This summer, Commons Network started a new partnership with the municipal government of the city of Amsterdam.
The city is where we re-invent politics and re-organise politics. Change happens in neighbourhoods, movements start on squares. We believe that cities and regions, rather than nation states, represent the future of Europe. That local focus has been in our DNA (and in our mission statement) since the very beginning. Now, we have a chance to bring those ideas into practice.
The municipalist movement, most visible in Barcelona, offers a new vision on cities as beacons of radical, inclusive sustainability and democratization. Cities embracing these politics have come together in the network of ‘fearless cities’. The current Amsterdam council has the ambition to become a Fearless city. They have been working to set up a think tank to bring municipalism to Amsterdam, both in theory and in practice. And we are helping them.
Since the summer of 2019, Commons Network has been working with a team of civil servants and activists, supported by the municipality. The Fearless team uses the name ‘The 99 of Amsterdam’ for this new movement, referring to the 99 neighbourhoods of Amsterdam while also making a reference to the 99% versus 1% slogan of the Occupy movement.
The commons and the cooperative solidarity economy are important building blocks of the municipalist vision, which embraces the creation of social value for communities and neighbourhoods, also by means of a local, transformative economy.
As a member of this team, Commons Network is contributing to texts on commons and cooperative economy, reflecting on what municipalism means in the Dutch-Amsterdam context, and co-developing the terminology and the narrative. We are reaching out to key activists, communities and organisations in the city to cooperate with, learn from, and form a strong movement together. In cooperation with these initiatives we are also working to organise a two-day kick-off assembly in December about Amsterdam municipalism. The main themes of The 99 of Amsterdam are, for now, public space, housing, democratization of the economy, just energy transition, feminism, anti-racism and responsible finance.
Commons Network is proud and excited to be able to contribute to this initiative and to work with so many inspiring people and initiatives in Amsterdam. We see this as an enormous chance for the commons and for Amsterdam as pioneer city towards a more sustainable and democratic society. We hope to learn from other cities and look forward to sharing the results, new insights and accomplishments made here. Hopefully many!
Check out the website we just launched for THE 99 OF AMSTERDAM
Follow the news about this new initiative through the Twitter account
Join us on the 6th and 7th of December for the kick-off gathering