Summer schools 2022

This year, the COSMOLOCALISM research team is organising two summer schools that will combine theoretical and hands-on exploration of alternative socio-technological futures.

There are no fees, and positions are limited:

  • Technology, society and the future (20/07-23/07) [more info] (no more applications are accepted)
  • Energy as a commons (30/08-02/09) [more info] (no more applications are accepted)

Strategy meeting on policies for a commons-based technology

On 2 April 2022, 18 people from seven Greek think tanks (ENA, Eteron, Heinrich Böll Foundation Greece, mέta, Open Technology Alliance, P2P Lab, Poulantzas) and two universities met in Kalentzi, Tzoumerka, where one of the COSMOLOCALISM pilots is based. The goal was to discuss policies for technology and the commons in Greece.

Part I

The event started online. First, participants were tasked to contribute a 150-word-long text to a shared doc. The text included their two main focal points concerning technology and the commons. Next, Maro Pantazidou, the ex-Head of Global Impact and Learning at Amnesty International who would facilitate the in-person discussions, synthesized the participants’ contributions to provide starting points for the physical meeting.

Part II

The physical meeting started with every participant introducing their work and explaining why they decided to participate in the event. Then participants self-allocated to five groups according to their interests (energy, health, culture, etc.) as co-defined at the end of the introductory section. Within these five groups, discussions took place to formulate tentative ways of reaping the benefits of commons-based technologies and practices in each sphere of social life. Then a break for lunch followed.

After the break, each of the five groups presented the gist of their discussion. Then, the facilitator documented the trends, the challenges, and the potentialities of the ideas discussed. Next, based on the documentation mentioned above, three new, larger groups were created: a) The state and public policies for the commons; b) Digital transformation and the commons; c) Commons-based work and restructuring of the mode of production.

The participants had to co-formulate concrete policy proposals regarding their focus. After two hours, the groups were gathered together to present a summary of their policy proposals. A collective reflection on the policy proposals and the day’s discussions followed.

Part III

At the moment, the three groups are working on three shared google docs to provide a one-pager that would summarize their policy proposals and conclusions. Moreover, the facilitator has asked all participants to share their mid-term priorities and needs concerning technology and the commons. On this basis, this informal network/community may decide its future course of action. In any case, an important step has been made towards promoting the discussion for policies that might support an emerging sustainable economy based on the commons in Greece.

Summer school: Technology, society and the future

***No more applications are accepted***

News from Nowhere is a utopian novel written in 1890 by William Morris. Morris imagined a world in which human happiness and economic activity coincide. He reminds us that there needs to be a point to labour beyond making ends meet. Capitalism, he explains, locks the capitalist into a horrible life, which leads nowhere but the grave. Morris’s utopian society has no government nor a monetary system. Craftwork has made “wage slavery” obsolete, and an elite version of parliamentary democracy has given way to new forms of cooperation. The means of production are democratically controlled, and people find pleasure in sharing their interests, goals and resources. Is now the utopian vision of Morris within reach?

When

The summer school includes four full days: 20/07, 21/07, 22/07, 23/07 in 2022. It will start at 09:30 am on 20/07.

Where

The summer school will take place in Kalentzi (GR), a village at the Municipality of North Tzoumerka, 30km away from Ioannina, as well as in Frasta, a village 15km away from Kalentzi. The access to Kalentzi from Ioannina is through the provincial road Ioannina-Pramanta. Kalentzi is 20km away from the 2 big highways, which lead either to Athens or Thessaloniki, and 35 km from Ioannina’s King Pyrros airport. Here you may find more info about travelling and staying in the region.

Summer school coordinator and organiser

The coordinator is Prof. Vasilis Kostakis. The summer school is organised by the P2P Lab of Tallinn University of Technology. It is also supported by the FinEst Centre.

Target group

The summer school is open to local and international PhD students from all disciplines with an interest in technology and societal issues. Master students who have accomplished the first year of their studies at their home university could also be enrolled in the programme. Excellent command of the English language is necessary.

Scope and aim

The summer school will use Morris’s News from Nowhere as a starting point of a spellbinding tour on what technology is and the alternative trajectories of techno-social development. We will discuss techno-determinism, using classical technology critiques to understand, and see the power of, techno-development. We will address ICT as a form of technology, debate some specific fields of media, gaming, and fashion, and look at the struggle between and against low-, mid- and hi-tech over the last century and a half. Finally, we will explore how to create a sustainable economy through the commons, discussing the phenomenon of “cosmolocalism”.

Facilitators

The summer school is a theoretical and hands-on exploration of alternative techno-social trajectories. The theoretical exploration will be facilitated by Prof. Wolfgang Drechsler, Prof. Vasilis Kostakis and Dr. Christina Priavolou. The hands-on exploration will be facilitated by Boulouki and will include a workshop on traditional tar production technology and its potential implications for the commons.

Fee

There is no fee.

Application

Due to an overwhelming amount of excellent applications, the submission process has ended.

More about the region

Here you may find more info about travelling and staying in the region.

Acknowledgments

The summer school is financially supported by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 802512). Wolfgang Drechsler’s participation is made possible with funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (grant agreement No 856602), see also www.finestcentre.eu. The seminars and the workshops will take place in facilities and buildings kindly provided by the Municipality of Northern Tzoumerka, the Cultural Society of Kalentzi and the Municipality of Central Tzoumerka. We thank them deeply.

Questions

Contact: nikiforos.tsiouris AT taltech.ee. The programme of the school will be announced once the students’ cohort is finalised.

Summer school: Energy as a commons

***No more applications are accepted***

The last decade has marked a significant increase in the global conscience of the need for radical changes in our “way of life.” The issue of rethinking our energy systems –traditionally centralised and fossil-fuel-based to support mass consumption– has been prominent and contentious. Due to its complexity, proposed solutions often address the symptoms of the current socioeconomic configuration rather than tackling its core assumptions. This summer school aims to explore a radically novel energy system that could reconceptualise the material and digital infrastructure and the political economy that permeates it.

When

The summer school includes four full days: 30/08, 31/08, 01/09, 02/09 in 2022. It will start at 09:30 am on 30/08.

Where

The summer school will take place in Kalentzi (GR), a village at the Municipality of North Tzoumerka, 30km away from the city of Ioannina.The access to Kalentzi from Ioannina is through the provincial road Ioannina-Pramanta. Kalentzi is 20km from the 2 big highways, which lead either to Athens or Thessaloniki, and 35 km from Ioannina’s King Pyrros airport. Here you may find more info about traveling and staying in the region.

Summer school coordinator and organisers

The coordinator is Prof. Vasilis Kostakis. The summer school is co-organised by the P2P Lab of Tallinn University of Technology, and by the Interdepartmental Graduate Program “Science, Technology, Society – Science and Technology Studies” of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

Target group

The summer school is open to local and international PhD students from all disciplines with an interest in energy transition. Master students who have accomplished the first year of their studies at their home university could also be enrolled in the programme. Excellent command of the English language is necessary.

Scope and aim

There is an urgent need to transition to an energy system that not only produces energy in an environmentally sustainable way, but also socially. The summer school will discuss solutions that challenge the very foundation of modern organisational and technological systems for truly impactful energy research. It will explore the potential of energy as a commons in terms of social and environmental sustainability. That is, energy as a communally produced and managed resource satisfying users’ needs rather than a commodity to maximise profits by producing and selling as much as possible. The summer school will provide the foundations for a novel research within the fields of science and technology studies, political ecology and economy, organisation studies, and engineering. Facilitators and students will co-create a learning environment to collaboratively investigate alternative technological and organisational trajectories under a commons-based political economy umbrella.

Facilitators

The summer school is a theoretical and hands-on exploration of alternative technological trajectories to the energy sustainability conundrum. The theoretical exploration will be facilitated by the P2P Lab and will be a blend of formal and non-formal educational techniques. Prof. David Hughes and Prof. Aristotle Tympas will also deliver full-morning seminars. The hands-on exploration will be facilitated by the School of the Earth “Nea Guinea” and will include the collaborative building of parts of a small-scale wind turbine. Students will have the chance to discuss state-of-the-art findings and future scenarios with participants of the ERC project “Cosmolocalism”.

Fee

There is no fee.

Application

Due to an overwhelming amount of excellent applications, the submission process has ended.

More about the region

Here you may find more info about traveling and staying in the region.

Acknowledgments

The summer school is financially supported by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 802512). The seminars and the workshops will take place in facilities and buildings kindly provided by the Municipality of Northern Tzoumerka and the Cultural Society of Kalentzi. We thank them deeply.

Questions

Contact: nikiforos.tsiouris AT taltech.ee. The programme of the school will be announced once the students’ cohort is finalised.

Workshop: How to talk about the Commons in non-expert audiences?

The “Musical chairs as Commons” experiential game is the reverse of the classical capitalist musical chairs game: collaborative and community-driven vs competitive and individualistic. In the context of the former, when the music stops, the participants are challenged to find inclusive solutions and treat chairs as a common resource, instead of excluding players out of the game.

This workshop will practise, through experiential education and reflective observation, the basic notions of Commoning.

Time: 29 November 2019, 14:00-16:30.

Location: SOC-311

The workshop is carried out by Alekos Pantazis, who is a Junior Research Fellow at Tallinn University of Technology and a core member of the P2P Lab – a research collective that focuses on interdisciplinary research on the commons.

For more information, please contact: pantazis.al@gmail.com

“Post-automation?” Workshop on 4-5 December at TalTech, Tallinn

This local event is a spin-off of the International Symposium “Post-automation? Towards Democratic Alternatives to Industry 4.0”, which took place in Sussex in September 2019 and was organized by Prof. Adrian Smith and Mariano Fressoli.

Post-automation is a concept in the making. The idea is sparked by the observation that, globally, groups of people are appropriating and hacking digital technologies for design, prototyping, and manufacture that were implicated initially in successive waves of automation: code, sensors, actuators, computer numerically controlled machine tools, design software, microelectronics, internet platforms, 3D scanners/printers, video, etc.

Clues and hints about post-automation emerge in diverse places: hackerspaces, makerspaces and fablabs; citizen monitoring platforms and open science projects; open hardware platforms and grassroots innovation initiatives; new crafting practices; repair, repurposing and upcycling workshops; libraries and educational institutes opening technology to popular experimentation; citizen laboratories and DIY urbanism; workplace struggles for human-centered, democratic technology. Many of these places work through networks that cut across conventional categories; appearing simultaneously to constitute a movement and infrastructure for social relations with technology radically different to the depopulated visions of cyber-physical systems in Industry 4.0.

In this two-day event, we will discuss such existing practical alternatives and explore how the future of the work would look like in both an automation and post-automation setting.

Schedule:

04 December 2019_Discussion of real-life alternatives with members of the P2P Lab, Ragnar Nurkse Department. 15:00-17:00 @ SOC-311,School of Business and Governance, TalTech.

05 December 2019_Workshop about the future of work by Maro Pantazidou and Alekos Pantazis. 15:00-17:00 @ UO5-301, Main Building, TalTech.

Free entrance.