Reclaiming the commons: From austerity and debt to public space and health as commons

Identifying strategies, practices and challenges

From one crisis to another. From the economic crisis of 2008 to the crisis of Covid-19. We have experienced the impact of cuts to public services and we have seen communities and activists respond with mutual aid and self organising spaces of collective care, where communities conceive health and care in an expanded way: not only by providing access to medical services and equipment, but also by providing solidarity in the form of psychological support, defence against domestic violence, support in struggles for housing and income and sustaining environments for cultural production.

This event is intended as a space for the presentation of initiatives and for shared reflection on the ways activists have self organised in response to these crises.

To start the dialogue and introduce participants we will share testimonies and collective experiences in advance of the event.

The Program

Online Meeting Room 18:00-20:00 GMT/UTC

The event will take place online and will be hosted on the cooperative conferencing platform :

The event in brief

The program will begin with a short introduction to Common Horizons and to the projects that have contributed. There will be a round of presentations from activists who will reflect on struggles and respond to the themes, followed by a collective dialogue and a concluding assembly. 

Opening the event (15 mins)

We will take a few minutes at the beginning to assist people as they arrive to explain the arrangements for translation.
We will open the event with a short introduction to the Common Horizons process and the program of the event.

Stories (15 mins)

In advance of the event we have gathered and shared stories and struggles related to the themes these are published on our website and we encourage all participants to engage with this material in advance as this will support a deeper engagement during the event. We will take 15 minutes at the beginning to introduce participants from the projects that contributed to the documentation collected on our website.


Struggles and strategies of commons movements (45 mins)

Cassie Thornton – Is an artist and activist whose work has engaged with issues of debt and more recently the development of the Hologram a peer to peer healthcare practice inspired by the solidarity health clinics in Greece
Gaelle Krikorian – French social science researcher, activist in the fields of access to healthcare and minority rights,  She is currently working on the industrial production of medicines with a commons based governance. .
Edesio  Fernandes as a speaker during the part 1. Edesio is a Brazilian lawyer and city planner based in London, member of the Global Platform for the Right to the City. 

Fanny Mallinen – Organising against debt


Collective Dialogue (20 mins)

Depending on how many people are in attendance we may work as a single large group or break up into smaller groups. The dialogue is for reflection on the event themes, and the issues presented by contributors and speakers as well as how these relate to participants own experience and activist practice.

The group discussions should give consideration to – problems, challenges, strategies, perspectives, for recognising and making visible the commoning of care and health. We ask that some participants in the groups volunteer to take notes in pads. If working in small groups a volunteer should prepare a short summary of their discussions to present to the broader group in the concluding assembly.

During these discussions please keep in mind that this is not simply an opportunity to present projects, this is a moment for dialogue, networking and strategizing among movements, learning from each others struggles. When discussing experiences and projects consider how they relate to the work of others or might inform and support transformative movements more generally.

Concluding Assembly (20 mins)

Finally, this is a moment for all participants to come together for collective dialogue before concluding the event.

Preparing for the event

We have prepared and collected some articles on the initiatives that will take part in the event. We encourage you to read these in advance as it will enable us all to engage more deeply with each others experience and practices.
The stories are collected here (this list will be updated)
If you want to share links to your own projects you can post them here on the pad –         


Technical details for the event:

If you have any inquiries about the event or want to follow updates, please join our telegram group.
If you are interested in volunteering to support the organising process, translation, or promotion. You can also reach us there.


Collaborative Note-taking and Multi-Lingual Support

The event will be accompanied by a process of volunteer led, collaborative note-taking, this process will include multi-lingual support whereby the discussion will be directly transcribed into the following languages – English, French, Italian, Spanish. For this reason it is important for all participants to have access to the pads during the event.

What is Common Horizons?

Common horizons (for the common movement) is a proposal based on the recognition of the diversity of gender, de-colonialism (north/south), and the diversity of opinions and ideological approaches that make up the commons movement. It aims to create conditions for collectively addressing strategic issues for the commons informed by a process of open dialogue with the mixed production of documentation in terms of knowledge (academic/practical), culture and languages, forms of expression (modes of expression, analogue/digital, artistic/journalistic…) and of encounter (offline/online). Common Horizons gives continuity to the process started between 2018 and 2020 within the commons movement of the WSFTE (World Social Forum of Transformative Economies) and the process of confluence, for activism and commons practices through Commons Camps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *