Municipalist Conference Kick-Off 2019: Top 10 things you absolutely cannot miss

This week, activists from all over the world get together in Amsterdam to kick-start the local municipalist movement. The event is a 4-day festival with speeches, debates, workshops, Q & A sessions and neighbourhood assemblies, all hosted in the South East of the city, in the so called ‘K-Buurt’ (Kraaiennest neighbourhood).

Commons Network has been part of the core team of this movement from the start and we have been very busy these past few weeks organising this massive event. Today, it all starts and we couldn’t be more excited. The line-up and programme is packed, so much so that it is impossible to see it all, do it all, hear it all, engage with it all. That is why in this blog, we will list our Top 10 Things You Absolutely Have To Do during this week. Hope this helps 🙂

10. How To Democratise Your Local Economy, Wednesday December 4th, Ghanaian Church, 13:30

In this conversation with really inspiring thinkers, openDemocracy’s Laura Basu will talk to Kate Aronoff, Mathew Lawrence, Ernest Urtasun, Cat Hobbs, and Duncan McCann about European and national policies to enable the democratisation of the local economy. We highly recommend joining this session because all these people have really proven to be on the forefront of radical new ideas for democracy and economy and a democratic economy.

9. How To Work Together To Fight For Remunicipalisation, Thursday December 5th, Taibah Mosque, room 1.1, 14:00

In this session, you’ll hear from activists and civil society advocates from Jakarta, Seoul, Chile, Barcelona, Lagos and Ireland. They’ll share insights from their fight for remunicipalisation of water, transport, waste and land. We recommend this session to get inspired and to learn from experienced international activists.

8. Keynote Speech By Ted Howard About Community Wealth Building, Friday December 6th, Taibah Mosque, central hall, 13:00

This year, the team that we’re a part of, tasked with igniting the spark of municipalism in Amsterdam, asked Democracy Collaborative, the civil society organisation from Washington, to investigate how their model for community wealth building could inspire new policies in the Dutch context. DC’s founder, Ted Howard, is joining us for a special keynote about their ‘Cleveland Model’ and what they call anchor insitutions and much more.

7. No Human Being Is Illegal, Right?, Friday December 6th, Ghanaian Church, 13:30

Together with activists from the Amsterdam City Rights coalition, we discuss how we can really turn Amsterdam into a ‘sanctuary city’ for refugees and undocumented people. Should we come up with a city passport so that we can make undocumented people a citizen of Amsterdam?

6. Caring For Eachother In A Capitalist System, Friday December 6th, Community Center De Bonte Kraai, 13:30

Neighbourhoods in Amsterdam are polluted and busy and people are lonely and unhealthy. Health care is not optimally organised in a way that helps people and communities. What can we learn from the commons to inspire a new, more decentralised, more informal, more preventive and community-based health care system? Together with experts, activists, social workers and organisers we discuss how can we make our neighbourhoods more caring?

5. Local Alternative Currencies: How Can We Design Local Currencies For A Better City?, Friday December 6th, Taibah Mosque, room 1.1, 15:30

We’ve brought together the experiences from Bristol, Ghent and other cities where succesful experiments with alternative, locally run currencies have been set up. Together, we will design a new currency, or many currencies, one for every neighbourhood. Central question: how can local currencies capture the social values that mainstream finance ignore and how do we design the governance of these currencies?

4. Commons For Beginners: How Can The Commons Help Us Empower Communities And Build Stronger Neighbourhoods?, Friday December 6th, Taibah Mosque, room 1.3, 15:30

Our very own Commons Network team is running this workshop for everyone who wants to get acquainted with the commons to try and understand how they relate to building a post-capitalist cooperative neighbourhood ecosystem. What can we learn from international commoners? How does the concept of the commons apply to the Amsterdam situation? Join us!

3. Activists, Rebel! Civil Disobedience In The Age Of Climate Crises, Saturday December 7th, Community Center De Bonte Kraai, 13:30

We’ve invited climate activists from movements like Code Rood, Fossil Free NL, Extinction Rebellion NL and many others to talk to us about rebelling and civil disobedience. Or is it ‘civil discobedience’? How uncivil should be in these days of crisis? Where do you draw the line? Learn from these activists and bring your friends!

2. Neighbourhood Assemblies, Saturday December 7th, in multiple locations, 13:30

As municipalists say, the local assembly is the foundation for any new social movement. We’ve invited people from the three least priviliged neighbourhoods in the city, Nieuw-West, Zuidoost and Noord, to come and talk to eachother. We will try and hold actual assemblies, inspired by the municipalists in Barcleona, the XR-rebels in London and the Occupiers in New York City. This is an experiment so anything can happen. But it will be interesting!

1. Party! The 99 Of Amsterdam Celebrates The Official Start Of A Movement! Saturday December 7th, Community Center De Bonte Kraai, from 19:00 till very late

We’ve worked hard over the past few months. Now it’s time to party. For everyone who joined this event, and for everyone who couldn’t make it to the workshops, this party is open to everyone. We’ll have DJ’s, live music, poetry and much much more. Bring your own drinks and cancel your appointments for the next morning!

cc james muldoon