The City as a Commons: The Collaborative/Sharing Economy as a Basis for a Commons-based economy

The City as a Commons: The Collaborative/Sharing Economy as a Basis for a Commons-based economy

FB_copertinaDEFNEWThe city council of Sao Paulo, South America’s largest metropolis, voted to ban the U.S.-based Uber ride-sharing service late Tuesday. City lawmakers decided 48-1 in favour of banning application-based private car services such as Uber in a preliminary vote[1].

But What are the lessons and forms of innovation that we can learn from this literature and this movement in managing the urban commons? Some possibilities are the regeneration of common spaces in cities for co-working and co-manufacturing, forms of cooperative ownership models such as community land trusts and real estate investment cooperatives, and the conscious emergence of a collaborative class in cities which transforms the economic relations between urban inhabitants. Is the collaborative/sharing economy the way to a commons-based urban economy? These, are the open questions on which we should think about.

The first IASC Conference, named “The City as a Commons: Reconceiving Urban Space, Common Goods And City Governance” is coming! LabGov organizes it in collaboration with Fordham University of New York and the ICEDD of the LUISS University of Rome. The Conference will take place in Bologna on 6-7 November 2015. The conference will be co-chaired by the LabGov’s coordinator Professor Christian Iaione (UniMarconi University and LUISS Guido Carli) and by Prof. Sheila Foster (Fordham University) both pioneer scholars in conceiving the urban commons.

The Conference aim to analyses the phenomenon of urban commons in a comprehensive way, dividing the two day work in 6 Tracks. One of the them is devoted to the Collaborative/ Sharing Economy as the basis for a commons-based urban economy. . The emerging sharing or collaborative economy, across all sectors of society, suggests strong, more democratic and horizontal alternatives to producing, distributing and managing a host of private and public goods across society. Professors, scholars, experts are invited to submit a paper for contributing to the ongoing debate on the sharing economy. The Conference want to investigate on what are the lessons and the forms of innovation that it is possible to learn from the literature on the collaborative economy and from the experiences of the movement active all around the world.

Recently, Shareable published an interview about the IASC Conference, in which Professor Christian Iaione explicated “The urban commons discipline actually comprises several fields of studies (city governance and local democracy, urban design and economics, urban sociology and geography, service design, land use and comparative law, just to name a few) but remains still understudied by scholars and it is often an unfamiliar terrain for both local institutions and citizens. Therefore, the primary focus of the IASC conference is to expand and explore this new frontier of a collaborative governance for the urban commons movement.

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Il consiglio comunale di San Paolo, la più grande metropoli del Sud America, ha votato per vietare Uber ride-sharing Martedì. I legislatori hanno deciso 48-1 a favore del divieto servizi di auto privata application-based, come Uber in una votazione preliminare.Ma cosa sono le lezioni e le forme di innovazione che possiamo imparare da questa letteratura e questo movimento nella gestione dei beni comuni urbani? Alcune possibilità sono il risanamento degli spazi comuni nelle città di co-working e co-produzione, le forme di modelli di proprietà di cooperazione quali i trust terra comunità e cooperative di investimento immobiliare, e l’emergere di una classe consapevole collaborazione nelle città che trasforma le relazioni economiche tra gli abitanti urbani. È la collaborazione / condivisione economia la strada ad una economia urbana basata su comuni? Queste, sono le domande aperte su cui dovremmo riflettere.

La prima conferenza IASC, denominata “The city as a Commons” è in arrivo! LabGov la organizzerà in collaborazione con la Fordham University di New York e la ICEDD della LUISS di Roma.

Are modern slavery and human trafficking crimes against humanity?

Are modern slavery and human trafficking crimes against humanity?

Marina LabGovOn July 21, the Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze will organize in Vatican City a working session that will be attended by 50 mayors of important world cities. Its main objective is to address modern slavery and human trafficking as crimes against humanity.

Today we are facing two emergencies, somehow connected: climate crisis and new forms of slavery. Pope Francis’ Encyclical on environment and human ecology highlighted how climate change effects usually hit most disadvantaged populations, which also lack those benefits due to fossil fuel use.  LabGov has already written at length the first environmental Encyclical of Pope Francis.

Today more than 30 million people are victims of modern slavery, a bargaining chip in a tragic market whose illegal profits reach 150 billion dollars a year. Since the beginning of his Pontificate in Spring 2013, Pope Francis has clearly taken a stand against this practice, urging all communities to radically reject all forms of systematic deprivation of individual liberty or body parts for exploitation and commercial business. Further pushing this stand, the Santa Marta Group (founded by Cardinal Vincent Nichols) is now bringing together bishops and law enforcement agencies around the world. This initiative’s main goal is to highlighted the need for local authorities to get more involved and provide support to higher-level police and security forces in the fight against modern slavery.

We strongly believe that environmental crisis and human crisis (such as modern slavery and human trafficking) should be considered as interconnected issues, and the above examples reinforces the need to properly address them in a proper context. LabGov is indeed making them a top priority in the discussion agenda of the 1st IASC International Conference on urban commons, scheduled for November 6-7 in Bologna, Italy.


Possiamo considerare la schiavitù moderna come un crimine contro l’umanità?

Il prossimo 21 luglio 2015, le Pontificie Accademie delle Scienze e delle Scienze Sociali stanno organizzando una giornata di lavori, nel corso della quale cinquanta sindaci tra italiani e stranieri delle più importanti città del mondo parteciperanno. Obiettivo principale del workshop è fare in modo che i sindaci e gli amministratori locali si uniscano ai leader religiosi e alle forze di polizia nella duplice richiesta alle Nazioni Unite di considerare la schiavitù moderna e la tratta di persone un crimine contro l’umanità.

“Caravan Petrol” – A strategic document for the measurement of the social impact

“Caravan Petrol” – A strategic document for the measurement of the social impact

CaravanPetrolThe workshop Tools for Social Impact: Designing and Measuring, organized by Societing and Social Seed, with the support of Casa Netural, LabGov, RENA and Rural Hub presents the final working report entitled “Caravan Petrol” from the title of a famous Italian film of 1960, in which the poor protagonist tests the illusion of having become rich.

The workshop, held in January 2015 in the suggestive headquarter of Rural Hub, in Calvanico (Salerno), had the objective to start a debate and research for the measurement of the social impact. We are in front of a new social phenomena, connected with the social innovation, the sharing economy, the cultural innovation, the collaborative services, ect. All of these experiences and approaches have in common a new understanding of the value, that take into consideration the economic sustainability, but also the social and environmental impacts.

But, how can we measure this? The debate has been opened in the last years by economist that tried to find new tools for measuring the GDP. In recent times new indexes have been elaborated, one of these is the Social Progress Index, of which talked about in an article of The Commons post.

In Calvanico, thanks to the support of the tools of the service design and the design thinking, experts, scholars and practitioners were involved in a debate on the necessity to find new tools and instrument for the measurement of the social impact. As case study it was used the question of the presence of oil deposits in the Basilicata Region. The participants started from the idea that

it is necessary to safeguard the territory, generating a new response to a model that could damage the environment. These were the tasks addressed by all parties and organizations involved in the challenge.

Nowadays, what is missing is the awareness of the need for change and the ability to build models that can create value from the new experiences of organization of material and immaterial resources available. “Business as usual” has the sole and exclusive aim of profit maximization. Instead social innovation tries to show if and how it is possible to develop new integrated economic models, understanding the real trend of change. As pointed out by Luigi Corvo, Professor of Public Management and Social Economy at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, “it is necessary to produce evidence on the combinations of value generated by social innovation business model”.

To promote this process of change, as underlined by Professor Christian Iaionecoordinator of LabGov – it is necessary to work on the following three aspects:

  • PUBLIC DEBATE, making widely known themes such as measuring the impact or – in the case of Basilicata – conceiving new models of development and creating new culture and corporate philosophy;
  • BECOMING CONCRETE as far as the measure is concerned, which must be quantitative, but also qualitative;
  • LANGUAGE, because laws are the result of day-by-day legislative and public work of interpretation. It is important to balance all interests at stake, through a language that is acceptable to all stakeholders, trying to overcome every kind of barrier to communication.

A new approach to sustainable development is able to produce and distribute value in the territory and it simultaneously manages to involve the public authorities and private stakeholders in a virtuous relationship with local communities: long drivers that lead from good choices to sound policy frameworks. It is demonstrated – for example – that the activities of rural innovators are not economically sustainable if you adopt a pure “balance sheet approach”. However, if you produce a profit that could not be translated into a financial value, it can be considered a form of value. The creation of standardized and shared tools to measure positive externalities and impacts is a decisive factor for the development of alternative models. The public actor in this case plays a decisive role. Recognizing the environmental, cultural, territorial and social impact produced by measuring externalities it could create new certifications and conversions of this non-financial value.


To download the final PDF of the meeting: caravan-petrol


To watch the video about the workshop:




“Caravan Petrol” – Un documento strategico per la misurazione dell’impatto sociale

Il workshop Tools for Social Impact: Designing and Measuring, organizzato da Societing e Social Seed, con il sostegno di Casa Netural, LabGov, RENA e RuralHub presenta il rapporto finale di lavoro dal titolo Caravan Petrol dal titolo di un famoso film italiano del 1960, in cui il protagonista – povero – mostra cosa succeda quando si ha l’illusione di essere ricchi.

Il workshop, tenutosi a gennaio 2015 nella suggestiva sede di RuralHub, a Calvanico (Salerno), ha l’obiettivo di avviare un dibattito e ricerca per la misurazione dell’impatto sociale. Siamo di fronte ad un nuovo fenomeno sociale, connesso con l’innovazione sociale, la sharing economy, l’innovazione culturale, i servizi collaborativi, ect. Tutte queste esperienze hanno in comune una nuova comprensione dei valori aggiunti di sostenibilità economica, impatti sociali e questioni ambientali.

Scarica il PDF: caravan-petrol

Guarda il video:

Promoting debates to build new perspectives: The philosophy of New pact for Europe

Promoting debates to build new perspectives: The philosophy of New pact for Europe

eurcultfoundNext Wednesday the 17th of June it will be held in Brussels (Rue Ravenstein, 23) the meeting Is there a need for a ‘new pact for Europe’?. The event, partnered by King Baudouin Foundation, Allianz Kulturstiftung, European Cultural Foundation, Open Society Foundations, European Policy Centre, among the others, will host several debates held by great participants from all around Europe. Professor Christian Iaione, coordinator of LabGov, will participate to the debate during the work session previewed.

Is there a need for a ‘new pact for Europe’? is an event involved in the largest edge of the New pact of Europe. The debate was opened in April during the meeting organized by the European Cultural Foundation in Leeuwarden, and entitled “Towards a European ‘Mienskip’: A Public Debate about the Future of Citizens in Europe” with the participation of prof. Christian Iaione and others stekeholders at European level, such as Matthew Fox from Engage Liverpool,  Carmen Lozano Bright from the spanish Peer to Peer Movement and Wim Hiemstra from the local Kening fan de Greide.

The euro-zone crisis has provided a strong new impetus for European integration, but that now risks being undermined amid increasing tension over how best to meet the many complex financial, economic, political, social and global challenges we face. Efforts to overcome the current malaise are being hampered by profound disagreements over the future course of reforms; mounting socio-economic problems and political instability in many EU countries; different interpretations of the causes and consequences of the crisis; growing Euroscepticism and an increasing reluctance among both citizens and elites to further pool sovereignty at European level. And while the EU is preoccupied with itself, Europe keeps on losing ground as the global shift continues.

The New Pact for Europe project was launched by the King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung (Germany) and is supported by a large transnational consortium. This project aims to promote a Europe-wide debate on reform proposals addressing three fundamental questions which need to be answered to develop an effective response to the multi-dimensional crisis Europeans are facing:

  • What is at stake if ‘Europe’ cannot tackle the various challenges we face? (‘What do we need the EU for?’)
  • What kind of collaboration is needed at European level to respond to the crisis? (‘What needs to be done?’)
  • How can the answers to these two questions be translated into action to make the EU more effective and to command broader-based public support? (‘How should it be done?’)


Here is the program of the event: Draft Agenda. New Pact for Europe. Brussels. 17 June




Promuovere il dibattito per creare nuove prospettive: La filosofia del New pact of Europe!

Il prossimo 17 giugno si terrà a Bruxelles (Rue Ravenstein, 23) l’incontro Is there a need of ‘New pact for Europe’?. L’evento, in partnership con Fondazione Re Baldovino, Allianz Kulturstiftung, European Cultural Foundation, Open Society Foundations, European Policy Centre, tra gli altri, ospiterà diversi dibattiti tenuti da grandi partecipanti provenienti da tutta Europa. Il professor Christian Iaione, coordinatore di LabGov, parteciperà al dibattito durante la sessione di lavoro.

Is there a need of ‘New pact for Europe’? è un evento inserito nella più grande cornice del New pact for Europe. Il dibattito è stato aperto nel mese di aprile durante l’incontro organizzato dalla Fondazione Culturale Europea a Leeuwarden, e dal titolo “Towards a European ‘Mienskip’: A Public Debate about the Future of Citizens in Europe”, con la partecipazione del prof. Christian Iaione e altri stekeholders a livello europeo, come Matthew Fox da Engage Liverpool, Carmen Lozano brillante dal Peer to Peer spagnolo Movimento e Wim Hiemstra dal ventilatore locale Kening de Greide.

Spero2020 – new ways of building public policies

Spero2020 – new ways of building public policies

image001During last Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th of June, Spero2020 has taken place in Siracusa. LabGov – LABoratory for the GOVernance of Commons joined the event. Professor Christian Iaione, coordinator of LabGov, participated at the event as a contributor of the two-days’ work tables.

Spero2020 was an event – organised by Tempi Nuovi Siracusa and AJS Connection – that takes its cue from Matteo Renzi’s Leopolda, convinced that dialogue and constructive part is the way to put the focus on political needs and desires of citizens, helping to reduce the gap between public administration and territory.

Focused on the province of Siracusa, Spero2020 was aimed to undertake the comparison and the production of ideas and solutions, involving stakeholders and provincial stakeholders to 12 thematic groups. The working groups have addressed two specific focus developed on the basis of needs expressed during the path towards Spero2020.

The twelves focusing areas have been the following:

  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Accountability
  • Culture and Tourism
  • Universities
  • Welfare
  • Mediterranean issues
  • Development
  • Social Innovation e Smart City
  • Agriculture
  • Governance of territory
  • Youth and future

At the conclusion of the event a policy document has been worked out, and it was a work of synthesis of the proposals submitted to the tables in the two days of work. A complex and challenging action of grassroots participation with the help and cooperation of all those who believe that our country deserve better.

It is to make a mark decisive for the generations to come, all together.

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Spero2020 – nuovi metodi di costruzione delle politiche pubbliche


Lo scorso weekend, nelle giornate di Sabato 6 e Domenica 7 giugno, si è tenuto nella provincia di Siracusa l’evento Spero2020. LabGov ha partecipato all’incontro durante le due sessioni di lavoro. Queste hanno prodotto un documento programmatico di sintesi, incrocio fra le esigenze del territorio e i bisogni dei cittadini.