Cultivating our communities

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created: 2023-04-20

updated: 08:04:12 - June 8, 2023

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tags: #L71

Cultivating our communities

A living toolbox for our communities!


To fight neoliberalism, it is essential to create and sustain local systemic alternatives to the market economy. There are already a number of initiatives facilitating the emergence of local commons ecosystems, they work in their territories together with the people who live in them. Our project aims at identifying and connecting them to multiply their transformative power. We will benefit from sharing practices, methodologies and tools already developed and experimented to produce a toolbox to strengthen commons based initiatives for food, health, culture education, transportation,… and growing translocal alliances.

The working group Commons Ecosystems has proposed to hold a 2-day workshop in Mondeggi, a community near Firenze -where “land as a common good”, food for self-determination and free sharing of knowledge are practised- to exchange methodologies, materials, canvasses, open source digital tools… with the aim to systematise these resources creating a ready to use toolbox available to activists.


We are a number of people and groups involved in facilitating and supporting commons projects and initiatives in our own places (in France, Italy, Catalonia and Quebec) to help them become closer to alternative economies and to commons local ecosystems.

We have had the chance to exchange views in several occasions (European commons assemblies, FSMET, Commons camp, Municipalist gatherings…) and have realised that whilst we share similar goals, our approaches to practice are diverse, thanks to our different backgrounds, expertise and realities. We are willing to deepen these exchanges [to build stronger strategic alliances] and have started to work on systematically exploring approaches and tested methodologies.

We are exploring artefacts, methodologies and tools following the Model of the Commons Sustainability Model (community, sharing knowledge, governance, mobilised resources, production) developed and used by femProcomuns in Catalonia. Searching for the similarities and ways to complement this methodology with that sort of programs to support local networks and circuits implemented by Solidarius Italia in several Italian cities, by B.A.Balex in Marseille and other municipalities in France, to methodologies for self-management and collective co-creation experienced in CommonsCamp meetings; methodologies and tools to support grass roots initiatives and communities in Marseille and elsewhere in France; or practices developed to facilitate the Commons Assembly of Marseille.


We had planned a workshop to gather our teams and other common’s activists at Mondeggi Bene Comune.
This has been an occasion to put together artefacts, methodologies and tools and see how to adapt them to the needs of each local ecosystem. Participants have shared their knowledge, the structure of their programs, their facilitation methodologies, written materials, games, canvasses and open source digital tools.

Everyone had the space to explain how they are facilitating local commons ecosystems, how their tools are designed to be used and what results they have already help achieve to a myriad of projects. Aiming to find patterns, categories and shared vocabulary of the different ecosystems, in which all participants may recognize themselves.


We stay in touch regularly online, to exchange ideas in a mixture of French, English, Spanish and Italian, with regular videoconferences for work meetings and much needed face-to-face meetings and workshops. Decisions are made together by consensus. We have agreed the administration of the Rethink grant will be undertaken by Remix the Commons.

Remix the commons, femProcomuns, B.A.Balex and Solidarius Italia.
The team : Frédéric Sultan, Jason Nardi, Alima Elbajnouni, Monica Garriga, Mar Laura.

Languages and documentation

We pay special attention to languages as a commons, they are an intangible asset that we take care of collectively. Empires, colonialism and expansionism have used some languages as an operational and domination tool, while other languages have been minored and often persecuted.
Languages that have been instruments of domination are now a valuable tool that allows many people to communicate and that we take advantage of.
But language is a commons that is constantly updated when we use it in human interactions and it dies when we stop using it or restrict it only to certain areas.
In Mondeggi we cared to use the language of the place, Italian, and also French and English to make sure everyone could express themselves in a language in which they felt more or less confortable, even if it wasn’t their mothertongue. We followed different methodologies to translate among us, consecutive translation, chouchoutage,…
Web links : FR, IT.

October 4, Presentation of supportive commoning methodologies

This initiative had two stages : an online meeting and a in person gathering of 2 days.

Online mapping session for commoning methodologies, that took place the October 4th, establishing the grounds for the Workshop to be held. This first activity aimed at to identify and map existing commoning programs and methodologies,support tools and materials.

On October 4th, we gathered online with people and organisations working on the transition to commons socio-economic models, in different parts of the world. There were 12 presentations of models, methodologies and practices that help us facilitate processes, support collectives or work on projects and networks. The session was also a cartography exercise to learn how others work, to inspire each other and to get to know each other a bit better.

Introduction to the session. femProcomuns. David Gómez, Raquel Prado, Mònica Garriga, David Jacovkis
The Commons Sustainability Model. femProcomuns. David Gómez
Building a collaborative community economy: The case of La Comunificadora. Dimmons/La Coop des Communs. Vera Vidal
From food to governance, producing situated knowledge with the Ecole des Communs (School of the commons). Remix the commons, AFAP, B.A.Balex
Cultivating the commons, from Europe to Quebec. Projet Collectif. Marie Soleil El Allier
Use case of the Commons Sustainability Model at Foresta, in Marseille. Alima El Bajnouni
ColMeth: Collaborative research co-design kit. Peer-Produced Research Lab. Enric Senabre
Fermenting methodologies to nurture processes. ColaBoraBora. Ricardo Antón
R-Urban, a strategy of resilience for the commons. atelier d’architecture autogérée (aaa).Constantin Petcou.
Calculating the value of the commons. atelier d’architecture autogérée (aaa). Doina M Petrescu
Transition Action. France Nature Environnement. Lou-ann Hennequin
Betula Project: Integral promotion of the villages of Cadí Moixeró through landscape. L’Arada Creativitat Social (Social Creativity). Marina Vilaseca and Ferran Canudas
Rural School of Economics. Drawing is the new Accounting. Community Economies Institute. Kathrin Böhm

Mondeggi Bene Comuni - In person two-day workshop, November 2022

This commoning community has developed a wide range of activities bridging the rural experience of a “commons farm” with the urban ecosystem surrounding it and becoming an epicentre in Italy for the discussion on legal recognition of commoning practices.

This workshop is intended to get to know each other better, build trust within the group, work creatively on the basis of shared needed outcomes identified by the group. We will have a shared agenda of collective time to work and share knowledge and commons infrastructures, for documentation and translation, to resolve on collective needs and projects, with the aim of developing a ‘living toolbox for commons ecosystems’ that would be of use for ‘do it yourself’ projects.

Visit of the farm

People from Mondeggi

  • Mar Berrio and Jason Nardi


MONDAY 14/11/2022  

10:00 - 11:00 
Getting to know each other (icebreaker) 
We will offer a time to get to know each other: presentation of your project and your affiliation to one or more initiatives and activities.  Activity based on the forms
(remember to send your form to Alima and Mar).  

Getting to know the Ecosystems of the Commons working group 
From the European Commons Assembly to Mondeggi, a brief history of the Ecosystems of the Commons Working Group. Progress of the group’s works : 
◦ sharing methodologies and tools
◦ translation of the sustainability model of the commons
◦ documentation of practices (Nantes)
◦ Online workshop (October 4, 2022)

11:00 - 13:00 
Sharing our actions, initiatives and projects
We will use the femProcomuns Commons Sustainability Model to present each other’s projects and actions.


13:00 - 14:00 

14:00 - 15:30 
Guided tour of Mondeggi 

15:30- 18:00 
Sharing of tools and methodologies for commons ecosystems
Presentation by group of 3/4 tools:
Group 1: Around commons digital infrastructures: CommonsCloud, Nuage en commun, Teixidora, Meetcoop,

Group 2: Around the common use of (public) space: CoMU, shared use regulations (Declaration of civic use, Regulations for the protection of the commons, Asilo Filangieri, Mondeggi…), Foncières (collective ownership), 

Group 3: Around the commons production issues: Public Commons Partnership, Model of sustainability of the commons, Evaluation grid of the commons (École des communs),

Synthesis in the form of a descriptive table to better understand: what is it about? how does it work? where does it come from? what are the experiences of use? How to develop these tools? 

TUESDAY 15/11/2022

10:00 - 11:00 
Deepening of tools and methods shared. 

11:00 - 13:00 
What are our needs? What collective actions do we want to develop? 
We will work in the form of an open forum to identify the actions to be developed and the next steps to implement. 

13:00 - 14:00 

14:00 - 15:00
Continuation of the Open Forum and work on collective actions to be developed 

15:00 - 17:30 
Next steps for Cultivating our communities: a living toolkit for the commons ecosystems. 
We will use femProcomuns’ sustainability of the commons method to define actions and strategies for the Ecosystems of the Commons working group. 

17:30 - 18:00 
Closing session

Results of the workshop

A IDENTIFIED PROJECTS, and people commited


Person Initiative Country
Riccardo Buonanno Asilo Filangieri Italy
Giovanni Avverso Asilo Filangieri Italy
Marco Asilo Filangieri Italy
Carla Biondi Asilo Filangieri Italy
Monica Garriga femProcomuns Catalunya
Frédéric Sultan Remix France
Alima El Bajnouni B.A.Balex France
Jérémie Chomette Fondation Danielle Mitterrand France
Soricaro Nunzio CLIP Italie/Spain/France
Thomas Figuera Groupe de recherche sur les partenariats public-commun (CRITIC) France
Anais Passagères de l’usage France
Samuel Passagères de l’usage France
Jean François Kibler GRET France
Jovana Timotijevic Ministery of space / Ministarstvo prostora Serbia (Belgrade)
Jon Richter Commons Institute Allemagne
Marilisa Nanna Solidaria Bari Italy
Someone from mondeggi Mondeggi Bene Comune Florence
Anna Lisa Pecoriello Firenze Beni Comuni Italie
Damien Nantes en commun (NeC) France
Arthur Nantes en commun (NeC) France
Nicolas Nantes en commun (NeC) France
Morgane Petiteau Nantes en commun (NeC) France
Keir Milburn Common Wealth UK
Nicolas Krausz FPH Suisse
Jason Nardi Solidarius Italie
Filippo Bellini Riete Italy
Mar Berrio Solidarius Italy
mireia Mondeggi Bene Comune Italy
Lucia Firenze Bene Comune Italy
Hamado Simpore Wendpagnangde Burkina Faso
Mike Hales UK
Maria Francesca De Tullio Feministisation of Politics collective Italy
Giuseppe Micciarelli Asilo Filangieri Italy


Commons Sustainability Model

femProcomuns cooperative, in collaboration with various organisations and individuals, has developed over the last few years a tool and an approach to accompany collectives seeking to propose solutions to the challenges of their territories.
We rely on a conceptual model that represents 5 interconnected dimensions of pooling (5 pillars). It models the way a project works or wishes to work. It uses a visual diagram, the Sustainability Model of the Commons, which helps us to situate and qualify the commons with regard to these 5 dimensions.
This diagram is a support for mobilising a set of methodological, legal and economic tools from the social sciences and from the cumulative experience of the commons matrix over the last few decades. These tools make it possible to go further, to analyse what exists and to develop the potential of initiatives according to their contexts and environments.
By working together with such tools on the same territory or in the same field, actors can develop new cooperations and better take charge of their project’s object.
More information:
Translated with (free version)
[FR] [IT]

Social Cultural Center Magacin Belgrade Project

Sound file:
Presented by: Jovana Timotijevic (The Ministry of Space)
Date: 14/11/2022


The Social Cultural Center Magacin Belgrade Project ( is an initiative The Ministry of Space, is a member of. It started in 2007 when a group of cultural workers and artists, later gathered into the association Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia, in need of space to work and perform, made an arrangement with the Belgrade authorities to use and manage the space of the former publishing house Nolit, a former Yugoslav publishing company that was abandoned, but still in the public property, in a quite central location in the city of Belgrade. The agreement between the organisations and the authorities didn’t last long, as the new political coalition in power did not support it. The tension escalated in 2014, when the city-level institution Belgrade Youth center ordered the eviction of organisations using Magacin. From that point on, the organisations have not moved out, but squatted the space and came up with the new governance model and use for space. Over the years, it actually constituted as a commons, through use and through reflection on how to expand of the community of users and how to manage it inclusively and democratically. Magacin thus grew beyond these collectives that initially made the association and now it has more than a hundred collectives that use this occupied space. They come not only from culture and arts field, but there is also an anti-eviction movement, workers’ rights initiatives, etc. They’re very diverse collectives, not individuals but collectives, both informal and formal that use this space.
Over the years the number of collectives using and governning the space has grown to over 100. They are formal organisations, informal groups, individual activists, etc. So, when we talk about the ‘community’, it’s these collectives that make this community (regular or occasional users), but also the wider community of users includes the citizens and neighbors, that attend the programs. Whoever is using the space, regardless of their status or intensity of participation in governing Magacin, has equal access to the resources of Magacin, as long as their activities are in accordance to the Magacin values and principles of use. This equality is operationalized through the model of the Open calendar.


The main resource of the cultural centre Magacin is the space - all owned by the City of Belgrade, located in three different buildings (near to each other) - (1) Main building, (2)Practice/Workshop, and (3)Ostavinska gallery. 
The main building (approx. 2000 m2) consists of the office, central space (where bigger public programs are organised), coworking space, meeting room, dance hall (equipped with specific floor), cinema room and the basement.
As it is occupied, the organisations are not paying for the electricity (the city authorities have never charged it, nor cut it).
There is also the so-called equipment-fund, available for all member-organisations to use. 
When it comes to funding, the association Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia is the legal entity that usually fund-raises money from the international donors predominantly (although also member organisations can apply as well). This money is most often used to renovate and/or maintain the space and to also buy some additional equipment, although some of this equipment also cames as a donation from different member-collectives. As a collective, as users, whenever we can, we donate either in kind or money to the space, and such is the practice of other members as well.


As for the decision making and the governance model, it has been a process of articulating this model over the years and it is still being modified through reflection on its application and effects.
Magacin is currently governed through managing bodies such as Magacin Users’ Assembly and Magacin coordinating body. There are also operating bodies such as the Coordinator, Thecnical Maintaince Team, PR team and photo documentation team, chose among the regular users. 
Magacin Users’ Assembly is the main body and it manages space and makes decisions regarding the activities in the centre, it’s development, maintenance, conditions and principles of use and other topics important for the overall functioning. The only exceptions are the public advocacy and project financing, where the Assembly has to agree with the Coordinating body. The Assembly regularly meets once a month, and in these occasions there needs not to be a quorum, but the decisions (operational ones) are made with simple majority vote among present members. For the strategic decisions, there are special strategic assemblies, the coordinating body also has to be present. The coordinating body is responsible to maintain the relation between the Assembly of users and the Association, as well as for coordinating the working groups for project financing and advocacy/negotiations about the legal status of the centre. There are also working groups that deal with very specific topics/spaces (e.g. Equipment Fund Working group). These consist of regular users’ representatives. 
Because the number of members grew so much over the years, the main mediator in the governance system is the tool OPEN CALENDAR that is used in order for collectives to use the spaces with equal access. If one wants to use the space, they book it (not more than three months ahead), by stating the space they want to use, the term (hours) and the purpose. In case there are two or more collectives interested in the same space at the same time, they are able to communicate and try to find a compromise (up until know, this has worked out very well).

Ex-Asilo Filangieri

Sound file:
Translated with
Original language (italian)
Presented by: Giovanni
Date: 14/11/2022

The Asilo is a public space where workers in the fields of artistic, cultural, performing arts and research self-govern in an informal plural and heterogeneous community. L’Asilo is located in the historic centre of Naples.


The community meets daily in the shared use of means of production for culture, research and art, according to principles of anti-fascism, anti-racism and anti-sexism. The space is not fixedly functionalised; rather, like the community, it is constantly open to new uses that may come from everyday experimentation. What the community shares is also a common and cooperative form of living. The community recognises itself in an innovative way of making cultural policy in the city, guaranteeing the free enjoyment of artistic events: in Asilo there is no artistic direction, but self-management assembly, nor is there any admission charge.

Sharing/Open Access

Access to the space, assemblies, thematic tables and public events is open to citizenship, but restricted according to the mandatory principles enshrined in the Declaration of Civic and Urban Collective Use: anti-fascism, anti-racism and anti-sexism. We take anti-capitalism for granted. The Declaration is a document that the community has given itself over years of work, from 2012 to 2015, and which regulates governance, uses and access to the community and space. The Declaration is recognised by the City of Naples through a Council Resolution


Over the years, the community has been endowed with resources for cultural, artistic and research production. In the Asylum there is a theatre, self-built over the years. There is also a library that is in continuous transformation and in which a cataloguing practice has been initiated concerning thousands of texts donated by the citizens. There are rooms dedicated to workshops for the art of matter: carpentry, ceramics, tailoring, set design, screen printing. Then there is one of the few cinemas in the historic centre of Naples, a dance studio and a vegetable garden. Funding for self-building or the purchase of the means of production are: crowdfunding, participation in public tenders and also private foundations, donations.


The governance of the space is centred on the weekly Monday assemblies, which have been held continuously since 2012. The assemblies can be political, on the theme of the cultural and artistic production that the community wants to give itself, and managerial, mostly dedicated to welcoming new proposals. A fundamental part of governance are the thematic operational tables. There are operational tables for each type of production and/or art (the stage arts table, the subject arts table, the cinema table, the library table, the kitchen garden table). These tables have the task of interdependently implementing the proposals that come to the Assembly. It must be emphasised that there is no artistic direction in the Asylum. Decisions are always taken by consensus: during the assemblies we never vote, we always try to give a construction of a collective sense that is not reductive.


The logic with which all this is done is that of political activism, interdependence and experimentation. An experimentation that is intended at the outset to be immersed in the contradictions of cultural, artistic and academic production. The logic is in fact to hack into what are the dominant institutions, both the public administration through a declaration of civic use that is recognised and the private foundations, by participating in calls for tenders to equip the Asilo with means of production for the common use of citizenship. The intention is to open up the imaginary, e.g. the legal and research production of the Asilo could open up the possibility that other administrations such as that of Bagno a Ripoli or other informal communities could equip themselves with similar tools. Or that private foundations might begin to finance means of production for common and free use.

La Maison des utopies en expérimentation

Sound file:
Translated with
Original language (french)
Presented by: Alima El Bajnouni and Jérémie Chomette
Date: 14/11/2022

La maison des utopies en expérimentation is an association created in September 2022, whose purpose is to manage together, an space, (lodging and land), a commons, which is a place of respite, of taking a step back and of experimentation which is led by the community, composed of activist collectives (associations, artists, academics, etc.) 


The community is open. Above all, we know who it is not open to, what we do not want, and we have defined a charter of values, which we call a compass, which sets out the principles around which the community is constituted, principles of experimentation and action that allow for the realisation of utopias that are alternatives to capitalism/patriarchy/productivism/relationships of domination, and that also relate humans to their environment, which also includes taking the non-human into account. The function of the place is to offer conditions for experimenting with utopia in action, in order to live and learn alternative practices.

Resources to be mobilised

This place exists today, is being bought by the Danielle Mitterrand Foundation, which makes it available to the association Maison des Utopies d’Expérimentation (MUE). The MUE manages this place which is in Cluny, in Burgundy. It is a place that is functional today, which nevertheless requires quite a bit of structural work in the long term, apart from major work (paid for by the Danielle Mitterrand Foundation). The running of the MUE and the place is estimated at around forty thousand euros per year.
It is intended to be self-financing, to make as few appeals as possible to subsidies and external funding, to be as self-sufficient as possible, but occasional assistance is not completely excluded. A large part of the funding comes from memberships and contributions, knowing that only members of the association can use the space. We don’t want it to be a consumption of the place, we want those who use the place to be the ones who manage it, who feel responsible for it.


In order to reduce costs and to be self-governing, self-managing, we can create a governance based on circles. In the current governance scheme, there are five operational circles, a watchdog circle and a coordination circle, which are made up of active members who are part of the community (each active member is obliged to be involved in at least one circle).
There are also members who are sympathising members and who are not the majority of the membership. In principle, in order to be part of the association, to benefit from the place, it is encouraged to be a real contributor and to contribute to the management and functioning.


All the active members take part in operational circles on different themes: a circle to take care of the environment/housing; a circle to go towards the territory, to go towards others; a circle on the transmission of uses; one on cooperating together, living together; one on the management of (res)sources, precisely the economy. And then there are also people who are responsible for ensuring that the values and direction of the association are respected throughout the project, who are called watchdogs.
The governance of the association is schematised in the form of circles. The circles are all linked by the assembly, which is where all the users meet to share information and take the major decisions. But also by the coordination circle. Indeed, in the coordination circle, each operational circle will nominate two people to represent them in the coordination circle, and in addition to the representatives of the operational circles there are also two representatives of the watchdog circle in the coordination circle. The majority of decisions must be taken by the operational circles, as close as possible to reality and the field. When it concerns the whole community, the coordination circle is called upon. This circle can take decisions that require an overall view, but it is mainly there to facilitate harmony between the operational circles.

To stay in touch : contacts !

Remix the commons +
femProcomuns +
Solidarius Italia + CONTACT


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