CONGRESS COMMONS: CITIZENS, LAW AND GOVERNMENTS – From the “Government” to the ”Governance”

CONGRESS COMMONS: CITIZENS, LAW AND GOVERNMENTS – From the “Government” to the ”Governance”

IMG_20151207_130834On the 4th of November the think tank Oikos in collaboration with Etopia and GEF (The Green European Foundation), held the event “Congress Commons: citizens, law and governments”.

The conference took place at the Royal Library in Brussels. It was the closing seminar of the “Reclaim the Commons” project event series, which is organised with the goal to examine the transformative power of the Commons.

The conference was attended by experts on the topic of Commons such as Tine De Moor (Professor at University of Utrecht), with her speech “Setting the stage: challenges and prospects”, and Christian Iaione (Professor of Public Law, Director of the LabGov, Laboratory for the Governance of the Commons, LUISS Roma; member of the International Association for the Study of the Commons), amongst others.

During the second part of the conference Christian Iaione’s speech (Professor of Public Law, LUISS, Rome) focused on the topic of “governance”: a new “tool” to manage territories and communities. Professor Iaione, LabGov’s coordinator, consider the “collaborative governance” as a paradigm for overcoming the traditional dichotomy between public and private. The Collaborative Governance is a partnership of five actors: social innovators, public authorities, businesses, civil society organizations and knowledge institutions.

The Collaborative Governance could be described as having three main characteristics:

– interactive;

– experimental;

– adaptive.

It is interactive because is the result of the collaboration and interaction of the above – mentioned actors. It is experimental since there is not a standard model but, as demonstrated at the LabGov’s Labs (Governance Labs), it is a constant work in progress. Furthermore the collaborative governance is adaptive in the sense that it is not possible to propose the same “format” in every community: it is fundamental to take into account the peculiarity of each community or territory. As the Italian examples of co – Bologna, co – Mantova, co – Battipaglia, co – Palermo, co – Roma, every city needs to find its dimension on its own: a setup which works in a city does not necessarily work in others. The “Regolamento sulla collaborazione per la cura e rigenerazione dei beni comuni urbani” of the Comune di Bologna ( here is the English version), for instance, is not automatically applicable in other cities.

The process of “Collaborative Governance” is divided in five steps: first and foremost mapping where and how the collaborative governance will impact; after this it is important to co – design a project of governance with all the stakeholders/actors (public, private, social, knowledge, commons). With these elements at hand it is then crucial to prototype solutions: testing and adapting the design principles to the challenges and characteristic of each city. The next step consists in amplifying the experimentation in different areas of the governance and to spread the positive results of each local experience. Finally it is fundamental to evaluate the results of the experimentation.

We can also consider collaborative governance as a tool to fight corruption and organised crime, safeguard the territory and promote legal economic growth and social progress. It is also an instrument to promote the concept of sustainability in local development, in particular thanks to the more active and participative role of citizens, who are much more involved through this process. The use of collaboration and governance to best manage cities and local economies was recently recognised at European level on the Committee of Regions (CoR) opinion on Sharing Economy “The local and regional dimension of the collaborative economy”, by member Benedetta Brighenti (IT/PES), approved with a large majority on the 4th of December 2015 at the CoR’s Plenary Session.


Il 04 dicembre 2015 si é tenuta a Bruxelles, presso la Biblioteca Reale, la conferenza “Congress Commons: Citizens, Law and Governments”, organizzata dalla think tank Oikos, in collaborazione con Etopia e GEF (The Green European Foundation).

L’ evento é stato proposto in chiusura del ciclo di seminari “Reclaim the Commons”, organizzati in diverse città europee, per approfondire il potenziale e l’impatto dei Beni Comuni e della maggior partecipazione attiva dei cittadini, nell’amministrare i territori.

Durante la seconda parte della conferenza é intervenuto il Professor Christian Iaione (Professore di Diritto Pubblico, LUISS Roma) parlando di “Collaborative Governance”: nuovo strumento per la gestione dei territori, dei Beni Comuni, delle comunità, che permette di andare oltre la dicotomia pubblico – privato e porta piuttosto alla collaborazione tra più attori che partecipano attivamente alla governance della città.

OURCITIES: Re-imagine the Urban Environment

OURCITIES: Re-imagine the Urban Environment


What is the future of our cities? This question will be the central topic of the initiative titled: OURCITIES: Re-imagine the Urban Environment. This project, organized by Itinerant Office through the New Generation cultural agenda and the support of FAF OAF and the City of Florence, will take place in Florence at La Palazzina Reale from October 22nd to October 25th, 2015.

These four days of workshops, public presentations and round table discussions will focus on fuOurcities 2ture scenarios for our cities, including the constant nvestigation of new sustainable models based on participation, the improvement of technologies, and the urgency of new policies that aim towards re-use of unused urban space. Today, more than ever, architects, professors and students will get together to discuss the sense of collectiveness that is bringing a new consciousness to the spaces that belong to us: OurCities.

The lecture schedule is divided into three main sections. The first is a workshop held by Space&Matter and Michele Ferretti that aims to reconceptualize Vittorio Veneto square in Florence. The second section of the OurCities initiative includes a series of public presentations involving 14 international architects[1]. Each one has been asked to answer three questions: (1) What are the keywords to define OurCities and foreseeable future scenarios? (2) Which professions are/will be crucial to change and improve the quality of OurCities? (3) What are the tools to understand, improve and anticipate the future of OurCities? Their contribution is included on the OurCities website, with the main goal of building new tools that will grow in the coming months through contributions from many other experts in different fields. The third and last section of the event is composed of four round tables to discuss: PluralCity, ToolCity, UrgenCity and R-EvolutionCity. The round table ToolCity, moderated by Shumi Bose, will also see the participation of LabGov -LABoratory for the GOVernance of the commons- with CO-Mantova’s ambitious project to run the city as a collaborative. Its aim is to find the most suitable solution for the local economic development through protection, care and enhancement of the cultural heritage, both material and immaterial.

For further information click here for the complete program of the event.

To subscribe to the OurCities workshop


OURCITIES: Re-imagine the Urban Environment

Da giovedì 22 Ottobre a domenica 25 Ottobre, presso La Palazzina reale a Firenze, si terrà OurCities, un evento strutturato in workshop, presentazioni e tavole rotonde per discutere, insieme ad architetti internazionali, professori e studenti, del futuro delle nostre città, della loro evoluzione e degli strumenti che abbiamo per interpretarle.

[1] AP+E, BAM!, Íñigo Cornago Bonal, Daniele Fanzini /Irina Rotaru, Michele Ferretti, FORA, Rodrigo García, Ljubo Georgiev, L+CC/Jason Hilgefort, Francesco Lipari, Opensystems, Parasite 2.0, Pattu, Wolfhouse Productions 



Labgov presents #OrtoLUISS  at #EXPO!

Labgov presents #OrtoLUISS at #EXPO!


The main event of this year in Italy is the #Expo.  Expo Milano 2015 is the Universal Exhibition that Milan, Italy, is hosting from May 1 to October 31, 2015. Over this six-month period, Milan becomes a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium. In addition to the exhibitor nations, the Expo also involves international organizations, and expects to welcome over 20 million visitors to its 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area[1]. On the 16th of September, LabGov was  invited to the Cluster BIO – Piazzetta Mediterranea, during the Settimana della Dieta mediterranea / UNESCO in EXPO.IMG_0903

At this Conference, LabGov presented the importance of #OrtoLUISS in the context of sustainability and collaboration. There, the moderator gave the floor to LUISS General Director Lo Storto, who explained how important the project was to him personally and to the LUISS community as a whole. Claudia Giommarini followed Lo Storto and deepened the aim of the project #OrtoLUISS. She explained that the garden is a place for LUISS students and staff to convene, collaborate, and connect to nature. Then, the moderator introduced Professor Iaione – coordinator of LabGov. He illustrated the importance of public goods managed with the collaborative governance.

The two LabGovers started to describe their experience. Benedetta Borghini explained what LabGov is and how LabGov works, including its aim, organization, elements and projects  CO-Battipaglia, CO-Bologna, CO-Mantova etc. Then, Benedetta Gillio discussed the experience in #OrtoLUISS, which she defined as a “school of civilization“ where she learned a sense of respect, the meaning of the words care and patience, and the importance of collaboration. Both speeches focused on how such experiments in collaborative governance are both significant and functional experiences. Completing the explanations, Benedetta introduced the new LUISS LabGov Educational Lab 2015-16, which will aim to provide an effective governance tool for Rome.

IMG_0876The Journalist and writer Gianluca Nicoletti, who is also the president of the Onlus Insettopia, stressed that #OrtoLUISS has unique implications for children with autism because it can help them connect to the world through ortoterapia. As a first mover, LUISS will be the leader of such initiatives. There was also Peppe Zullo, who is the ambassador of the #OrtoLUISS and who focused on the importance of  the earth and healthy food. Finally Massimo Egidi, the Rector of University, spoke about the varieties of flowers and how much we can learn from them.

Beyond the conference itself, the two LabGovers had the opportunity to explore the greater Expo pavilions, and reported that they felt an overpowering emotion, as though they could  feel the power of human potential when the world is united as one. The main street at the Expo contained a series of awe-inspiring buildings, each representing a country, one next to the other. It was an amazing sensation to see those buildings, symbols of the world’s cooperation.


Has Been this article co-authored by Benedetta Gillio, Benedetta Borghini


LabGov presents #OrtoLUISS to #EXPO!


The most important event of this year is definitely # EXPO2015. On 16 September, LabGov has been invited to BIO Cluster – in Piazzetta Mediterranean , during the week of the Diet Mediterranean / UNESCO in EXPO . At this conference , LabGov has presented the ‘ importance of #OrtoLUISS in a context of sustainability and collaboration .

Article written by many hands from Benedetta Gillio, Benedetta Borghini

LUISS Edu Lab: Let’s Re-start!

LUISS Edu Lab: Let’s Re-start!

The fourth edition of LUISS LabGov Educational Lab (workshops, co-design sessions and fieldwork) will re-start on October 2nd, 2015! The meeting will be held in Viale Romania, 32 – 00198 Rome at 4.00 PM. 

After focusing on Bologna, Mantua and Battipaglia, the new Edu Lab will aIMG_0494ddress Rome, its potentials and weaknesses at a very difficult time for the city, its institutions, and its society. The Laboratory will aim to design a Commons-based collaborative governance tool tailored to the needs and characteristics of the Italian Capital City. As we have done until now, we will apply the CO-Cities approach, based on a strong partnership between institutions, the private sector and the community. The five souls of the collaborative governance (social innovation, public authorities, schools/universities, businesses, organized civil society) will work together to re-design their own city, making it more economically sustainable.

The CO-Cities approach requires opening experimentation grounds. LabGov 2015/2016, together with many partners representing CO-Rome, will open and manage several urban cooperation grounds in different areas of the City: The Lab will focus on Garbatella neighborhood, the Appia Antica Park, a high school in Ostia and the V Municipality (Prenestino-Centocelle).  They represent four different types of urban commons to regenerate and invest in. The Lab will take this long, but very stimulating journey in the City with many allies, partners and friends who will provide insightful advice to prototype a Commons-based collaborative governance for Rome. The Laboratory stays open to contributions, help and advice. Collaboration will run Rome as a Commons, because Commons need appropriate governance tools.


La quarta edizione di LUISS LabGov (workshops, sessioni di co-design e fieldwork) ripartirà il 2 ottobre 2015 alle ore 16.00 in Viale Romania, 32 – Roma!

Dopo i grandi risultati ottenuti a Bologna, mantova e Battipaglia, il nuovo LABoratorio per la GOVernance dei beni comuni riprenderà le sue attività concentrandosi sulla Città Eterna: Roma. Anche in questo caso, le 5 anime della governance collaborativa (social innovation, istituzioni, Università , imprese e società civile) collaboreranno per RIcostruire Roma, rendendola più vivibile e sostenibile.

Vi aspettiamo!

In Italy culture is worth, and creativity even more

In Italy culture is worth, and creativity even more

16841-il-potere-della-meditazione-sulla-creativitàOn 25 June 2015 has been presented in Macerata, Italy the 2015 Report “Io sono cultura – l’Italia della qualità e della bellezza sfida la crisi” [I am culture – Italy of quality and beuty defies the economic crisis] drafted by the Fondazione Symbola. According to the Report the creative and cultural industries (CCI) in Italy in 2014 produced 78,6 billion euros and they have a multiplier effect in other economic sectors, such as tourism, of 1,7. This means that every euro spent in culture produce 1,7 euros in the market. This implies that the CCI contribute to the 15.6% of Italian GDP corresponding to 227 billion euros.

The Report analyzes the situation of the Italian CCI annually and it confirms also for this year that they are a pillar of the Italian production and Made in Italy. In order to understand what is considered CCI, due to the often really different classifications towards Europe, it is useful a brief explanation. The CCI are composed by four macro categories:

  • Cultural industries: film, video, mass-media, videogames and software, music, books and the press;
  • Creative industries: architecture, communication and branding, handicraft, design, fashion;
  • Cultural heritage: museums, libraries, archives, archeological sites and historical monuments;
  • Performing art and visual art: artistic performances, theater, entertainment, faire, conferences.

Creativity seems to be the key of success. The presence in the Italian territory of an emerging creative class represents a strong element related to economic growth, as affirmed also by Richard Florida in its book “The Rise of the Creative Class”. Indeed, in the period 2012-2014, on the one hand businesses that invested in creativity had an increase of 3.2% in productivity, on the other hand those that did not invest had a decrease of 0.9%. Moreover, businesses that invested in creativity improved their share of export of 4.3% compared to 0.6% for those that did not invested.

CCI impact also on employment with 1,4 million people involved, representing 5.9% of the employed people in Italy. Taking into consideration also the public sector and the non profit organizations, the share arrives to 6.3% of total employment in Italy. For 2015 it will be recruited more than 23.000 people, 7% more than 2014. The sector requires high professional skills and young and talented people. For this reason it is important that the Universities take into consideration this increase in demand of specific competences and skills that have to be developed during the academic years. Another opportunity for the development of these new competences could be the Youth Guarantees and the initiatives for the empowerment of the NEETS.

LabGov itself contributed to the development of a creative class that can improve the management of the cultural commons in Italy, as the experiments of collaborative placemaking of ReiventAda and collaborative cultural regeneration of ReiventAda+ in Rome demonstrate. Even more, the project developed in Mantova in 2014, started with the Call for solutions “Culture as a Commons“, conducted to the realization of CO-Mantova and its Collaborative governance pact for the commons.

From a geographical point of view, the CCI are located mainly in the Center and North of Italy, with Arezzo (Tuscany) in leading position. In the South the share of CCI is only the 4%, with some improvements for the Basilicata Region, also due to the forthcoming European Capital in Matera in 2019. Even if, interesting cultural phenomena are emerging mixing the traditional CCI with social innovation aspects and regeneration of urban spaces, the have been defined as “Sud Innovation” by Agostino Riitano and Stefano Consiglio. Some examples are the Farm Cultural Park in Sicily or the Catacombs of San Gennaro in Naples.