An interesting event for researchers focusing on the commons is (Un)doing the Commons , a two-day multi-disciplinary research conference, which will be held on 27-28 February 2020 at Shiv Nadar University in India. Read more on the conference and the call for papers here.
We just finished reading If I Only Had a Heart: Value Sovereignty, Care Work, Commons and Distributed Cooperative Organizations, a brilliant synthesis of the ideas of the Commons and P2P, open cooperativism, open value accounting and feminist economics. Written by Stacco Troncoso and his colleagues from the Guerilla Translation team, this is a must-read for those interested in the theory and practice of commons-based peer production.
The Research Group for the Digital Economy and Private Law (at the Faculty of Law at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) is hosting a very interesting seminar cycle that begins tomorrow at 19:00 (Room 8, 3rd Floor) with a presentation from Alex Pazaitis (of the P2P Lab) themed “Demystifying the Digital Economy“.
The seminar cycle includes three more talks:
- Fri 8 Nov: Alex Pazaitis – The Commons and peer production: A short introduction
- Fri 15 Nov: Alex Pazaitis – The political economy of peer production: Two general approaches
- Fri 22 Nov: Angelos Kornilakis – Legal mapping of small-scale economic networks of peer production
The 5th conference on platform cooperativism will be held on November 7-9 at the New School in New York. Convened by Trebor Scholz, the conference will bring together researchers and founders of platform cooperatives to explore topics such as “worker power in the platform economy, antitrust, misogyny and racism in co-ops, ecological sustainability, best practices for cooperation including the allocation of startup funding, the potential of platform co-ops for data trusts, data co-ops, new models for distributed governance, and data sovereignty”.
Readers of our website are familiar with the work of Adam Arvidsson, which explores the relationship between Capitalism and Commons-based peer production. In his new book titled Changemakers: The Industrious Future of the Digital Economy, which has just been published by Polity, Arvidsson “argues that, as industrial capitalism enters a period of prolonged crisis, a new paradigm of ‘industrious modernity’ is emerging. Based on small-scale, commons-based and market-oriented entrepreneurship, this industrious modernity is being pioneered by the many outcasts that no longer find a place within a crumbling industrial modernity”.
In the context of setting up the European New School of Digital Studies (ENS), Europa-Universität Viadrina has issued a call for applications for the following four positions:
* W2 Professorship in Political Theory and Digital Democracy
* W3 Professorship in Sociology of Technology
* W3 Professorship in Law and Ethics of the Digital Society
* W3 Professorship in Information Management and Digital Transformation
The deadline for applications is October 27, 2019. For more information, see: https://www.europa-uni.de/de/struktur/unileitung/projekte/ens/career/index.html
Katherine Gibson will be in Greece for three events in Athens and Thessaloniki organized by the Greek Open University and the postgraduate course in the Social & Solidarity Economy. In specific, Prof. Gibson will be giving a public talk in Athens on Monday 16 September (at the building of the Greek Open University) and on Wednesday 18 September at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The last event is a workshop at the Park Tsepis in Thessaloniki on Thursday 19 September. For more information, see: https://www.eap.gr/el/anakoinvseis-ekdilwseis/sunedria-ekdilwseis/ekdiilwseis-tou-eap-fwtografiko-arxeio/7796-i-katherine-gibson-stin-ellada
A must-read for those interested in delving more deeply into the relationship between Capitalism and Commons-based peer production is Adam Arvidsson’s new paper, titled ‘Capitalism and the Commons‘, which has just been published in Theory, Culture & Society. The crux of its argument is nicely summed up in the concluding remarks:
The medieval commons emerged out of the process of social acceleration put in motion by feudalism. In turn, they supported new relations of production that pointed beyond feudalism. Capitalism developed through the privatization and enclosure of the medieval commons. At the same time, the process of social acceleration put in motion by capitalist real subsumption has generated new commons in the form of a planetary ‘general intellect’. Today we begin to see how these new commons are supporting new forms of petty production. It is possible that such commons-based petty production will affirm itself as an alternative to a capitalist economy in decline, first for the masses, and later also for the elites. This process is likely to be accelerated by a combination of economic decline and ecological crisis, similar to that of the 14th century.
A very interesting event for cooperators and commoners based in Crete, Greece is the festival that Terra Verde, the Support Centre for the Social & Solidarity Economy, is organizing on September 2-3 in Chania. Here’s more information about the festival, including the full programme: http://www.terraverde-chania.gr/index.php/nea/draseis/138-2-3-2019