Welcome to the
The current debate on food policy navigates between two major paradigms on how food is valued and governed: The well-established post-exceptionalist public/private state/market binary in which food is still largely considered a commodity but with a sector that slowly moves from state-protected to be market-regulated; and the old-new paradigm supported by commons scholars, contemporary food initiatives and customary food systems who advocate for a holistic and multi-dimensional view on the agri-food sector taken care of in common (SAPEA-Consortium, 2020; Vivero-Pol, 2019). For this event, we are focusing on the latter. Consequently, the aim of this one-day event is thus digging into the recent development in the discussion on the valuation, provision, and use of food as a commons. Commons play a fundamental role as inputs (i.e., seeds, land, water, knowledge) and outputs (food, oxygen, soil fertility, landscapes) in the food system along the agricultural value chains. Commoning also provides a third way of governing resources essential for communities and societies, aside from market mechanisms and public provision. Food commons comprise natural and cultural resources (material and immaterial) held collectively, including traditional institutions with centuries of tradition and newly evolving and very innovative forms of shared governance.
This one-day virtual conference is unique in bringing interested people together that deal with food commons issues directly or who study food governance in a manner that provides room for the idea that food can be reframed and governed as a commons.
The conference will showcase food commons cases in Europe and abroad and provide a unique forum to explore the broad spectrum of “food as a commons” research and food policy implications. The event will spell out and systematize the various value-based narratives and place-based understandings of “food-commons.” Additionally, the meeting will connect experts, early career scholars, and commoners to this new field. Finally, the meeting will have a specific aim to platform the debate on policy interventions on the European Common Agricultural Policy in Europe, but most likely also for other regions of the world. It will provide an opportunity for European commoners and scholars to learn from other food commons’ experiences and vice versa.
This one-day virtual conference aims to broaden a dialogue between traditional food-commons scholars and practitioners engaging with natural input resources to primary production with scientists and activists shaping innovative collective forms of participating in food waste distribution up to experts exploring traditional and contemporary knowledge on food and agriculture as a knowledge commons.
There will be a webinar with invited speakers in the morning, focusing on the debate around various epistemologies of food narratives, theory, methodologies, and schools of thought around the food as commons idea; development of initiatives, and finally, the political implications at European and global level. Here, we will debate “food as commons” narratives, different forms of food system governance, and finally, questions about how reframing and governing food as a commons may unlock unpermitted or unexplored policies, thus opening up a new set of policy and legal tools that can facilitate a transition towards fairer and more sustainable food systems within planetary boundaries.
In the afternoon, parallel live panels will be held to substantiate the debate. The breakout sessions will be structured in four parallel groups and are based on pre-recorded talks that come in via this call for papers.
The day continues with the presentation of the European Network of Territories of Commons (an ongoing initiative with 67 researchers and commoners from 35 countries aimed at understanding how many hectares are owned or governed as a commons in Europe, how many peoples are involved, and how much food is produced). A final session will allow brainstorming on policy impacts, both at the local and national levels, and strategies to promote those transitions.
Please submit your abstract of 250 words on one of the following tracks (see below) regarding food commons: (1) Shared management of food producing resources; (2) Joint responsibility for food products; (3) Collective responsibility for food distribution – to food waste; (4) Safeguarding food culture and other non-monetized food dimensions. We expect abstracts that particularly deal with one of the four aspects in the food chain and a strong link of conceptualizing it from a commons perspective. Drawing on commons scholarly background, commons are shared resources that are or could be held, used or governed collectively. The joint governance is essential to qualify any given resource as a commons. Social constructs that enable sharing and participation in the food sector are central. This perspective involves the scholarly community that advocates to focus more on the “commoning” side of the commons (doing things together), rather than on the materiality of the resources governed.
Here we expect abstracts that deal with food-producing inputs in the food system as a commons (seeds, knowledge, pastures, land). Also water and marine resources, such as rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastlines can be understood as food producing commons. Studies enabling an understanding of collective management practices in dealing with natural resources of the food chain are welcome. Further, we envision studies on the effect of specifically shared governance forms on food security and safety, nature and biodiversity protection, or adaptation capacities of food systems to climate change. A diversity of examples will be privileged during the selection process.
Here we expect abstracts that focus on the joint responsibility and exercising the “commoning” that institutes the commons. We are interested in the basic governance forms that allow for a joint responsibility how food products are produced and distributed. Abstracts should emphasize governance examples that produce the value of joint and shared responsibility for food or empirical results how citizens perceive these concrete opportunities to participate (i.e. hared actions between consumers and producers or food valuations that shape particular policy preferences). Eaters increasingly want to participate in the food system not only from the shop to the table, but from the field to the plate. You may focus on participation in decision making, such as how production risk is shared in community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, or how distribution channels are set up directly between producers and consumers without intermediaries.
Here we invite contributions that deal with the particular aspect of the ready to consume food units, which are either directly managed jointly by citizens and thus not being wasted or which are governed by governance arrangements that argue for a broad shared responsibility of humankind and thus find innovative ways to reduce wasting. We want to discuss collective action for food waste reduction and improved food distribution in Europe and beyond. Studies on initiatives and movements, or organizations, focusing on the citizen-led battle against food waste are the core. Abstracts should clearly present the link to the commons perspective, by making the food units again available for the community treats them as commons, no matter if they are further distributed as a marketable good or through sharing.
Cultural and knowledge resources related to food or food-producing commons, such as traditions, craftworks, traditional agricultural knowledge, cooking recipes and gastronomy are commons too when they are provided and taken care of jointly. They can even be provided with a shared responsibility of the current generation towards the future ones. In this sense we invite here contributions that consider immaterial commons and ethical considerations in relation to activities in the food system. Food as a sacred good or action, eating or processing as a cultural determinant, food as human’s bond to nature, food as identity, cooking recipes or gastronomical heritage as a shared resource steward by all the members of a given community, region or state, or food systems as providers of non-utilitarian services (European heritage) and life enabling services.
An individual presentation is a pre-recorded 10-minute video. Participants can asynchronously interact with the presenter about the talk in the comment section starting 4 days prior to the one-day conference.
The focus of a live panels is debate. Presenters of pre-recorded talks are invited to be Panelists in one of the four live panels. They may make short statements after which there is a moderated discussion during which questions from the audience are addressed.
No hassle, costs, or carbon emissions from traveling. Attend the entire conference safely from home.
Morning: Webinar with key speakers
Afternoon: Four parallel live/breakout sessions based on pre-recorded talks that come in via this call for papers.
Days end: Presentation of the European Network of Territories of Commons
A final parallel session structured as a World Café to allow brainstorming on policy impacts, both at local and national level, and strategies to promote those transitions.
This virtual conference is accessible for small fees to cover the costs of the implementation of the meetings. All presenters will have to be or become IASC members. IASC members pay 10 dollars to attend the virtual conference live. All conference material will be available to IASC members after the conference. If you are not an IASC member, you can easily register here. Non-IASC members can attend the conference for a fee of 50 dollars. Dependent on sponsoring, waivers are available for early-career scholars and practitioners from the global south.
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Welcome to IASC 2021 Fisheries and Aquaculture Commons Virtual Conference! We are excited to have you on board! Whether this is your first time attending a virtual conference, or if this is one of many that you have experienced, we would like to give you some tips to increase your focus and make the most of your time during this event.
When we attend an in-person conference, part of what makes it special is being away from home, office, and our usual daily routine. We suggest that you do the same for this virtual conference. Let your employers, students, colleagues, and family know that you are immersing yourself in this 3-day conference. We are offering real-time panel discussions and networking events. Get the real-time events that you want to attend onto your calendar first. Then schedule time for yourself to enjoy the pre-recorded presentations.
During this conference, we will be communicating in real-time through a Slack workspace with a variety of Slack channels. If you are not familiar with Slack, check out this tutorial.
Encourage friends and colleagues to attend the conference with you. Utilize the comment sections on the pre-recorded presentations to ask questions and create dialogues about various points of view. Schedule 1-on-1 virtual meet-ups with people you meet during our various events. Throughout the conference, a virtual meeting place will be available for you to interact with other attendees at any time. We will be using the wonder.me platform as discussed in “Conference at a glance”.
After the conference, the presentations will still be available to you. Live events will be recorded and posted for you to watch again. Stay connected to the participants you met while networking. If you are not an IASC member, consider joining and participating in future events.
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When the conference content becomes available, we will provide a link to join the conference’s Slack workspace. Joining will allow you to communicate directly with other conference participants, coordinate meetups, share information, etc.
Interact with other participants in our
During the conference, you will be able to mingle with other participants in our Wonder Room (from https://wonder.me). The video below gives a simple introduction on how to use the platform. Once you log into the conference website you’ll find information about the location of the Wonder Room.
Listen and COntribute to our
We are creating a conference theme-based Spotify playlist available to all participants. During the conference, you will be able to add songs to the list.