The City as a commons: the first international conference on urban commons

The City as a commons: the first international conference on urban commons

FB_copertinaDEFNEWWe are honored to announce you that  the 1st IASC (International Association for the Study of the Commons) Thematic Conference on urban commons is coming. The IASC Conference, named “ The City as a Commons: Reconceiving Urban Space, Common Goods And City Governance” is organized by LabGov in collaboration with Fordham University of New York and the International Center on Democracy and Democratization (ICEDD) of the LUISS University of Rome. It will take place in Bologna on 6-7 November 2015.

The conference will be co-chared by the LabGov’s coordinator Prof. Christian Iaione (UniMarconi University and LUISS Guido Carli) and by Prof. Sheila Foster (Fordham University) pioneer scholar in conceiving the urban commons.

Many scholars, researchers, policymakers, practitioners and social innovators will take stock of the developments in the interdisciplinary study of the urban commons. The International Scientific Review Committee is composed by leading scholar in the field of urban commons such as Tine De Moor (Utrecht University), Insa Theesfeld (Martin-Luther-Universität), Richard Burdett (London School of Economics), Paola Cannavò (Università della Calabria), Christian Borch (Copenhagen Business School), Leonardo Morlino (LUISS Guido Carli) and  Ivana Pais (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore).

Keynotes speech will be Tine De Moor (Utrecht University), Richard Sennett (London School of Economics, New York University), Silke Helfrich and Michel Bauwens both from Commons Strategies Group.

The conference will intend to equip participants with inspirational examples of urban development, as well as provide an understanding of the conditions for implementation and the context, measurement and assessment of that impact for the commons. The conference will introduce you into the ongoing study of the commons, stressing the importance of an “urban commons narrative” for urban infrastructure, urban welfare and urban development. Our goal is to bridge together bright minds that are city-focused to foster learning, inspiration and wonder – and provoke innovation.

The conference will seek to better understand the idea of urban commons at different scales, under what circumstances and contexts urban commons emerge, what contributes to their durability and effectiveness, and what undermines them. The conference will highlight six thematic questions, to which a paper submission is required, they are:

  1. Conceinving the urban commons
  2. Mapping the urban commons
  3. The urban commons and democratic innovation
  4. The collaborative/sharing economy as the basis as a commons-based urban economy
  5. Social innovation as the basis for a commons-based urban welfare
  6. Designing and governing the city as a commons

In order to participate abstracts may be submitted to urbancommons@labgov.it or through the dedicated application form on the website. The deadline for submission is August 10th, 2015 at 12:00 AM CET.

Follow the LabGov’s Facebook and Twitter account that will be constantly updated on the news about the Conference. The official hashtag of the conference is #commonscities.

Download the program HERE

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La città come bene comune: la prima IASC Conference organizzata da LabGov

La prima IASC (International Association for the Study of the Commons) Thematic Conference sui beni comuni urbani sta arrivando. La IASC Conference, dal nome “ The City as a Commons: Reconceiving Urban Space, Common Goods And City Governance” sarà organizzata da LabGov, in collaborazione con Fordham University di New York e ICEDD International Center on Democracy and Democratization dell’Università LUISS di Roma, e avrà luogo i prossimi 6-7 novembre 2015 a Bologna.

Scarica il programma  QUI.

 

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.

UBIQUITOUS COMMONS – The hyper-connected governance

UBIQUITOUS COMMONS – The hyper-connected governance

The Ubiquitous Commons – the Commons in the age of Ubiquitous Technology – is an international research effort dedicated to understanding the transformation of data, information and knowledge in the age of ubiquitous technologies. It acts in ways which are completely interdisciplinary, moving across scientific and humanistic research, arts and design, institutional and economic action, activism and advocacy, urban studies and rural innovation. The network of experts comprises scholars, lawyers, professors, writers and artists from all over the world, such as David Bollier and Michel Bauwens. LabGov recently  joined the team thanks through the scientific contribution of Christian Iaione, LabGov coordinator . The project goes through education processes, research, development, near future design scenarios and aesthetic actions which are intended to broaden the perception of “possibility” for both people and organizations, in constructive, enabling the formation of novel points of view and possibilities.

The hacker Salvatore Iaconesi and the artist and writer Oriana Persico – who wrote recently an article appeared on Nòva24 on Il Sole 24 Ore – are the coordinators of the project. Salvatore and Oriana created AOS – Art is Open Source, which – in their words – is “an international informal network exploring the mutation of societies through the ubiquitous digital technologies”. This – and other issues – they explained in one of the meetings at LabGov the last year.

Human EcosystemsThe article about Ubiquitous Commons underlines as it could give a great response to manage our data spread in the net.

Horizon 2020 is making Europe change its direction and DG Connect is now dealing with responsible innovation and research. These two areas have become cross-cutting issues and they have been discussing in February during a workshop opened to the debates between stakeholders about strategies for 2016-17.

Among many topics, there will be Big Data, Social networks, Health, Smart cities and communities, Robotics and algorithms. The way to face them is the so-called Concept reengineering.

Social issues advisor Nicole Dewandre explains that the key is Hyper-connectivity: the capability of being connected each other, both offline and online. To do this, it is necessary to re-design different concepts such as Privacy, Freedom, Identity, Attention, Justice and Responsiveness. This is DG Connect’s vision: technology has to achieve new goals in terms of creating of new meaning with social, cultural and anthropological impacts.

A human revolution, not a technological one. The key is finding a way to convert the Data we produce in a relational ecosystem, instead of using them for business logic. According to commons theorist Elinor Ostrom, focusing just on resources is not enough: the quality of relations allows its equal management.

In this scenario, Ubiquitous Commons could be a great response to manage data ownership. By creating legal and technological toolkits, the aim of the project is to create new forms of collaboration among citizens, in which responsibility and rights are re-designed in order to guarantee data access. This innovative kind of plug-in for our internet browsers associates cryptography, peer-to-peer networks and user-generated licences. The mechanism is fully cooperative and collaborative: people, communities, institutions and businesses can create new licences of different nature.

Using Ubiquitous Commons EU citizens could regain the ownership of their data spread in the net. Ubiquitous Commons is currently an empirical research project. An active endorsement by the EU could turn it into a strategic public policy in the future.

More information on: http://www.artisopensource.net/network/artisopensource/2015/03/01/ubiquitous-commons-governance-in-the-age-of-hyper-connectivity/

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L’iperconnettività da governare – UBIQUITOUS COMMONS su Nòva24!

Ubiquitous Commons è uno sforzo di ricerca internazionale dedicato alla comprensione della trasformazione di dati, informazioni e conoscenze nell’era delle tecnologie onnipresenti. Agisce in modi che siano completamente interdisciplinari, si muovono attraverso la ricerca scientifica e umanistica, arte e design, l’azione istituzionale ed economica, l’attivismo e l’avvocatura, studi urbani e innovazione rurale. La rete di esperti è composta da studiosi, avvocati, professori, scrittori e artisti provenienti da tutto il mondo, come David Bollier e Michel Bauwens. LabGov si è recentemente unito al team grazie al contributo scientifico di Christian Iaione, coordinatore di LabGov. Il progetto passa attraverso processi di educazione, ricerca, sviluppo, vicino scenari progettuali e azioni future estetici che sono destinati ad ampliare la percezione di “possibilità” per le persone e le organizzazioni, permettendo la formazione di nuovi punti di vista e possibilità.

L’hacker Salvatore Iaconesi e l’artista e scrittrice Oriana Persico che hanno scritto recentemente un articolo apparso su Nòva24 su Il Sole 24 Ore sono i coordinatori del progetto. Salvatore e Oriana hanno creato AOS Art is Open Source, che  con loro parole è una rete informale internazionale esplorare la mutazione delle società attraverso le tecnologie digitali onnipresenti“. Questo e altre questioni hanno spiegato in uno dei seminari di LabGov lo scorso anno.

L’articolo su Ubiquitous Commons mette in evidenza le possibilità di gestire la diffusione dei nostri dati in rete.

Per saperne di più:  http://www.artisopensource.net/network/artisopensource/2015/03/01/ubiquitous-commons-governance-in-the-age-of-hyper-connectivity/

David Bollier on LabGov approach to the Governance of Commons

David Bollier on LabGov approach to the Governance of Commons

LabGov goes global. After the interview to one of LabGov strategist, Christian Iaione, by Michel Bauwens, founder of the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives, on the City as a Commons project, that has been published few weeks ago on the Shareable website (and available here), another great expert of Commons, David Bollier dedicated an article to LabGov and its projects on his famous blog about the commons.

We have already talked about Bollier, his works and his efforts as an activists on our blog. In particular, we have written on the crowdfunding campaing launched less than an year ago for the likely attempt of translating in Italian his “Think like a Commoner”, and on his publication more in depth, here.

Bollier defined pioneering the work done in Italy on the paradigm of the City as Commons. In his article Bollier highlighted the important role of LabGov in the reconceptualization of the catalytic role that universities can play and the idea behind LabGov projects that we are in front of a epochal transition in which is emerging a new social class – active citizens, social innovators, makers, creatives, sharing and collaborative economy practitioners, service designers, co-working and co-production experts, and urban designers. This new social class needs commons-related policies as ways to tap into the talents and enthusiasm. In fact conventional governance structures cannot effectively elicit or organize the energies of these people.

Bollier devotes particular attention also to two important LabGov projects: CO-Mantova and the Regulation on collaboration between citizens and the city for the care and regeneration of urban commons.

Moreover, Bollier endorsed Iaione’s idea of public-commons partnerships to build a “sharing city” or a “commons-oriented city”. As perfectly synthesized by Bollier, LabGov approach consists in this: Instead of relying on the familiar public/private partnerships that often siphon public resources into private pockets, a city can instead pursue “public/commons partnerships” that bring people together into close, convivial and flexible collaborations. The working default is “finding a solution” rather than beggar-thy-neighbor adversarialism or fierce political warfare”.

This is just an excerpt of the full article that is possible (and worth) reading at this link:

http://bollier.org/blog/labgov-pioneers-paradigm-city-commons

 


 

Dopo essere stato intervistato da Michel Bauwens, l’idea del prof. Iaione di “Governance dei beni comuni” viene ripresa da un altro grande attivista dei Commons, David Bollier.

In passato, su questo blog, si è già parlato di Bollier.

Con questo articolo rimandiamo a bollier.org, blog sul quale è stato pubblicato l’articolo che illustra i successi e le sfide future del Laboratorio per la Governance dei beni comuni.


The picture for this article has been taken here.

 

The XXI Century as a CO-Century

The XXI Century as a CO-Century

An interview of Prof. Christian Iaione, Coordinator of LabGov, has been published on the Shareable website, the american leading organization for sharing economy and collaborative practices, co-founded by Neal Gorenflo, that collaborated with LabGov both in the CO-Mantova project and the Sharing School . The interview was made by another friend of LabGov, Michel Bauwens, the founder of the Peer-to-Peer Foundation, an international organization focused on studying, researching, documenting and promoting peer to peer practices in a very broad sense, that was in Mantova for the Cooperation Festival organized in November.

Enjoy the interview!

“A commons-based economy cannot thrive without appropriate institutions, especially those that represent a “partner state” approach. Professor Christian Iaione of LUISS University in Rome is a pioneer of such institutional innovation in Italian cities. I believe his work with the city of Bologna on Bologna’s Regulation for the Care and Regeneration of Urban Commons is a breakthrough. This regulation allows citizen coalitions to propose improvements to their neighborhoods, and the city to contract with citizens for key assistance. In other words, the municipality functions as an enabler giving citizens individual and collective autonomy.

More than 30 projects have already been approved in this context and dozens of Italian cities are adopting this regulation. The CO-Mantova project in Mantua, Italy is one such example. It has been set up for citizen-based social innovation using a multi-stakeholder approach that includes Professor Iaione. In the interview below, we asked him about his motivation, the ideas that have shaped his work, his urban commons projects in Bologna and Mantua, and how he sees the expansion of this approach in cities throughout the world.

Michel Bauwens: Before we explore your work, what sparked your passion for urban commons?

maxresdefaultChris Iaione: I grew up in Southern Italy, but with an Anglo-Saxon imprinting. My parents lived in the US in the sixties. They eventually decided to go back. My father told me they made this choice because they wanted to give back to their country. In the Seventies, they were both Vice-Mayors in their respective hometowns (Contrada and Atripalda, near Avellino). The first time I went to the US was 1980. I was five years old and running away from a catastrophic earthquake that hit my city and its county (Avellino). Schools and other public services were shut down. My mother, my brothers and I fled to New York and New Jersey to stay with friends and relatives. My father decided to stay in Italy to take care of his city and his citizens.

These were the first lessons I learned about life and the US. The sense of duty that my father taught me with his example, and that the US can be a welcoming land for those in need. Almost twenty years later in 1999, I enrolled in the UC Berkeley Extension Program. In Berkeley I learned the importance of becoming a unique human able to collaborate with other unique human beings, rather than competing to be the first of my class. I came back to the States for a third time to intern at the International Law Institute in D.C.—a city where you can feel the immanent presence of power and how distant institutions can be from the needs of citizens and how reluctant they are to innovate, but also how you can find innovators within government.

Lessons learned: if you want to change something you have to change it from the inside by finding those who are willing to work with you. I then had the opportunity to work and develop my academic studies as a research fellow at New York University School of Law. It was there that I developed the theoretical framework for local public entrepreneurship, which is the basis of the CO-Mantova project and the idea of the city as a commons. My study on the tragedy of urban roads and experiments in Bologna lead to this.

 

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You run LabGov – LABoratory for the GOVernance of commons dealing with new commons-centric urban governance, which is part of an important Italian academic institution LUISS University, and, in particular, the International Center on Democracy and Democratization led by Leonardo Morlino, a prominent international political scientist. What is LabGov?

LabGov is an in-house clinic for social, economic, institutional and legal innovators that carry out empirical work to implement innovations in public policy based on collaborative governance and public collaboration for the commons, subsidiarity, active citizenship, sharing economy, collaborative consumption, shared value, and collective impact. I co-produce the clinic with young people graduating from LUISS University. I designed this program having in mind a powerful new social class which is on the rise. It is a class of active citizens, social innovators, makers, creatives, sharing and collaborative economy practitioners, service designers, co-working and co-production experts, and urban designers.

This social class is pushing or nudging society, business and institutions towards new frontiers. Student should have the opportunity to join this social class and help it move the frontier forward. That is why, through the clinic, student interns develop projects that must come to life. Students must implement innovation in areas where innovation has not been brought yet or amplify the innovation in existing projects. In 2013 LabGov was devoted to the subject “The City as a Commons,” while in 2014 it was focused on “Culture as a Commons.”

In academic year 2014-2015 the focus of study is green governance, to be understood as a social, economic, institutional and legal technology. Therefore, this year the LabGov is devoted to the “land as a commons: environment, agriculture and food.” All the real life projects we design in the Laboratory are then proposed to real life actors that are willing to experiment with the ideas we seed. LabGov is a nonprofit rooted in the university but working on the outside. LabGov intends to update the Triple Helix concept of the university-industry-government relationship because we believe in a Quintuple Helix approach (embedded in LabGov logo) where universities become an active member of the community and facilitate the creation of new forms of partnerships in the general interest between government, industry and businesses, the not for profit sector, social innovators and citizens, and other institutions such as schools, academies, plus research and cultural centers.

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You are known as one of the key authors of the new regulation on collaboration for the care and regeneration of urban commons, which was adopted by Bologna and is now being adopted by other Italian cities. What exactly does the “Regolamento sulla collaborazione per i beni comuni urbani” entail, and are there already practical consequences?

The Bologna Regulation is part of the “The City as a Commons” project that LabGov started in 2012. It consists of two years of field work and three “urban commons governance labs.” The Bologna regulation is a 30 page regulatory framework outlining how local authorities, citizens and the community at large can manage public and private spaces and assets together (available in English here). As such, it’s a sort of handbook for civic and public collaboration, and also a new vision for government. It reflects the strong belief that we need a cultural shift in terms of how we think about government, moving away from the Leviathan State or Welfare State toward collaborative or polycentric governance. This calls for more public collaboration, nudge regulations, and citytelling.

I have been researching the topic of the commons for quite a long time, and at some point I realized that the city could actually be interpreted as a collaborative commons. I synthesized my research in a paper “City as a Commons” presented at a conference in Utrecht and later published in the Indiana University Digital Library of the Commons. This was the background study for the Bologna and Mantova projects. I am now working with Sheila Foster from Fordham Law School on a more comprehensive study which is going to lay out a theoretical framework building on the background studies I developed in Italian (see an article titled La città come bene comune) and the empirical work I am carrying out in several Italian cities.

Logo CO Mantova

We met at the presentation of CO-Mantova, an ambitious project to revive the local economy with young social innovators, which also proposes an innovative fivefold local governance scheme. Tell us why Mantova needed this, how the process with youth worked, and how the city, province, and Chamber of Commerce came to accept the process. Above all: what’s next?

CO-Mantova is a prototype of a process to run the city as a collaborative commons, i.e. a “co-city.” A co-city should be based on collaborative governance of the commons whereby urban, environmental, cultural, knowledge and digital commons are co-managed by the five actors of the collaborative/polycentric governance—social innovators (i.e. active citizens, makers, digital innovators, urban regenerators, rurban innovators, etc.), public authorities, businesses, civil society organizations, knowledge institutions (i.e. schools, universities, cultural academies, etc.)—through an institutionalized public-private-citizen partnership. This partnership will give birth to a local peer-to-peer physical, digital and institutional platform with three main aims: living together (collaborative services), growing together (co-ventures), making together (co-production).

The project is supported by the local Chamber of Commerce, the City, the Province, local NGOs, young entrepreneurs, SMEs, and knowledge institutions, such as the Mantua University Foundation, and some very forward-looking local schools.

The first step was “seeding social innovation” through a collaborative call for “Culture as a Commons” to bring forth social innovators in Mantua. Second step was the co-design laboratory “Enterprises for the Commons,” an ideas camp where the seven projects from the call were cultivated and synergies created between projects and with the city. The third phase was the Governance camp, a collaborative governance prototyping stage which led to the drafting of the Collaborative Governance Pact (see the Italian version here, English version forthcoming) the Collaboration Toolkit and the Sustainability Plan, which was presented to the public during the Festival of Cooperation on November 27th last year.

image 4The next step is the fourth and final phase: the governance testing and modeling through the launch of a public consultation in the city on the text of the Pact and a roadshow generating interest in CO-Mantova among possible signatories belonging to the five categories of collaborative governance actors. We are also may have CO-Mantova opening up a Commons School.

 

What are the prospects for public collaboration and commons-oriented local governance schemes? What do you see happening elsewhere and what do you want to see change in the near future?

This really depends on the local context. In my opinion, people are what matters the most, and the best entry point is always to find the people or group who believe in change, and in doing things better by pushing the boundaries of institutional innovation. You need people with around-the-clock commitment beyond their official duty both to the community, the institution and to excellence.

You always have to take into account that public officials are likely to be very cautious, since changing one thing tends to impact other things. Innovation is not the result of revolution, but it’s quiet, not necessarily slow, but difficult and involves a continuous negotiation process. This is something that you have to “figure out on the ground.” If you manage to implement change with the public administration rather than using political drivers, your change and is much more likely to be permanent.

There are some good example on how public collaboration and commons-oriented local governance schemes are taking place. Florence is one example where collaboration has been seeded in several institutions and projects that the city is already running. The new mayor and new commissioners have already showed interest in expanding the reach of a collaborative approach within the city government.

Moreover, a growing community of innovators is working in Italy to foster collaborative practices, sharing economy and social innovation. For example the Sharing School that was held from 23 to 26 of January in Matera, the 2019 European Capital of Culture.

What else are you working on? What are your long-term goals?

We are talking about a cultural shift. The new governance model proposed is a new way for us to relate to almost everything, from economy to society as a whole and to other people, in other words: our vision of the world changes. Whether this cultural paradigm takes expression in sharing a car, or caring about where the trash ends up, this is all part of a 21st century way of living: a way of sharing things, sharing services, sharing spaces, sharing production and sharing responsibilities.

You need a “nudging class” instead of a ruling class, a class that has the drive to convince and nudge society and institutions towards a sharing and collaborative paradigm. But you cannot force change, you have to nudge people to share and collaborate.

For this reason, since 2012, I’ve suggested the creation of a federalized network of local hubs of expertise gathering best practices, starting up experimentations in different territories, spreading governance culture and disseminating knowledge among Italian territories. This National Collaboration Network could become a hub that provides collaboration toolkits, regulations and governance schemes, as well as training programs and day-by-day assistance for local administrators to help them drive change toward sharing and governance of the commons. This could accelerate the shift towards a 21st century paradigm of public administration.

What other cities are you allied with or are learning from? Is CO-Mantova part of any networks or associations that support commons-based urban development?

Many other cities are taking the route synthesized by CO-Mantova and opened by Bologna with its regulation on collaboration for urban commons. Milano, Firenze, Roma, Naples, Battipaglia, and Palermo have decided or are deciding to invest energy, skills, and other resources on the challenge of collaboration. They increasingly believe that only through co-design and bottom-up processes of civic and economic empowerment is it possible to face the challenges that congestion, agglomeration, and density that cities will face in the future.

How are LUISS students or LabGov interns involved in Co-Mantova? And what feedback are you getting from them so far?

Labgovers, as we call LabGov interns, participated actively during all the phases of the Mantova project. They supported project design and field implementation. They handled internal and external communication, organized the workshops and conferences, and facilitated the different project working groups, which, for instance, created the Collaboration Pact, the Collaboration Toolkit, and the Sustainability Plan.

For them, CO-Mantova was their first fieldwork and occasion to test the competencies acquired during their University study, and through the colloquium that LabGov holds every year on commons governance, sharing economy, social innovation, nudge regulation. LabGov helps young, talented students develop useful skills for their careers. All skills that due to the continuous transformation of society, you will not find in books or learn in a classroom. For this reason, LabGov teaches collaboration, service design, project management, and the sharing of roles and responsibilities through a “learning by doing” approach. Thanks to LabGov, young students and graduates enter the working world better prepared than their colleagues. I am confident that Labgovers will hold important positions in society and will be the driving force of change by fostering collaboration and a commons-oriented economic approach.

In conclusion, how do you see the inter-relationship of the commons, city governments, citizens, market players and market institutions?

The job of city governments, and maybe every government layer, is changing. Their function is less about commanding or providing. They are increasingly acting as a platform that enables collaboration between citizens and social innovators, not for profit organizations, businesses and universities — the five actors of collaborative governance — to unleash the full potential of urban, cultural, and environmental commons, promote a sustainable commons-oriented development paradigm, updating the concept of State or government and therefore implying as Neal Gorenflo would say a “shift in power and social relations.” Market institutions are more interested in this process than one might think. This is the main take away of the Mantova experiment. In fact, it is the local Chamber of Commerce, the local cooperative movement, the local businesses and the young entrepreneurs that are investing more in this innovative project than other sectors. SMEs and big companies alike are looking for new, innovative approaches to the way value is produced. The race to the bottom that globalization has triggered is no longer an available strategy for a knowledge economy system like Mantova. Economic actors increasingly understand that they should invest in producing collaborative value and create collaborative economic ecosystems that foster creativity, knowledge, identity, and trust.

This new phenomenon represents an opportunity to revolutionize the current state of play of the society, economy, institutions and law. This new social, economic, institutional and legal paradigm is going to characterize the 21st century as the “CO-century,” the century of COmmons, COllaboration, COoperation, COmmunity, COmmunication, CO-design, CO-production, CO-management, COexistence, CO-living. For all these reasons, it is urgent to design the rules and institutions of this new century. LabGov.it is working on this frontier and is doing it together with experts, organizations, and individuals that represent what we think is a newly rising social class, a class of economic and institutional innovators.

“If you are looking for glory, you are probably not a very good innovation agent”.

 

This interview has been taken by the Shareable website: http://www.shareable.net/blog/interviewed-professor-christian-iaione-on-the-city-as-commons