Finally, a designated global event to celebrate the commons and explore it in serious ways!

The International Association for the Study of the Commons – the academic body founded by the late Professor Elinor Ostrom and other scholars – is helping organize World Commons Week from October 4 to 12. At many locations around the world, commoners will host public talks and discuss various aspects of the commons, especially from a scholarly perspective.

Three main activities are planned: a policy seminar and conference in Washington, D.C., several dozen local events in different places worldwide, and a marathon of webinar talks for 24 straight hours by commons scholars. (I’ll be doing one of the talks!)

The policy seminar will take place on October 4 at the International Food Policy Research Institute, in Washington, D.C., organized by Dr. Ruth Meinzen-Dick of the Institute. The next day, October 5, you may want to attend the conference “Celebrating Commons Scholarship” at Georgetown University on October 5, co-organized by Professors Sheila Foster and Brigham Daniels.

The local events range from teach-ins and workshops to mini-conferences and talks delivered by local scholars or commons practitioners. In Mexico, there will be a conference on watershed sustainability. In Germany, a talk on “Pseudo-Commons in Post-Socialist Countries.” In Africa, an examination of transboundary wildlife protection, “Commons Without Borders.”

If you’d like to host your own event and have it noted on the World Commons Week website, contact Professor Charles Schweik of the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy at cschweik /at/pubpol.umass.edu.

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