Thematic Working Groups

NL Nicole Leonard Public Seen by 454

Workshops: https://mypads.framapad.org/mypads/?/mypads/group/eca-madrid-ikgde722/pad/view/eca-madrid-documentation-proposal-9cr9e7fx

Right to the city (Public Spaces / Urbanism + Right to the city + Housing)
Democratic tools for democracy (Participation of citizens to urban policies + Technology for citizen)
Currencies and financing of commons
Laws, legal mechanisms that prevent commons
Well-being as commons (Food + Health)
Refugees and Migrants

Nicole Leonard Thu 20 Jul 2017 1:41PM


27 responses to form so far
High interest in public spaces/urbanism, currencies/finance, participation to policies
Moderate interest in legal mechanisms and citizen technology
Also some "right to the city" - so something in between "housing" and public spaces
Health has some interest but they are all Spanish organizations
Food culture and refugees have almost no one

Point people identified:

Currencies: Levente Polyak
Part. to Public Policy: Stephanie BOST + idea to ask participation department of Medialab
Health: Abel Novora
Public Spaces/urbanism: Not confirmed yet but probably Alvaro Puertas or David Bodnier
Legal mechanisms: not identified yet, maybe @fredericsultan or ana mendez
Technology: not idenfitied yet but maybe David H. or @sophie
Refugees: Gaelle Krikorian. Not much sign up but could maybe combine with Transeuropa efforts plus Visualizar's activity on migration
Food: no
Housing: no

Need to look more carefully at "Other"

Deadline to fill form extended to August 4th (Friday)
- Will need to consider people who want to participate in ECA but not in workshops (also we can just leave it open)
- Late August, organize the groups and do introductions to outline a basic goal for the workshops


Gaelle Thu 20 Jul 2017 5:45PM

As I said I'm happy to help organize on the issue of the refugees. If I'm not mistaken David Gabriel from Grenoble wanted to participate. And probably some other people that were in Barcelona for Fearless cities.
I'm also interested to help more generally on the planning and designing of the workshops. But as i said on another loomio thread I'm leave soon on holydays. I'll catch up when I come back (August 20).


Nicole Leonard Fri 21 Jul 2017 10:38AM

Ok, only issue is that we don't have anyone yet signing up on refugees. (There is however some on right to the city). So there is so work required to mobilize people.

I will contact David Gabriel on which issue he would like to work on.

One thing to consider is aligning more with European Alternatives since they do a lot on refugees. An interesting process could team up with the Data Viz - Visualizar Workshop with Daniele Grasso, The Migrant Files workshop that is already taking place in MLP on Thursday (I have to confirm that on Monday).


Gaelle Sat 22 Jul 2017 3:33PM

Thank you for contacting David.
Daphne also wanted to be part of it.
I will work on getting more people.


Ana Méndez de Andés Mon 7 Aug 2017 8:43PM

Hi. There has been 70 inscriptions via the form. I have created a excell sheet with only the workshops choices and where I include in separate tabs two proposals:

OPTION A_ the first - and most obviuos - would be to take the seven themes with more people:

  • Currencies and financing of commons
  • Laws, legal mechanisms that prevent commons
  • Public Spaces / Urbanism
  • Participation of citizens to urban policies
  • Technology for citizen
  • Housing
  • Food

This has, in my opinion, two problems:

1/ it leaves 10 people that don't have those themes even as second choice, and

2/ there are a certain overlap of themes that could useful to combine: on teh one hand, in our experience the participaction and the technological tool go hand in hand and would be difficult to think them separately; on the other, it might be interesting to join the right to the city with urbanism/public spaces and housing, and then see what people want to make out of it. That would allow to join it with the water/energy (infrastructure/methabolism) theme as well. TThsi approach would take us to:

OPTION B_ Re-arrangement of themes:

  • Right to the city (Public Spaces / Urbanism + Right to the city + Housing)
  • Democratic tools for democracy (Participation of citizens to urban policies + Technology for citizen)
  • Currencies and financing of commons
  • Laws, legal mechanisms that prevent commons
  • Well-being as commons (Food + Health)
  • Refugees and Migrants

This gives the opportunity to try to fit all choices (but for a missing person that, according to their expresion of interest might also fit in the Right to the City). It reduces workshops to six, although probably Right to the City, with 20 people, could decide to splitin two, but it includes Refugees and Migrants which has so far only three people interested.


Gaelle Tue 8 Aug 2017 7:59AM

Hi all,
Not surprisingly I favor option B (less workshop, migrants in). I said I'd work on recruting people on the issue of migrants, just acknowledge that I won't be able to do it until before August 20, when I come back.


Nicole Leonard Tue 8 Aug 2017 8:25AM

Hi @malashierbas, thank you for doing this division! :)

I am also for option 2. If others agree too then I think the next steps would be:

  • Create the lists for each workshop with people's names and email addresses
  • Check to make sure each one has 1-2 leaders and work to confirm with them
  • Write up an "introduction" to be eventually sent to participants at the end of the month; ideally this would reflect our ideas on modularity/documentation, invitation for those in each group to decide beforehand what are some goals or outputs for the workshop, and an idea about what would be necessary in terms of space/tool requirements to make it happen(?)

We should make sure before we send it that we are clear on the method and also logistical details on travel etc. because people will start asking for info.

I'm back now basically from now until Madrid so ready to work on this; we (Ana and I) could try to split up and do 3 groups each, but it's probably simpler for just one person to do it...


Z. Blace Tue 8 Aug 2017 10:18AM

Option B sounds better...
...and could be even more so if
Well-being as commons (Food + Health)

...could maybe be changed to
Well-being as commons (Food + Health + Leisure)?

I am intersted (with few other people) more on

Commoning practices in Sport and Recreation

as there is much to do there with fan owned cooperatives

(self-organized sports clubs), community events and

infrastructure for recreation in public space.

Best Zeljko


Frédéric Sultan Tue 8 Aug 2017 10:38AM

Yes, option B seems very good. Thanks Ana.


Ana Méndez de Andés Thu 10 Aug 2017 11:45AM


So, it seems we are going for the re-combination ;)

Zeljko: the idea of the leisure-sports together with food and (specially) health is very interesting. Did you sent already teh proposal and I missed it? Could you fill the form so we can have more details about this approach to send around? It would be great to have also an idea of who else would be up to join that discussion.

In fact, I think could be a good idea to send all the forms to everybody in each theme, so people would know who they are working with.

Nicole: I agree there might be a bit confising to split the workshops in two groups, maybe leading to a need to coordinate the coordinators. Maybe we could split in different tasks (pre-meeting documentation, general methodology and frame of the workshops, time-line of the process, etc.). I am out of Madrid and only partially available but I come back next week.

One last question: I don't know how fixed is the program schedule as drafted here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fFwlw6axcEuy-fyh1wxCBSBbd7Wb-BpGvpfa3wOhxjs/edit#gid=0. How finished do you see it? Is it still possible to add or modify elements?



Nicole Leonard Thu 10 Aug 2017 3:06PM

Totally still possible to modify program elements. I am working now on trying to nail down the content - but need some help. One major change we are considering is to cancel the Friday joint session with TEF to free up more time for wrapping up the workshops and wikifying them. @fredericsultan is working on the proposal for this. I think trying to do them all in one day (thursday) is unrealistic so I am for this idea - curious to hear others' thoughts. Ana, do you want to schedule a time to talk soon more about this next week?

Your idea to split up the different components makes sense. And yes, we definitely should share the form responses, that was the idea!

I'm not sure if @zblace filled the form yet, but he def. should! We spoke the day before yesterday and I think he was not 100% sure if he is coming but considering it strongly.


Z. Blace Fri 11 Aug 2017 8:36AM

@malashierbas thank you for expressing interest in addition of sport.

I semi-filled in the form just now (it is extensive and I will have to revise it), as I entered this group on a bit of a side-ways...as I applied to Transeuropa Festival
for participation in Commons theme which turned out to be ECA work. I was also applying for the City of Ghent to distributed trans-european pre-events "Transeuropa Open" (Oct 21st) https://transeuropafestival.eu/#toggle-id-8 to connect my art-residency work on queering/commoning sports/arts/making-culture at Timelab.org with Ghent Commons Festival (Oct27-29) and TransEuropa Festival.

Anyway I hope to come to Madrid bringing in experience/work of few organizations that worked so far with sport art/activism and want to develop concepts around commoning the fields of sport/recreation/leisure... My 2 sport colegues Caitlin (Berlin) and Tonci (Split ) will join me in Ghent and will come to Madrid via TransEuropa Festival (their application approved, me on waiting list).


David hammerstein Fri 11 Aug 2017 9:25AM

I would include a workshop on the Internet commons in the city: community telecoms(guifinet), local management of data, .....using safe, free and open software, open access and open data policies.

I am not sure about joining housing and urbanism/public space. I think each deserves own space. Health and food is a good one.


Ivor Stodolsky Tue 15 Aug 2017 6:30PM

Hello all, and good to see how far you've gotten already. I'm sorry we've been so busy and have been only been able to listen in since our group call a long way back.

As to the above discussion, I would also support a group on migration/refugee issues. Indeed, we will be running a workshop at TEF on how to build an Artists-at-Risk (AR) residency network - which involves a community commons:
https://transeuropafestival.eu/eventos/building-local-artists-risk/. Apparently this might be scheduled for Thursday morning or Friday.

Also at TEF, we are opening an exhibition with artists-at-risk called the AR Pavilion-Madrid at Matadero on Wednesday evening at 10 pm, I believe. (It would be great if there was no overlap with the ECA!)

By the way, is there a place where can one can read up on the proposed content of the different thematic groups?

Warm greetings,



Ana Méndez de Andés Wed 16 Aug 2017 9:13AM


I attach here the spreadsheet of the filled forms organized by the six proposed themes. There were four new people inscribed, also included.


Nicole Leonard Wed 16 Aug 2017 2:17PM

Great. I had trouble opening it easily for some reason, so I copied the values into a new file here in case anyone has the same problem (exact same content). I added a bit of color/boundaries and a title so it's a bit more readable when we circulate the sheets to the people in the groups themselves - I wanted to do more to make it readable but everything seemed quite time consuming.

I'm writing a quick word of thanks to the participants now and explaining that there will be more by the end of the month on next steps. Ana is writing a draft of the concept for the workshops to share to the groups.

It would be good to collectively look these groups over.. who is missing that might possibly be able to participate? Are the groups diverse enough (especially in terms of having Spanish groups?)


Nicole Leonard Wed 16 Aug 2017 2:17PM


Nicole Leonard Thu 17 Aug 2017 2:33PM

We want to hold another call on this process next week: https://framadate.org/QR4wdhFyC7a5GJERKHMxiMo1/admin

We will discuss the concept and blocks for the workshops, try to organize an internal documentation team, and decide the steps for sending out the data forms and explaining next steps to participants (it'd be good to have some of these components prepared beforehand)


Ana Méndez de Andés Wed 23 Aug 2017 6:54PM

Hi. I copy here a possible description for the different themes that we can dicuss in detail on Monday. Refugees and migrants is missing, as there were not enough contributions to outline a compact description, and I have asked Gaelle if she could work on it.

Comments, contributions and clarifications wellcome :)


Tools for democracy (techonology and participation)

This theme deals with civic participation the link between commons and democracy, the different ways to foster the involvement of citizens in the production of their cities through a public and civic engagement and development of direct political action. As these experiences, lately have been related to the use of technology and digital tools to enhance democratic processes, the proposed themes of “Participation of citizens to urban policies” and “Technology for citizens: decentralized and democratic” have been merged in order to allow the co-production of public policies and projects, including the question of the democratization of technology, the construction of digital rights and the understanding of knowledge as a commons.

The participants have expressed their interest in, among other things, how to promote the diversity and inclusiveness of digital communities, specially those based on open-source and copy-left culture, in the analysis of the changes produced by the new collaborative processes, in the cooperation of research and innovation with local citizen and the development of scientific mediation, and in the link between institutions and citizens, whether it be governmental, educational etc. and how those models of co-operation are shifting and becoming more democratic. They also have experience in the production of tools and resources such as online maps, collective storytelling and repositories of experiences, and experiences designed to support processes of democratic decentralization and political co-production with or without institutional background, in relation with participatory processes.

Law for the Commons

This theme deals with the search of legal opportunities and tools able to guarantee the protection and development of commoning practices, in relation with potential urban commons as well with existing processes and projects It could include the existing knowledge and institutional analysis applied to the management of traditional commons, as well as contemporary legal practices interested in the possibilities of local, national and European legislation, combined with different experiences where these concepts have been applied in the local scale.

Some of the participants have experience in the production of municipal regulations for shared administration of urban commons, as a cadre of legal rules which protects urban commons (squares, gardens, schools, cultural commons, streets, etc.) and compels local governments to collaborate with citizens. The outlined concrete proposals for this theme include the generation of platforms to exchange existing knowledge, experiences and legal mechanisms as well as the production of practical tools to be used at European and local level in relation with legislation, norms and institutional interaction. They also include some resources available such as an Atlas of Urban Commons and a collection of local norms and by-laws,

Food, Health and Leisuer (aka Embodied productions of commoning)

This theme deals with the relation of food production and distribution and sport and leisure activities with the health creation. It will ideally address the different determining factors involved in our physical and mental condition, based on social justice, solidarity economy and respect to the biophysic ecosystems limits, and the importance of self-organised, locally rooted, inclusive and resilient community networks and civic spaces in order to re-think the practices and the development of public policy-making in this domain.

Participants are interested and have experience in the interrelationship at all points of the journey from Land to Fork including access to land, food sovereignty, food growing and distribution, social prescribing, nutrition etc., the new forms of organic food production and the use of “wasteland”, new forms of distribution including recycling, etc., as well as the access to medical knowledge and the patient-guided health policies and the design of health services, the democratization of healthcare and the self-organization of citizen efforts to reduce bureaucratic hurdles, as well as the importance of contesting and contexting in order to reclaim the field for grass-roots sports while challenging norms to inform, emancipate and inspire new models.

Currencies and financing of commons

This theme aims to find ways to strength solidarity economy, its possible articulation with the use of alternative currency and their relation with digital tools and platforms, and the infrastructures and material environments involved in the processes of commoning and the taking of collective responsibility, and how can we multiply or up-scale some of the initiatives, methods, frameworks, formats that were explored locally.

Participants have expressed their interest in strengthening networks and collaborative projects, developing different tools to create an economic alternative to capitalism and fiat money, and to think how to develop an economy based on the commons, as well as strategies and methodologies on how to develop P2P mechanisms of value assessment and exchange. They also have experience in time-baking, are involved in different cooperatives and alternative, have developed crypto-currencies and mobilize economic resources and human partnerships; contribute to community building, disseminate and create awareness and commitment around civic causes, and participate in telecommunications technological projects.

Right to the city (Public Space and Urbanism, Housing, Water&Energy)

This theme gathers different lines of interest about the configuration of the city: Public Spaces & Urbanism, Housing, Tourism, Water&Energy and Culture. Understanding the Right to the City as a collective and bottom-up creation of a new paradigm providing an alternative framework to re-think cities and human settlements on the basis of the principles of social justice, equity, democracy and sustainability, we hope it will help to discuss the processes of commercialization and privatization of public and common goods and resources and how the commons can help creating forms of democratic urban management, how the re-municipalization processes of urban infrastructures can be linked to the discourse of the commons as a reclaim of the public through new forms of social and political participation and the policy frameworks for commons that can be implemented, how can spaces be collectively used so that benefit the common good and what kind of legal and economic frameworks is needed to stabilize practices of commoning.

The participants have expressed their interest in creating spaces for translocal collaboration in commoning through organization that works in different aspects of the urban rights, the production of a cultural ecosystem that integrates citizens, institutions and the territory itself; to collectively develop a perspective on the wider potential(s) of commons based housing across Europe and the possibility to develope long-term affordable housing outside the real-estate market logics,; to promote and support practices that connect practitioners and researchers, professionals and citizens with project initiators, grassroots actors, and activists and to share experiences, examples and tools.
Potential participants also have experience in the organization of collective action projects that challenge gentrification and turistification processes, the redevelopment of empty brownfields and vacant properties, the fight for housing rights in the face of the new real-state cycle, in the set up of a left political platform that was built through mutual action; projects that raise awareness about the importance of commons, designing alternative proposals and publicly advocating solutions through campaigns and public events; the use of community organizing and advocacy planning methodologies to engage local inhabitants; the development conventions to help community-basd projects made by different actors and groups through a collective decision-making mechanism in order to support and strengthen their work; and the construction or urban community garden as learning environments for the parctice of the commons.
Given the wide range of interests and backgrounds, for this theme we can also imagine a mix of general discussions and more specific working spaces, to be decided by the own participants, either in organizational process before the meeting or in situ.


Nicole Leonard Mon 28 Aug 2017 7:12PM

I will copy edit these tomorrow and provide a big proposal on next steps for the end of the week.


Z. Blace Fri 25 Aug 2017 12:00PM

This looks great as an overview of content!

Maybe with some formating, font colors and links
it could be better for seeing what is fixed and what tentative,

as well as what has articulated forms in specific sessions
and what is still to be done...but I think Loomio is not the tool.

Maybe moving to some pad or wiki now would be desirable?


sophie Sun 27 Aug 2017 9:16AM

Hello Anna, hi all!
Thanks so much for this, this is great to have.
With Felipe from Zemos we have also had an opportunity to meet this weekend. and think about the methodology.

I agree we would need to eventually present the content in a more simple attractive way. s

And I think both due to content and due to numbers we should see if we can have more than 5 themes.

Numbers: If we have a 100 people participating, we have 20 per workshop which is a lot.

On content: Looking at the descriptions of the workshop and what people filled in in the forms, I'd say some of the workshops have a lot of issues put together and it will be quite difficult to discuss them well.

For me merging the technology and participation is not workable, these are really 2 different things. One is about data collection, autonomous infrastructures like guifi net, surveillance, etc. and the other issue about using webtools for democratic participation. We really cannot talk about these thing at the same time.

The public space, urban ism and housing, water and energy one is also quite a lot I would say. As they also require quite different strategies.

Let's talk in the call how people see the content of the different workshops work. I ill also send some questions and comments specifically regarding the methodology.


Ana Méndez de Andés Sun 27 Aug 2017 10:38AM

Hi, Sophie:

There are six themes so far. I think Gaelle hasn't send the description for the Migrants&Refugees, but it was in the proposal I sent three weeks ago.

I copy the abstract here:

Solidarity with migrants and refugees – Solidarity as a commons

The purpose of this workshop is twofold. On one hand, it is to share experiences and knowledge about local initiatives developed by citizens to help migrants and refugees across Europe. In many countries migrants and refugees are confronted to very repressive policies, in some cases violent. In many places, citizens are reacting by getting involved in local activities to distribute food, clothes and other commodities, to provide information about asylum procedures or how to meet basic needs and human rights, to facilitate the inclusion of migrants or refugees in cities and cohabitation between people in neighborhoods, etc. At a time when the policies about immigration and refugees in most European countries are very preoccupying, these mobilizations are extremely important and the sharing of experience is key. On the other hand, the workshop will be the opportunity to discuss solidarity with migrants and refugees as a commons. Themes to discuss include: the effects on policies and policy makers of the production of solidarity by citizens, the modalities of governance among civil society organizations around there initiatives, the forms of interactions with municipalities around the initiatives of civil society actors.

Participants have experience in local initiatives of solidarity and hospitality with migrants and refugees, are engaged in research and activism on urban commons focusing on migrants rights, in ecovillage movements, commons support for artists at risk or community social centers working to develop new forms of relationship, work, comunication, participate or cooperate.


Nicole Leonard Mon 28 Aug 2017 7:14AM

I think @gaelle11 did send a description on Friday.


Nicole Leonard Tue 5 Sep 2017 2:52PM


Nicole Leonard Thu 7 Sep 2017 12:29PM

Sent to participants:

Dear commoners,

Thank you for confirming your participation in European Commons Assembly - Madrid. We're looking forward to seeing you at Medialab Prado! Some of you have been involved in the ECA before, and for some this is the first time. We encourage you to look to the website for more information: http://europeancommonsassembly.eu/

Based on your form responses, we have organized the different thematic working groups on urban commons. Workshop descriptions have been written to explain the rationale and are on the ECA website, here: http://europeancommonsassembly.eu/overview-of-thematic-working-groups/

We have also created a spreadsheet that shows who is in which group and what initiatives they are already working on, here. You can toggle through the sheets to read these and see which group you are in: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12uetYKkgON9tVt4pYY3fWDE-SX0A9mKZ5AQ6p-SlFGo/edit?usp=sharing

We’ve done the best we can to accommodate everyone’s interest and experience. Nevertheless, if you wish to change into a different group than the one you are currently in, you have until September 17. You can contact me to make the change. We anticipate for example that some people from Right to the City or Participatory Tools for Democracy may be interested to move to the "Data Commons and the collaborative city” group. Other moves of course are possible!

Soon we will share more information on the workshop methodology and suggestions for how you can get in touch with your group before the event. We have also attached a basic 4-day overview of the ECA program so you can get an idea of what else we’re planning and the links with Transeuropa Festival; some times are still subject to change.

A note on language: the working language will be English and unfortunately we don’t have professional translation available.
Regarding travel and accommodation, we do not yet have final confirmation on the amount of the stipends. We hope to have this very soon, look out for more information in a separate mail.

See you in Madrid,

Nicole Leonard

ECA Program Overview-Sept6.png


Nicole Leonard Thu 14 Sep 2017 9:23PM

@leventepolyak @sophie40 @thomasdegroot2 and I have responded. Can we have a call on Point People on Tuesday afternoon at 3pm? Thank you. I think others leading workshops like @malashierbas and @gaelle11 should probably join too.


Gaelle Fri 15 Sep 2017 8:54AM

Hello. Tuesday 3pm works for me.


Levente Polyak Mon 18 Sep 2017 3:24PM

Hello, I'll be also here Tuesday at 3pm. Levente


Ana Méndez de Andés Mon 18 Sep 2017 3:33PM

Tomorrow 3pm is ok.


Nicole Leonard Tue 19 Sep 2017 10:43AM

Hi all. Great. I have created threads for each group (Unclassified so people don't have to ask permission to join). So each point person can start these conversations. We will discuss more in the call:

Data commons- Sophie -https://www.loomio.org/d/6YW372Ix/data-commons-meet-the-working-group

Health commons- David/Colleague Javier/Tim- https://www.loomio.org/d/kmtdwgYC/embodied-commons-health-food-and-leisure-meet-your-group

Participatory Tools – Thomas - https://www.loomio.org/d/ECWMwPdb/participatory-tools-for-democracy-meet-the-working-group

Law and legal commons – Ana – https://www.loomio.org/d/JTu5rVMz/common-codes-legal-meet-your-working-group

Currencies – Levente – https://www.loomio.org/d/glXjWt9d/currencies-and-financing-commons-meet-the-working-group

Refugees – Gaelle – https://www.loomio.org/d/TAx08crK/solidarity-as-commons-refugees-and-migrants-meet-your-group

Right to the City – D. Gabrel? - https://www.loomio.org/d/xM2fbeSk/right-to-the-city-meet-your-working-group


Nicole Leonard Tue 19 Sep 2017 1:10PM

Hey, I am on skype nicoleleonard92


Ivor Stodolsky Tue 3 Oct 2017 4:58PM

As you may know, TransEuropa Festival is also running workshops. Sign up here, including ours on Artists at Risk (AR) networks. The AR workshop is about developing Safe Havens for artists who enter the EU legally, but it also relates to issues of migration, asylum, refugee politics etc.: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScTqAbQji0gfOew1ABNwZszqK1_UTogRIwWmFdecpFL_jVepA/viewform


Z. Blace Tue 3 Oct 2017 5:18PM

Your comment here is a bit off-topic ;-)
but I try my best to come to your workshop :-)


Ivor Stodolsky Tue 3 Oct 2017 7:37PM

Is there a better place to post this at the ECA? In any case, those interested in the ECA workshop on refugee-related issues may be interested in attending :)