Imagining the (R)Urban Commons in 2040

CommonsBlog

I was delighted to give a key-note talk at the First IASC Thematic Urban Commons Conference last week in Bologna. Here are my speech and the slides. The most beautiful ones were produced by Nikolas Kichler.

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In 2040, one generation from now, I will be more than 70 years old and hopefully surrounded by my first great-grandchildren. What I’d like to share with you this morning is how I imagine* the Urban Commons will be by then – and how I’d like my grand- and great-grandchildren and me to enjoy them and care for. Actually, first of all: While rethinking the issue of this conference, I realized that it should read: Imagining the „Rurban Commons.“ Because this seems to be one of the most important patterns: Interconnecting Urban and Rural. The so called Urban Agriculture or rural Maker-Spaces like the OTELOsthroughout Austria are pioneering…

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Transformative Circles

Transformative Circles
– Finding our authentic voice

Collaborative workshop
focussing on the current processes of change in ourselves and the world,
towards a more generous and creative future.

While many of us are aware that the systems we are living with are not serving the interests of the majority of humanity, and are actually damaging the foundations of life on this planet, we can be overwhelmed with feeling helpless to change direction.
Our dependency on these systems in providing our everyday needs, traps us into supporting them. Lulled into a stupor by media, drugs and shopping,
we are complicit in our own destruction.

With increasing world-wide communication, our collective concern for the human family and the whole biosphere, brings an awareness of ourselves as integral to the web of life. This understanding sees in the current crises the possibility of a new consciousness breaking through old habits of thought and patterns of behaviour, to produce a more just and sustainable future.

Can we become agents instead of victims?

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‘What transforms a meeting into a circle is the willingness of people to shift from informal socializing or opinionated discussion, into a receptive attitude of thoughtful speaking and deep listening.’
(http://www.peerspirit.com)

‘Collective thinking is fundamentally opposed to the current system which is managed by the individualist thought. For this, we need time, it is a long-term process. It is usually common that, when considering a decision, two people with contrary ideas will tend to bring themselves into conflict and they will defend their ideas fiercely, with the single objective of convincing, winning or, at the most, reaching middle ground.

The main objective of collective thinking is constructing. This meaning, two people with different ideas combining their energy in order to build something. Then, it is not about my idea or yours. It will be the two ideas together that produce a new outcome that we did not know about in the first place. This is why active listening in which we are not just preparing for our next intervention is so necessary. Collective thinking is born once we understand that every opinion, ours and those different to ours, all of them, are needed in order to generate the idea of consensus; an idea which, after being indirectly constructed, will transform us.’

http://www.campusactivism.org/server-new/uploads/quickguidetodynamicsofpeoplesassemblies_13_6_2011.pdf

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