“Coltiviamoci”: cooperation as a strategy for the commons

“Coltiviamoci”: cooperation as a strategy for the commons

foto (4)On May 19th 2014, LabGov – Laboratory for the Governance of the commons organized the event “Coltiviamoci” at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome. In organizing such a meeting, LabGov had the aim to present both the results achieved in the 2013/2014 academic year and the focus of the laboratory for the 2014/2015 session, namely the governance of the environmental commons. However, the event was also an occasion for a panel discussion, as LabGov had the pleasure to host prestigious speakers: Giovanni Lo Storto, LUISS Guido Carli CEO; Carmelo Troccoli, the National Secretary of Coldiretti Giovani Impresa; Luca D’Eusebio from the association Zappata Romana; Albino Ruberti, Managing Director and President of Zètema Progetto Cultura s.r.l. and coordinator of the working group Lazio Expo 2015. Professor Christian Iaione and Professor Gregorio Arena (Labsus) participated at the conference as LabGov founders and promoters.
Four neo-LabGovers, Marina Bassi, Edoardo De Stefani, Federica Maranesi and Leonardo Rossi made an introductive speech and presented the video that has been realized by the LabGovers in collaboration with Doctor Morello and Doctor Sbordoni from Officine GM. The video perfectly expressed the spirit of LabGov: youth, participation, training, and social innovation. Then, they spoke about the goals achieved during this academic year, which are impressive: ReinventAda, ReinventAda + and Human Ecosystem.
ReinventAda consisted in the regeneration of the Flora’s temple in Villa Ada’s park, which took place in October 2013. In that occasion, the LabGovers wanted to create a new form of governance of the commons and for this reason, they decided to practically take care of this site, by giving it new life through a restoration activity, under the supervision of the “Sovrintendenza Capitolina”. It is still an ongoing project and in fact, on June 26th 2014, LabGov will launch the second edition of the event: ReinventAda +. This year, LabGov will be the promoter of a memorandum of understanding open to all those associations willing to take care of Villa Ada, thanks to the model provided by the Bologna’ regulation about the collaboration between citizens and public administration for the cure and regeneration of the urban commons. The translation in English of the latter has been another goal achieved by LabGov 2014 and it will be an important documentation source for all foreigners who have already demonstrated a genuine interest in the LabGov project.
Nevertheless, the most important project that LabGov had the honour to carry out during the last semester has been “Human Ecosystems”. The latter is a new technology that qualitatively and quantitatively measures all information that human beings produce in the main social media and gives us back the real time geography of our relations, ideas and conversations in the form of an ever-changing map. In strict collaboration with the creators of this device, Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico, and with Roma Capitale, the LabGovers wrote a European project in response to a Horizon 2020 call for proposal.
All participants to the conference positively welcomed these results and after this brief introduction, the conversation with the host speakers began. The conversation revolved around the themes of Expo 2015, which perfectly coincide with those on which LabGov is based. In particular, since LabGov focus of the 2014/2015 academic year will be the environmental commons, the LabGovers asked the host speakers to meditate on possible solutions to the problem of a healthy, secure and sustainable global sustenance and on LabGov proposal of the vegetable garden sharing.
Giovanni Lo Storto, LUISS Guido Carli CEO, expressed his enthusiasm for the goals LabGov achieved during the last academic year. He was fundamental in LabGov creation and without his support, such a great success would not have been even possible. He underlined that the natural resources are finite and that we should welcome this situation as an opportunity for the best energies of the society to create new forms of governance for the commons. Even if he could no longer participate to the conference for institutional reasons, he finally praised the choice of the word “Coltiviamoci” which implies a collective commitment towards a common goal.
Carmelo Troccoli, the National Secretary of Coldiretti Giovani Impresa, picked up the baton and continued the discussion. He praised LUISS Guido Carli University for its commitment towards such important and living matters. He gave a picture of the Italian agriculture, showing how it is one of the most competitive in the world. In fact, even though the country has never invested in new technologies or in the GMOs, it has experimented different innovations, which mainly derive from the capacity to be creative. In Italy, a new development method was born, centred on the concept of diversity and for this reason, the successful idea of “smart territories” was launched.
Luca D’Eusebio, instead, told the experience of an informal association: Zappata Romana. Unconsciously, more than 40 voluntary associations of citizens over time have decided to take care of abandoned gardens and have promoted their regeneration. In this context, Zappata Romana created an on-line map of all these experiences and for the first time, the involved associations could communicate with each other. In addition, Zappata Romana gathered all the success stories in a single Handbook, which has been published on the internet. Nevertheless, Luca D’Eusebio admitted that none of these experiences collaborated with the public administration and consequently, some of them followed a regulation process, which in the case of the XI Municipality of Rome has brought the approval of a Municipal regulation for the governance of the vegetable garden sharing.
Finally, Albino Ruberti, Managing Director and President of Zètema Progetto Cultura s.r.l. and coordinator of the working group Lazio Expo 2015, intervened in the debate. He argued that the experience of the Lazio Region in Expo 2015 has superseded the classic hierarchical method in favour of a universal representation of all trade associations of the territory, with the aim of highlighting the excellence it has reached. Since the Lazio Region will enjoy a prominent position for the whole duration of Expo 2015, the latter represents the perfect opportunity to create long-term paths and to promote sustainability, cultural and tourism valorisation, the international dimension of local enterprises and new start-ups. Moreover, the institutions chose 8 macro-themes that constitute the fundamental prerequisites in order to select the experiences that will presented: the relationship between food and tourism; water; the city-country cleavage; sustainable nutrition; the relationship between genius and innovation; food products; the productive chain of the gastronomic itineraries; centrality of the city of Rome.
In the end, Professor Gregorio Arena (Labsus) and Professor Christian Iaione made the final remarks. In particular, the former informed the audience that the same day, the Bologna’s regulation has been finally approved by a large majority and suggested a reflection on the concept of “sharing”, on which a society should lay its foundations, together with the values of autonomy, trust, responsibility, reputation and transparency. Both professors hope for a radical change of the governance and while thanking all speakers for their participation, they distributed the certificate of attendance to all neo-LabGovers.
Coltiviamoci” has been an interesting and amazing opportunity to share values and success stories and to lay the foundations of the 2014/2015 LabGov edition. Join LabGov II edition and you will do the most formative experience ever!