John Powell and Chris Short are travelling to the beautiful medieval city centre of Utrecht in the Netherlands for the 16th Biennial Global conference ‘Practicing the commons: Self-governance, cooperation, and institutional change’ of The International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC).
As current IASC President John Powell has been particularly busy at the current international conference in Utrecht. He has not been as prolific as with previous conferences, but has had the opportunity to pen this piece – inspired by a bicycle related altercation he witnessed, about urban commons and how they are (or not) regulated.
In July 2017 the 16th Biennial IASC conference takes place in Utrecht. As current President of the IASC John Powell has penned a few lines in eager anticipation of the event.
Dr Matt Reed was in Bologna last week attending an IASC-Conference on Urban Commons, where he presented a paper, penned by himself together with Drs Dan Keech and John Powell, on urban food and commons in the city.
The way people experience, use, and access urban space depends in large part on their socio-economic situation. High personal income and a good job can bring access to all the cultural and artistic pleasures a city has to offer, a place to live with the security of property ownership.
On Day 4 of the IASC 2015 Commons conference in Edmonton, Alberta, the headlines in the Globe and Mail, a national newspaper, referred to Canada’s treatment of First Nations people as ‘A history of cultural genocide’, in reference to remarks by the Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin.
One of the great things about IASC conferences is the opportunity to explore local issues, and the recent global commons conference in Alberta has been no exception. Due to the close working relationships developed between the IASC Conference Organising Committee and the First Nations we were given the opportunity to visit the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation at their reserve, around 72 Km north-west of Edmonton, Alberta, on the shore of the sacred Lake Wakamne (also known as Lake St Anne).
“We lived here, we were a nation, we were sovereign. We still believe we are a nation, that this land we live on is ours. But if we don’t continue to move forward as a people, then I foresee more problems. We need to remind this country we are here to stay. We are not immigrants – we have nowhere else to go.” Rose C. Laboucan, Driftpile Cree Nation (speaking at the IASC International Conference, May 2015).
Two interesting keynote presentations at the IASC Commons Conference in Alberta last week, provided alternative views of the problems facing the Arctic in the immediate future. Rob Huebert, a research fellow at the Canadian International Council and Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, focused on ‘Arctic Sovereignty and climate change’.
Opening Ceremony of the 15th IASC Global Conference on Commons, Alberta, Canada There are two overarching benefits to being a member of the IASC; first are the people you get to know from other countries, other disciplines, and those involved in other aspects of commons activity – whether it is defending their own commons, working for an NGO in some remote corner of the globe, or fighting private interests.