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WorkshopConceptualizing the New Commons – The Examples of Knowledge Commons & Seed and Variety Commons

Start: 6. Juni 2018
Ende: 8. Juni 2018

Schlaues Haus, Schlossplatz 16, 26122 Oldenburg


The International Association for the Study of Commons

New Commons – including Knowledge Commons, Cultural Commons and Global Commons – have become an increasingly important research subject in Commons studies. As they reach beyond the sector of natural common-pool resources, theoretical and conceptual advancements are required. The widened scope also calls for a revised focus on collaboration and new forms of community governance and participatory processes of New Commons. From a normative perspective, the New Commons feature a quite diverse set of values; e.g. re-democratization, re-embedding of the economy, social equality and individual freedom. Those aspects as well need systematic investigation and ethical reflection.

RightSeeds – a research project by the University of Oldenburg, the Institute for Ecological Economy Research and the University of Göttingen - explores commons-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 sovereignity and agrobiodiversity. The project employs a transdisciplinary research approach by integrating perspectives from the fields of economics, ecology, political science and philosophy, and collaborating with seed initiatives, companies and NGOs in Germany and the Philippines.

The workshop aims at adding to the understanding of Knowledge Commons and Seed & Variety Commons by especially addressing the following questions:

  • 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?

Deadline for Abstracts: February 25th, 2018
Notification of Acceptance: Mid March, 2018
Participation Fee: 80€, reduced fee for IASC members: 60€
Registration deadline: 30th March, 2018

More information



Prof. Insa Theesfeld