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Conceptualizing the New Commons – Call for Abstracts

The International Association for the Study of the Commons and the Research Group Right Seeds invite researchers to participate in the international workshop “Conceptualizing the New Commons: The Examples of Knowledge Commons & Seed and Variety Commons” in Oldenburg, Germany from 6th to 8th June 2018. Abstract submission is now open. Interested researchers are invited to advance conceptual-theoretical and organizational perspectives on the new commons. Deadline for submission of abstracts is February 25th, 2018. IÖW is project partner in the project Right Seeds.

Knowledge Commons and Seeds Variety Commons

The workshop will focus on the creation and management of knowledge commons and seed and variety as two fields of application of the new commons. New commons have become an increasingly important research subject in commons studies. The interdisciplinary research project Right Seeds, a cooperation of the University of Oldenburg, the Institute for Ecological Economy Research and the University of Göttingen, explores common-based approaches to variety breeding, seed production and seed usage.  A commons orientation in the seed and variety sector provides a promising approach in reorienting the agricultural sector towards the international sustainability goals of food sovereignty and agrobiodiversity.

During the workshop, four key questions will be addressed to add to a further understanding of knowledge commons and seed & variety commons:

  • How can knowledge commons and seed & variety commons, respectively, be conceptualized and analyzed?
  • What are the core organizational challenges in the fields of knowledge commons and seed & variety commons?
  • What political strategies, institutional arrangements and organizational structures are suitable for overcoming these organizational challenges?
  • How can seed & variety commons and knowledge commons mutually enrich one another?


Call for Abstracts

Interested researchers are invited to submit their theoretical and conceptual contributions about seed and variety commons and new commons and contributions on organizational challenges of the new commons. Specific research themes are amongst others theoretical advancements of seed and variety commons and new commons, perspectives from the global south and global north or global commons as means for personal wellbeing and re-democratization.

The abstracts of 300 to 500 words should be sent to rightseeds(at)uol.de until February 25th, 2018. 25 participants will be selected in a double-blind review process to ensure the high quality of the workshop.

Further information on the requirements for contributions and key deadlines can be found here.

About the project Right Seeds

As project partner in the Right Seeds project, IÖW investigates how seed initiatives and socially aware companies already today successfully incorporate commons-principles into their work and organizational structures. A focus lies on exploring possible options for long-term financing of commons-based seed cultivation. Since sources of income such as replication royalties or repurchase requirements are not applicable to commons-based breeding, and since open-pollinated (true-to-seed) breeding is time-consuming and costly, alternative financing strategies have to be developed and tested.

More about the project: www.rightseeds.de