Cooking lessons and talks: what happened!

Cooking lessons and talks: what happened!

IMG_0370A cooking competition has been the final event  of this third edition of Labgov. In this occasion students, professors and staff members had the occasion to work together, listen to the inspiring words of our judge and guest Annibale D’ Elia. The meeting was followed by the final lesson in the garden with our partners from Zappata Romana. Adding to this an amazing sunny day, we can easily say that there couldn’t have been a better conclusion to the Labgov activities of this year.

On the 18th of April the last event on the Labgov calendar has taken place, and even if several future projects are waiting for the group, we have reached the end of the third edition of the Laboratory, which focused on “environment agriculture and food”, with the aim of discovering a possible path of collaborative governance of our territory as a commons.

The program for the day was rich and diversified. It started with the last cooking class, in which the chefs taught to the participants how to make a classical but always loved dessert–tiramisù- and, before the official competition began, a special coffee break took place, in which our guest Annibale D’Elia gave us numerous advices.

IMG_0364D’Elia is  one of the co-founders of Bollenti Spiriti, the youth policies program created by the region Puglia,  composed by  a number of actions aiming at allowing young citizens’ participation in all the aspects of the community life. Starting from his experience with this project, D’Elia told us about the importance of getting personally involved, trying to create something new from what we already have, without waiting for the perfect conditions to develop. He believes that we should take reality as it is and not as we think it should be, and in order to do so we need to make a step towards a different direction and to look at the world around us from a new perspective.  We live in a time in which what we learn in school is not enough anymore, and in which new competences are required. To acquire these competences we need an informal education in which people get together, share experiences and learn trough practice.

This stimulating speech was followed by the cooking competition, in which the participants, divided into two teams, faced each other and attempted to reproduce all the dishes they prepared during the previous meetings. Before the judges returned their final verdict all the participants enjoyed the lunch offered by CIR-FOOD Luiss.

IMG_0494But this wasn’t the end. During this conclusive Labgov meeting a last common work shift in the community garden could not be missing! The group moved to the garden and met  with our partners from Zappata Romana, who have been following the project since the beginning of the year and who have shared with us their knowledge on many occasions. The last activity of the day consisted in the creation of “gardens in a box in which each student could plant his favorite seeds, giving life to a small personalized garden, ready to be taken home and to be taken care of as the Laboratory taught us to do.

PIANTAGONO – Cleaning our flowerbed to regenerate our neighbourhood!

PIANTAGONO – Cleaning our flowerbed to regenerate our neighbourhood!

Next Friday, April the 17th, LabGov – LABoratory for the GOVernance of commons and AMUSE – Amici Municipio Secondo will collaborate to regenerate the central flowerbed of Piazza Ungheria, Rome.

The goal of the project is to raise awareness of sustainable development, the care and regeneration of urban green spaces and governance of the commons. The specific objective of the project is the rehabilitation, care and maintenance of the flowerbed of Piazza Ungheria and the creation of a network of collaboration among active citizens in urban green spaces.

Among all partners that will enjoy the event, there will be Zappata Romana; Interazioni urbane; Rebike ALTERmobility; Radio Luiss; Greenchallenge; Luiss TV; Luiss LEP; Retake Roma.

The event – that will begin at 2.30 PM in Piazza Ungheria, Rome – will be divided in two parts:

2.30 PM – 5.00 PM: regenerating action

5.00 PM – 6.00 PM: Tea Time in LUISS Community Garden

For more details, please refer to the flyers below:

                           17 aprile_Loc 17 aprile (10)                          Volantino opz2 - B&N (5)

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 Commons.net” 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 Commons.net” 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.

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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.  

When community gardens rhyme with diffusion of best practices: Zappata Romana

When community gardens rhyme with diffusion of best practices: Zappata Romana

Today, community gardens are a widespread reality all over Europe, and not only. Italy has demonstrated to keep up with times and Rome is no exception. Nevertheless, the various experiments in collective governance of public spaces have never been on the forefront of local and national media. At least until the creation of Zappata Romana.
The very beginning of this project dates back to 2010, when a group of people, notably Silvia Cioli, Luca D’Eusebio and Andrea Mangoni, realized that the mere restoration of an abandoned public space does not bring long-term solutions in terms of maintenance. For this reason, they figured out that the efforts should be maximized though associations of willing and active people in order to provide a durable management for the benefit of the whole community.
Zappata Romana is a study project by StudioUAP, which “works mostly on public spaces and participation. Urban projects, architecture and landscape design are the occasions for experimenting models for the introduction of social interaction especially with children and low tech architecture”.
At the time when they rolled up their sleeves, they did an overview of the existing projects and they discovered that already 40 urban community gardens had already mushroomed in Rome, gathering many citizens and associations. It was the demonstration that the population was silently acknowledging the need for public spaces not only to be collectively managed but also to be a meeting place where socialization and exchange of best practices were the most important keywords.
Zappata Romana then can be better defined as a “network” because its ultimate goal is to put into contact the different projects that autonomously rise in the city of Rome. The always updated interactive map published on its website is the first and most remarkable tool at their disposal.

tavola 100 x 70The different symbols represent different kinds of projects, i.e. vegetables gardens, gardens, guerrilla gardens, while the leitmotiv is the collective and direct management of these places by the citizens. Since every marker is accompanied with a brief description and the link of the related project/association, communication and exchange of practices are therefore possible. Not only. Cooperation is the expected outcome of this platform and the Roma Skill Share event in 2011 is the best example of the practical commitment and willingness already shown on the internet. It was a large event, where almost all the promoters of community gardens displayed on the map gathered and personally met in order to share the knowledge they had acquired (literally) on field. The idea of a handbook, published on the website, on the realization of community gardens is the result of the general will expressed on that occasion.
The flagship of Zappata Romana is the Hortus Urbis project. It best exemplifies the willingness of circulating skills and practices, combined with an educational and socializing goal.
The Appia Antica way was one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. Today, the spirit of the Ancient Rome revives in Hortus Urbis, which was launched by Zappata Romana and the Regional Park of Appia Antica. It consists in a 225sqm vegetable garden, which collects plants commonly used by the ancient Romans for a wide array of scopes: from the culinary to the therapeutic ones. Hortus Urbis is a collective garden where workshops regularly take place, where children, schools and adults, too have the possibility to learn how to take care of the environment they live in.
Hortus Urbis is just one of the over 150 community gardens in Rome, each of which is bearer of a particular knowledge that waits to be discovered and shared. Thus, not only the map of Zappata Romana is an orientation tool, but it also and foremost communicates an ideal and connects people.

Nel contesto dei giardini urbani condivisi, Zappata Romana è stata la pioniera nello studio e nella classificazione degli esperimenti condotti dai cittadini nella città di Roma. Lo studio ha preso la forma di una mappa interattiva che informa e mette in comunicazione realtà diverse tra loro, che tutto hanno da guadagnare nello scambio di esperienze e conoscenze acquisite sul “campo”. Zappata Romana opera ormai da qualche anno e ha collezionato iniziative di rilievo, come la guida pratica alla creazione di un orto condiviso e il progetto Hortus Urbis, che a scopo educativo fa rivivere lo spirito dell’Antica Roma.

“Coltiviamoci”: cooperation as a strategy for the commons

“Coltiviamoci”: cooperation as a strategy for the commons

foto (4)On May 19th 2014, LabGov – Laboratory for the Governance of the commons organized the event “Coltiviamoci” at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome. In organizing such a meeting, LabGov had the aim to present both the results achieved in the 2013/2014 academic year and the focus of the laboratory for the 2014/2015 session, namely the governance of the environmental commons. However, the event was also an occasion for a panel discussion, as LabGov had the pleasure to host prestigious speakers: Giovanni Lo Storto, LUISS Guido Carli CEO; Carmelo Troccoli, the National Secretary of Coldiretti Giovani Impresa; Luca D’Eusebio from the association Zappata Romana; Albino Ruberti, Managing Director and President of Zètema Progetto Cultura s.r.l. and coordinator of the working group Lazio Expo 2015. Professor Christian Iaione and Professor Gregorio Arena (Labsus) participated at the conference as LabGov founders and promoters.
Four neo-LabGovers, Marina Bassi, Edoardo De Stefani, Federica Maranesi and Leonardo Rossi made an introductive speech and presented the video that has been realized by the LabGovers in collaboration with Doctor Morello and Doctor Sbordoni from Officine GM. The video perfectly expressed the spirit of LabGov: youth, participation, training, and social innovation. Then, they spoke about the goals achieved during this academic year, which are impressive: ReinventAda, ReinventAda + and Human Ecosystem.
ReinventAda consisted in the regeneration of the Flora’s temple in Villa Ada’s park, which took place in October 2013. In that occasion, the LabGovers wanted to create a new form of governance of the commons and for this reason, they decided to practically take care of this site, by giving it new life through a restoration activity, under the supervision of the “Sovrintendenza Capitolina”. It is still an ongoing project and in fact, on June 26th 2014, LabGov will launch the second edition of the event: ReinventAda +. This year, LabGov will be the promoter of a memorandum of understanding open to all those associations willing to take care of Villa Ada, thanks to the model provided by the Bologna’ regulation about the collaboration between citizens and public administration for the cure and regeneration of the urban commons. The translation in English of the latter has been another goal achieved by LabGov 2014 and it will be an important documentation source for all foreigners who have already demonstrated a genuine interest in the LabGov project.
Nevertheless, the most important project that LabGov had the honour to carry out during the last semester has been “Human Ecosystems”. The latter is a new technology that qualitatively and quantitatively measures all information that human beings produce in the main social media and gives us back the real time geography of our relations, ideas and conversations in the form of an ever-changing map. In strict collaboration with the creators of this device, Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico, and with Roma Capitale, the LabGovers wrote a European project in response to a Horizon 2020 call for proposal.
All participants to the conference positively welcomed these results and after this brief introduction, the conversation with the host speakers began. The conversation revolved around the themes of Expo 2015, which perfectly coincide with those on which LabGov is based. In particular, since LabGov focus of the 2014/2015 academic year will be the environmental commons, the LabGovers asked the host speakers to meditate on possible solutions to the problem of a healthy, secure and sustainable global sustenance and on LabGov proposal of the vegetable garden sharing.
Giovanni Lo Storto, LUISS Guido Carli CEO, expressed his enthusiasm for the goals LabGov achieved during the last academic year. He was fundamental in LabGov creation and without his support, such a great success would not have been even possible. He underlined that the natural resources are finite and that we should welcome this situation as an opportunity for the best energies of the society to create new forms of governance for the commons. Even if he could no longer participate to the conference for institutional reasons, he finally praised the choice of the word “Coltiviamoci” which implies a collective commitment towards a common goal.
Carmelo Troccoli, the National Secretary of Coldiretti Giovani Impresa, picked up the baton and continued the discussion. He praised LUISS Guido Carli University for its commitment towards such important and living matters. He gave a picture of the Italian agriculture, showing how it is one of the most competitive in the world. In fact, even though the country has never invested in new technologies or in the GMOs, it has experimented different innovations, which mainly derive from the capacity to be creative. In Italy, a new development method was born, centred on the concept of diversity and for this reason, the successful idea of “smart territories” was launched.
Luca D’Eusebio, instead, told the experience of an informal association: Zappata Romana. Unconsciously, more than 40 voluntary associations of citizens over time have decided to take care of abandoned gardens and have promoted their regeneration. In this context, Zappata Romana created an on-line map of all these experiences and for the first time, the involved associations could communicate with each other. In addition, Zappata Romana gathered all the success stories in a single Handbook, which has been published on the internet. Nevertheless, Luca D’Eusebio admitted that none of these experiences collaborated with the public administration and consequently, some of them followed a regulation process, which in the case of the XI Municipality of Rome has brought the approval of a Municipal regulation for the governance of the vegetable garden sharing.
Finally, Albino Ruberti, Managing Director and President of Zètema Progetto Cultura s.r.l. and coordinator of the working group Lazio Expo 2015, intervened in the debate. He argued that the experience of the Lazio Region in Expo 2015 has superseded the classic hierarchical method in favour of a universal representation of all trade associations of the territory, with the aim of highlighting the excellence it has reached. Since the Lazio Region will enjoy a prominent position for the whole duration of Expo 2015, the latter represents the perfect opportunity to create long-term paths and to promote sustainability, cultural and tourism valorisation, the international dimension of local enterprises and new start-ups. Moreover, the institutions chose 8 macro-themes that constitute the fundamental prerequisites in order to select the experiences that will presented: the relationship between food and tourism; water; the city-country cleavage; sustainable nutrition; the relationship between genius and innovation; food products; the productive chain of the gastronomic itineraries; centrality of the city of Rome.
In the end, Professor Gregorio Arena (Labsus) and Professor Christian Iaione made the final remarks. In particular, the former informed the audience that the same day, the Bologna’s regulation has been finally approved by a large majority and suggested a reflection on the concept of “sharing”, on which a society should lay its foundations, together with the values of autonomy, trust, responsibility, reputation and transparency. Both professors hope for a radical change of the governance and while thanking all speakers for their participation, they distributed the certificate of attendance to all neo-LabGovers.
Coltiviamoci” has been an interesting and amazing opportunity to share values and success stories and to lay the foundations of the 2014/2015 LabGov edition. Join LabGov II edition and you will do the most formative experience ever!