There are a number of upcoming conferences focusing on various sorts of commons. For those of you with a passionate interest in any of the following, check out these four gatherings in coming months:
A Virtual Town Hall for the Great Lakes Commons, March 18
What would happen if the Great Lakes in North America were managed on principles and practices that empower communities to become stewards of the water? What if decisionmaking was local and collective? To discuss these themes, several organizations are convening the first webinar in a series, “Protect the Great Lakes Forever Virtual Town Halls.” This first one will take place on March 18 from noon to 1 pm ET. For more information, visit here. Or check out the Facebook invite.
The event is convened by Alexa Bradley (Program Director for On the Commons), Sue Chiblow (Environmental Consultant for the Mississauga First Nation) and Jim Olson (Founder and Chair of FLOW for Water). Emma Lui (Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians) will be moderator. The organizers want to use the commons to “prioritize the basic needs of communities, the rights of indigenous peoples and the sustainability of the land,” noting that “the lens of the commons can act as a political framework for many Great Lakes issues including extreme energy projects, bottled water extraction, invasive species and pollution.”
Knowledge Commons Conference in September
Make plans now to attend the International Association for the Study of Commons’ second Thematic Conference on Knowledge Commons, to be held at NYU’s Engelberg Center on Innovation, Law and Policy, from September 5 to 7, 2014.
The interdisciplinary conference seeks “to better understand how knowledge commons work, where they come from, what contributes to their durability and effectiveness, and what undermines them.” This year, the focus will be on “Governing Pooled Knowledge Resources, with special attention to the fields of medicine and the environment.”
Keynote talks will be given by Yochai Benkler (Harvard Law School), Eric von Hippel (MIT Sloan School of Management), and Michael McGinnis (Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington). Co-chairs of the conference are Katherine Strandburg, NYU School of Law, and Charlie Schweik of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. More information at the conference website.
CommonsFest in Greece To Explore Peer to Peer Civilization
CommonsFest is an initiative to "promote freedom of knowledge (or free knowledge) and peer-to-peer collaboration for the creation and management of the commons." The focus of CommonsFest will be on “the emergence of the peer to peer civilization and political economy.” Festival organizers explain that peer production "has spread through free software communities and extends to many aspects of our daily lives, such as the arts, governance, construction of machinery, tools and other goods. Through an exhibition, talks, screenings and workshops, the aim of the festival is to promote the achievements of this philosophy to the public and become a motive for further adoption."