Recall for the 1st IASC (International Association for the Study of the Commons) Thematic Conference on the Urban Commons – no more utopia, but a purpose.

A great Italian entrepreneur used to say: “The term utopia is the easiest way to sell off what you don’t want to, you don’t have the skill for or have the courage to do. A dream seems just a dream until you start somewhere and only then it becomes a purpose, which is something infinitely greater.” Purpose has begun to materialize from dreams with the upcoming 1st IASC (International Association for the Study of the Commons) Thematic Conference on the Urban Commons. Not long ago, the Urban Commons were just a thought, something indefinite and impalpable. Well, now we are at the crucial moment when scholars, researchers, policymakers, practitioners and social innovators are ready to join a one-of-a-kind committee, which creates a unique opportunity to conceptualize and develop the idea of the “urban commons”.

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. The conference will take place in Bologna on 6-7 November 2015 and will be co-chaired by LabGov coordinator Prof. Christian Iaione (UniMarconi University and LUISS Guido Carli) and by Prof. Sheila Foster (Fordham University), a scholar who pioneered the conception of the urban commons. The International Scientific Review Committee is composed by leading scholars 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). Keynote speeches will be delivered by Tine De Moor (Utrecht University), Richard Sennett (London School of Economics, New York University), Silke Helfrich and Michel Bauwens (both from Commons Strategies Group).

This unique conference and this prestigious committee mean something. They are signs that we are no longer talking about something that exists only in words or in theory. Indeed, the Urban Commons are already a reality. A reality, which has not been created by professors at school, but something that people—citizens— have made possible. The social innovation, the citizen’s participation, and the sharing economy have been applied to different fields of our life and are concretely creating new standards and paradigms of welfare, commons based cities, urban economy, and forms of governance. The 1st IASC Thematic Conference on the Urban Commons, will bring out questions, methodologies, and disciplinary approaches necessary to more concretely implement the challenges of urban commons in different fields. Urban Commons are not a utopia, and are even more than a purpose. They are something real. Something happening.

Do not miss the deadlines:

  • By October 9th, presenters should confirm attendance by registering and paying the conference fee through the conference website and paper presenters should register here.
  • Auditors should register with this form, by October 25th

Follow also LabGov’s Facebook and Twitter.  The official hashtag of the conference: #commonscities

Stay tuned!