WTM Forum I: Commoning Economy

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WTM Forum I: Commoning Economy,

Katherine Gibson, Martijn Jeroen van der Linden, Philippe Van Parijs, (Un)usual Business,

Forum 17 Jan 2016, 14:00-18:00

“The economy is something we do, and not just something that does things to us.”
—JK Gibson-Graham

There is a strong urgency to practice alternative models for economic organization beyond mere critique. These models are not based on expropriation, exploitation, and the fantasy of boundless accumulation, but are aimed at a more equal or egalitarian distribution of resources and well-being in common. And in a world seemingly dominated by exploitative economic structures, those structures that instead work toward a commoning of resources still (or already) exist in the form of what economic geographer Katherine Gibson has called “community economies.” Under the pen name JK Gibson-Graham (a collaboration between Gibson and the late Julie Graham), she has published widely on community economies, most notably in the books The End of Capitalism (As We Know It) (1996) and A Postcapitalist Politics (2006). Can community economies move from the margins where they find themselves today, and insert themselves as the general principle to replace capitalist economy? Gibson will bring us into contact with concrete community economy case studies and speak to their expanding potential.

Utrecht-based research collective (Un)usual Business, which was founded as a collaboration between Casco and Kritische Studenten Utrecht (KSU) in 2013, takes Gibson-Graham’s ideas as a starting point and a reference for the research they conduct on the political potential of existing community economies in Utrecht. Not only will they present the work they have been doing, including their journal Utrecht Meent Het and How To Get Together series, but they will also assess their own organizational structure and modus operandi as a possible model that goes against the grain of hegemonic economic logic.

Subsequently, philosopher and political economist Philippe Van Parijs will discuss and propagate the idea of a universal basic income, of which he has been a passionate proponent for decades, since publishing his book Real Freedom for All: What (if Anything) Can Justify Capitalism? (1995). While the universal nature of this concept is seemingly at odds with the localized nature of community economies, Van Parijs will make a strong case for its concrete feasibility. His contribution has a profound resonance with Utrecht at the moment as its city council has started experimenting with the implementation of basic income.

Finally, the floor will be given to you, the participants, in this study event, in an open group discussion moderated by economic researcher and Casco board member Martijn Jeroen van der Linden.

Forums start at 14:00 hrs and are free to all. However, reservations are required for organizer and contributor preparation (and yes, seating is limited too); e-mail Steyn Bergs at steyn@cascoprojects.org

On the day of the forum, come earlier and make your own time to read through and see the exhibition project We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning open from 12:00 hrs. 

Next up: Forum II, Commoning Art Organization, Sat 30 Jan, 2016
with artist Annette Krauss, art theorist Andrea Phillips, curator Nora Sternfeld, and the Casco team

The Commoning Forum Series is curated by media and research coordinator at Casco Steyn Bergs and director at Casco Binna Choi, and is organized by the Casco team.


17 Jan 2016, 14:00-18:00


Livestream WTM Forum 1: Commoning Economy, available 17 January, 14:00 - 18:00h

Tune in via any media player of your choice. For iTunes go to "file", "open stream" and paste the above URL. For VLC go to "file", "open network" and paste URL.

The recorded presentations will also be uploaded as a podcast after the event. Keep a keen eye on the Casco website and social media for updates!






Press Release


Supported by

Casco’s program is made possible with financial support from City Council of UtrechtMondriaan FundDOEN Foundation, and European Union Culture ProgrammeWe Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning is also supported by K.F. Hein Fund