna. In ogni campo e di fronte ad ogni ostacolo, noi i problemi li affrontiamo così, collaborando insieme”.

La giornata inizierà con una conferenza internazionale al MAST alle ore 10, la quale vedrà come relatori il sindaco Virginio Merola, la professoressa Sheila Foster, il professor Christian Iaione e due dei più importanti attivisti dei Commons a livello internazionale, David Bollier e Neal Gorenflo.

Nel pomeriggio, presso il centro sportivo Pontelungo, i cittadini avranno l’opportunità di partecipare ad un workshop per promuovere la partecipazione e la co-progettazione di pratiche e politiche pubbliche collaborative tra la città e il Comune.

La giornata si chiuderà con la Festa di strada in collaborazione con il Comitato Santa Viola con giochi, musica e fuochi artificiali in via Emilia Ponente, per l’occasione chiusa al traffico, a partire dalle ore 19.

A new pact for Europe: public debate in Leeuwarden about the future of citizens in Europe, towards a European “Mienskip”

A new pact for Europe: public debate in Leeuwarden about the future of citizens in Europe, towards a European “Mienskip”

New+Pact_23+AprilThe European Cultural Foundation has organised a very important event.

It is the public debate about the future of citizens in Europe, towards a European “Mienskip”, that means “Community” in the Frisian language.

Actually the event will take place in the Netherlands, to be more precise it will be hosted at the Blokhuispoort of the city of Leeuwarden – that will be European capital of culture in 2018 – from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., on April the 23rd.

Among the scheduled speakers there will be LabGov’s coordinator, professor Christian Iaione, who will be interviewed with Matthew Fox from Engage LiverpoolCarmen Lozano Bright from the spanish Peer to Peer Movement and Wim Hiemstra from the local Kening fan de Greide. The four will share local examples, their methodology and actions on how to connect citizens and local governments.

That is basically what LabGov has done in the last years in some Italian municipalities.

With no doubts, professor Iaione will illustrate to the audience two projects that have already reached an international echo and have been appreciated by international Commons activists such as Michel Bauwens and David Bollier, here and here.

I am talking about the work that has been conducted in Bologna, on the Bologna’s regulation for the care and regeneration of Urban Commons, that has been also translated into english.

Secondly, the audience and the other speakers will have the opportunity to better understand what has been made in Mantova, where the local administration, together with the local Chamber of Commerce, decided to make the city a prototype for the network of the co-cities. Co-Mantova was born last year and hopefully other Italian cities will follow its example.

These two main ideas were born from the greater project on the City as a commons”, whose paper was presented in 2012 during the second thematic conference of the IASC, entitled Design and Dynamics of Institutions for Collective Action: A Tribute to Prof. Elinor Ostrom” and downloadable here.

To put into contact different personalities from all over the European Union that are studying and working on the commons and who believe that traditional power structures are changing, it is an incredible, huge and unique opportunity to build a “New Pact for Europe”, that is also the name of the project launched by a transnational consortium of foundations, including the ECF, and in partnership with the European Policy Centre.

Coming back to the Leeuwarden’s debate, besides the interview, the programme is composed of a welcome and opening remarks by Katherine Watson, ECF director, and Ferd Crone, mayor of Leeuwarden, followed by an introduction of the evening by Lennart Booji who will moderate and conclude the debate.

Silke Helfrich will be the keynote speaker, who will talk about societal an political challenges in Europe regarding regional development, culture and economy, considering where and how communities are taking matters into their own hands. She will also talk about a needed and real cultural paradigm shift in order to make the 21st century as the co-century of the commons.

After the time dedicated to the interviews to professor Iaione, Matthew Fox, Carmen Lozano Bright and Wim Hiemstra, it will be time for a reflection by Teun van de Keuken, journalist, columnist and producer.

In conclusion, Agnes Jongerius, European MP, Pascal Gielen, Professor of Sociology in Art and Cultural Politic at the Rijksuniversiteit of Groningen and Bouwe de Boer, Policy-maker energy in Leeuwarden will debate about connections between citizens and politicians at European level.

According to the information materials provided by the organisers, the goals of the debate are:

  • Raise civic and political awareness of shifting roles, responsibilities, and opportunities for involving citizens in the exercise of democracy from the local to the European level.
  • Share inspiring examples from across sectors (economic, social, ecological and cultural) that put collective imagination into political practice.
  • Work towards concrete recommendations of citizen and social cooperation in Europe.

Furthermore, the following questions will be discussed during the debate:

  • What are the concerns or challenges in society on local level in Europe, where communities are taking matters into their own hands – regarding ecology, culture public spaces, management of cities, energy and economy?
  •  What are new collaborative initiatives – methods, models or tools – of participation in governance and economy to tackle these concerns? And how to apply them in a region as Leeuwarden?
  • What can the EU do regarding these social challenges and shifting responsibilities: how to involve citizens in different ways in policymaking? How to re-balance responsibilities between government, market and citizens? What are necessary steps/recommendations from both citizens and government to realise more participation regarding regional development, culture and economy?
Scuola di altra amministrazione: A game called “Community”.

Scuola di altra amministrazione: A game called “Community”.

On the 17th of April at Capannori (LU), one of the most virtuous Municipalities in Italy, there will be the occasion to talk about community and participation, thanks to the forthcoming initiative named “Scuola di altra amministrazione”.

The school is a great opportunity to share knowledge and experiences on the topic of active citizenship, with a specific glance at several successful experiences of “collaborative administration” such as the “Bilancio partecipativo” in Capannori presented by Luca Menesini or “the cultural imprint” in San Vito di Leguzzano, presented by Cristiano Filippi Farmar.

Thanks to the support of LAbGov and the participation of professor Christian Iaione, There will also be space for bringing the positive experience of the “Bologna Regulation on public collaboration for urban commons” and “Co-Mantova”, as ones of the most effective practices of positive and mutual contamination between active citizens and public administrations.

Further info about the school and program at: Link

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Il prossimo 17 aprile a Capannori, la Scuola di Altra Amministrazione promuoverà nuove forme di esperienze locali di cittadinanza attiva, attraverso il racconto di pratiche di contaminazione positiva tra enti locali e cittadinanza.

Nello specifico, grazie alle esperienze, competenze e testimonianze dei partecipanti alla giornata di formazione, sarà possibile analizzare più da vicino le dinamiche dei progetti di cittadinanza attiva e comprendere come il nuovo paradigma di collaborazione possa determinare il successo di progetti territoriali e urbani.


Per ulteriori informazioni, si rimanda al link

Mapping the commons: the evocative power of images

Mapping the commons: the evocative power of images

Commons have turned to be notorious only in recent times, but since they have timidly appeared, there has been literally an explosion of articles, studies and experiments of governance of the commons on field.
When a new phenomenon is taken into consideration, usually, one of the first things to do is its analysis: of its characteristics, of the possible implications and, obviously, its geographical distribution. Since ancient times, the explanatory power of maps has always been extremely helpful in both academic and professional sectors, because of the immediacy of the images in transmitting a message.
The daily routine does not always allow to be aware of what surrounds us and sometimes, we need active and passionate citizens to remind us of it. This is even truer when it comes to the commons. In this sense, a map might be even more powerful than usual, since it helps displaying the richness of a country in terms of places, monuments, traditions and experiments of governance of the commons.
Across Europe and the world, many countries already assimilated this lesson and a lot of associations and organizations produced wonderful maps, offering a glimpse of their variegated national heritage.
The case of “Mapping the” is exemplary, because of the transnational nature of the investigation. Through a series of workshops and after a thorough analysis of the parameters to be considered and of the commons to be included, this project elaborated a total of six maps of the commons in as many cities in the world: Athens, Istanbul, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Quito. The philosophical and theoretical work behind these maps is huge. The map represents the ultimate effort of a sequential process that starts from the definition of the word “common” and passes through the study of the cultural and historical background of each city. In the end, “Mapping the” won the Elinor Ostrom Award for research and social intervention linked to the Commons, on the category “Conceptual Approaches on the commons”: a formal recognition for this extraordinary work.
When it comes to Italy, it is a different story. A widespread culture on the commons has developed later than the other European countries and generally, than the rest of the world. Consequently, mapping the Italian commons is only a recent achievement. The attempt made by Zappata Romana is noteworthy, but limited in space (it covers only the city of Rome) and only green spaces are taken into consideration. Another map is the one provided by UNESCO, which on the one hand has the virtue of listing intangible benefits (local traditions), while on the other it obviously lacks a comprehensive classification of all the on-field experiments of governance, by marking only the artistic and archeological sites. We might enumerate all the mapping attempts in Italy. Still, there is not an exhaustive map of the commons and maybe there will never be, given the great variety of the commons.
With the willingness of bridging the gap, LabGov’s latest efforts dealt with this: mapping the Italian urban and natural commons, both the material and the intangible ones, also with an insight of the consolidated governance approaches and of the ongoing experiments on field.

Schermata 2015-03-11 alle 17.26.05

Italy of the Commons – LabGov’s map

Let us start with the definition of the commons: commons are goods, tangible, intangible and digital, that citizens and the Administration, also through participative and deliberative procedures, recognize to be functional to the individual and collective wellbeing, activating themselves towards them pursuant to article 118, par. 4, of the Italian Constitution, to share the responsibility with the Administration to care or regenerate them in order to improve their public use That being stated, it has been quite easy making a list of the numerous (almost infinite) commons in Italy.
The map distinguishes the various categories with different marks and the classification includes the UNESCO material and intangible sites, the cooperative communities, the consumer cooperatives (water and electricity), but it also offers an updated list of the cities that approved the Bologna Regulation and of the ongoing projects of LabGov. The spatial distribution is homogeneous, even if the consumer cooperatives are concentrated in Northern Italy, for obvious physical characteristics, since they deal with water resources.
Being the project ongoing, the map will never be definitive. Still, it preserves the evocative power typical of images, through the transmission of a message of cooperation in the care and regeneration of the commons.

Le mappe hanno sempre avuto uno spiccato potere evocativo e nel caso dei beni comuni questo è ancora più evidente. La mappa così riesce a mostrare con chiarezza la ricchezza di un paese in termini di luoghi, tradizioni, monumenti ed esperimenti di governance dei beni comuni. Se all’estero lo studio e la mappatura dei beni comuni è una pratica assodata, in Italia è un’avventura nuova che ha tuttavia già prodotto risultati notevoli. Sulla scia di questi ultimi, LabGov presenta una propria mappa dei beni comuni, che tiene conto della loro natura variegata e trasmette un chiaro messaggio di cooperazione.  

New strategies for legal order: is collaborative governance the way to go?

New strategies for legal order: is collaborative governance the way to go?

LOCANDINA 17 marzo - A4  (11)On March 17th, 2015, LabGov will host the Conference Land and new forms of legal order at LUISS University of Rome. The Conference – that will start at 4:30 PM in Aula Nocco, Via Parenzo 11, LUISS School of Law – will address the issue of collaborative governance for the commons as a tool to fight corruption and organized crime, safeguard the territory and promote legal economic growth and social progress.

Following the experiences developed in Mantova with the CO-Mantova, a collaborative governance territorial pact, and in Bologna with the Regulation on public collaboration, participants will focus on new forms of collaboration between public institutions, social innovators, businesses, civil society organizations and knowledge institutions.

The conference is part of the LabGov workshops series that this academic year has been focused on Land as a commons: environment, agriculture and food.

Giovanni Lo Storto, LUISS General Director, and Roberto Pessi, professor of Labor Law and LUISS Vice Provost for education, will open the Conference. Main session will see the keynote addresses of Paola Severino, professor of criminal law and LUISS Executive Vice Provost, and Giancarlo Caselli, president of the “Osservatorio Agromafie” scientific committee. Antonella Manzione, Head of the Council of Ministries Presidency Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department, will act as discussant. Second session will be a roundtable with LUISS professors Melina Decaro (professor of public comparative law), Gian Candido De Martin (professor of public law), Antonio La Spina (professor of public policies) and Bruno Frattasi (Head of the Interior Ministry Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Department).

Raffaele Bifulco, professor of constitutional law at LUISS, will chair the two sessions of the conference. The conference will end with the closing remarks of Claudio Rossano, professor of public law.

Full program of the conference is available at the following link:

Territorio e nuove forme di legalità – programma


Territorio e nuove forme di legalità: la governance collaborativa è la strada?

Il prossimo 17 marzo 2015 LabGov – LABoratorio per la GOVernance dei beni comuni organizza la conferenza “Territorio e nuove forme di legalità” presso la LUISS Guido Carli. L’incontro, che avrà luogo nell’Aula Nocco della Facoltà di Giurisprudenza, Via Parenzo, 11, Roma, indagherà il rapporto fra legalità e salvaguardia del territorio attraverso forme di sperimentazione ispirate alla governance collaborativa, come il Regolamento sulla collaborazione per la cura e rigenerazione dei beni comuni urbani di Bologna e CO-Mantova, il patto di collaborazione territoriale per uno sviluppo economico locale orientato ai beni comuni.

I lavori saranno aperti dai saluti istituzionali del dott. Giovanni Lo Storto, direttore generale della LUISS Guido Carli, e del Prof. Roberto Pessi, Prorettore LUISS per la didattica. Le relazioni principali sono affidate alla Prof.ssa Paola Severino, ordinario di Diritto Penale e Pro-Rettore Vicario LUISS, e al dott. Gian Carlo Caselli, Presidente del Comitato scientifico dell’Osservatorio Agromafie. La dott.ssa Antonella Manzione, Capo Dipartimento per gli affari giuridici e legislativi della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, agirà in veste di discussant. Seguirà una tavola rotonda con la Prof.ssa Melina Decaro, il Prof. Gian Candido De Martin, il Prof. Antonio La Spina e il prefetto Bruno Frattasi. ll Prof. Claudio Rossano concluderà i lavori della giornata.

Il Prof. Raffaele Bifulco coordinerà i lavori dell’incontro.

Per consultare il programma della giornata:

Territorio e nuove forme di legalità – programma