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Transforming Power [clear filter]
Friday, July 27


Participation Strategies for the Commons
After ten years in Madrid social movements (inside and outside the ballot box), learning from social squatting (horizontal deliberative structures), party movements (Podemos and Ahora Madrid) and now municipality institutional power (Collective Intelligence for Participatory Democracy Lab and Decide Madrid), we are starting to understand how to run Commons Politics and the deep meaning of rebirthing democracy. This workshop aims to make understood to party movement activist that their role is not to rule “new politics”, their role is to facilitate common people to run politics in a distributed and collaborative way. This is a workshop for “makers”, a practical workshop to make things happen.

Democratic Participation with broad inclusion is the key to open movements and institutions and to escape from ideological and activist ghettos. Common people know what they want, they just need access to data and time to deliberate, to make proposals and decide. They also need new internet participation technology to reduce the participatory gap. This workshop will show how to use hybrid technologies with digital platforms and social face to face mediation and facilitation to make things happen.

  • Rebirthing democracy. Key democratic rights that municipal movements need to recover.
  • Right to talk and to propose. Digital participatory platforms to make people talk and propose. (based on Plaza Podemos and Decide Madrid experiences). Reducing the gap to participate.
  • Mapping and clustering participation and making bottom up proposing mechanism into a deliberative a collaborative intelligent process. Data scientist facilitation. (based on ParticipaLab experiments with Decide Madrid). 
  • Inclusion and decision. How to use mini publics and sortition to insert common people and excluded minorities in the decision processes. (G1000 Madrid and Observatorio de la Ciudad experiences)

avatar for Yago Bermejo

Yago Bermejo

Director - ParticipaLab, Medialab-Prado
Yago Bermejo is the acting director of ParticipaLab, Collective Intelligence for Democracy Lab (@Participa_Lab) and coordinator of the project which connects Medialab-Prado with the Open Government, Participation and Transparency Area in the city of Madrid. ParticipaLab is centered... Read More →

Friday July 27, 2018 11:00am - 3:00pm
5th Floor Room 503 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA
  • about Yago Bermejo is the acting director of ParticipaLab, Collective Intelligence for Democracy Lab (@Participa_Lab) and coordinator of the project which connects Medialab-Prado with the Open Government, Participation and Transparency Area in the city of Madrid. ParticipaLab is centered on collaborative research around democratic innovation and directing deliberative tools for new participatory democratic processes. Much of the lab's work is connected to Decide Madrid, the direct citizen participatory platform of Madrid City Council.<br><br>Previously Yago Bermejo worked at LaboDemo.net, an organization focused on Internet democracy created after 15M movement. LaboDemo has created in Podemos party an entire strategy involving different tools with hundreds of thousands of people participating. He also worked with the D-CENT EU project designing collaborative legislation tools. Yago has served as a mentor and a speaker on various events: g0v.tw Summit in Taiwan, Future Innovation Forum in South Korea and LABICBR in Río de Janeiro, organized by SEGIB (Secretaría General Iberoamericana).
Saturday, July 28


NetWars: Wielding Decentralized Power
Power is evolving. In an increasingly networked world, how can social movements build decentralized power, and just as importantly, how do we defend it - and go on the offensive -  once we inevitably come into conflict with powerful forces who want to stop us? 

In this interactive session, we will explore together what it means for networks of power to battle each other, and how using decentralized network theory can offer activists a wider set of strategic possibilities than we may normally consider. 

Identify shared resources that social movements are using 
Establish a collective understanding of what is needed for a healthy network 
Shift network understanding of what “conflict” means in a networked world
Provide strategy and tactics to shift power across your network 
Clarity around the landscape that we share with our allies and our opponents 

Have a collective toolkit of shared resources
Have an understanding of what makes a healthy network 
Be able to assess the power of their network 
Be able to identify points of “defense” and “offense” across the spectrum of allies

  • Gan Golan, he/her, 
  • Sam Corbin, she/her, 
  • Tamara Shapiro, she/her
  • Kei Williams, they/them, 

Affiliated Organization:

avatar for Sam Corbin

Sam Corbin

Samantha is the Action and Trainings Director for Other 98%. She is also a lead trainer with The Ruckus Society, a founding member of the New York Action Network, co-founder of Occupy Sandy, and co-founder of Movement NetLab. She has delivered countless trainings in creative nonviolence... Read More →
avatar for Gan Golan

Gan Golan

Gan Golan is a NY Times bestselling author, artist, and activist. His books include the hit satire “Goodnight Bush” and critically-acclaimed “The Adventures of Unemployed Man.” His work combines grassroots community organizing with high-profile, media-genic public spectacles... Read More →
avatar for Tamara Shapiro

Tamara Shapiro

Tammy is a coordinator of Movement Netlab. Previously she was one of the lead coordinators of Occupy Sandy, the most effective citizen-led relief effort in U.S. history, as well as Rockaway Wildfire and Worker Owned Rockaway Cooperatives that emerged from it. She was also a lead strategist... Read More →
avatar for Kei Williams

Kei Williams

Kei Williams is a queer transmasculine identified designer, writer, and public speaker. A founding member of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the aims of Kei's work is to transform global culture from the individual into a systemic analysis of structural racism. As Movement... Read More →

Saturday July 28, 2018 9:00am - 10:50am
4th Floor Meeting Room B 200 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003, USA


Regional Solidarity Economy
Solidarity economy is a rejection of capitalism and its logic of wage labor and private property and the embrace of a new transformative framework for our economy. The solidarity economy is built on the principles of human-centered principles (solidarity, equity, participatory democracy, and pluralism) and recognizes the rights of Mother Earth. The US Solidarity Economy Network arose out of the US and World Social Forum processes to unite the alter-globalization movement against neoliberalism and for another world. In the past dozen years, the network has served as a place to exchange theory and practice, to offer mutual aid, and to push together for transformation. Our latest campaign is building regional networks of solidarity economy, to adapt the Jackson-Kush model. We are inspired by the example of Cooperation Jackson and have extrapolated lessons that can be applied in diverse regions to build a solidarity economy.

  • Yvonne Yen Liu, she/her
  • Marcus Hill, he/him
  • Emily Kawano, she/her
  • Kali Akuno, he/him

Affiliated Organization:

avatar for Kali Akuno

Kali Akuno

Co-founder, Co-director, Cooperation Jackson
Kali Akuno is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson. Kali served as the Director of Special Projects and External Funding in the Mayoral Administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS. His focus in this role was supporting cooperative development, the introduction... Read More →
avatar for Marcus Hill

Marcus Hill

Marcus Hill interest in local food systems has grown out of a blend of his public health (MPH, Yale ’08) and community organizing backgrounds, and centers on food justice. He believes that an effective local food movement can’t be separated functionally from food justice, and... Read More →
avatar for Emily Kawano

Emily Kawano

Coordinator, United States Solidarity Economy Network
Emily Kawano is Co-Director of the Wellspring Cooperative Corporation, which is seeking to create an engine for new, community-based job creation in Springfield, Massachusetts. Wellspring’s goal is to use anchor institution purchases to create a network of worker-owned businesses... Read More →
avatar for Yvonne Yen Liu

Yvonne Yen Liu

Co-founder, Research Director, Solidarity Research Center
Yvonne Yen Liu is the cofounder and research director of Solidarity Research Center, a worker self-directed nonprofit that cultivates solidarity economies through data science, story-based strategy, and direct action. She serves on the board of the US Solidarity Economy Network and... Read More →

Saturday July 28, 2018 9:00am - 10:50am
4th Floor Seminar Room 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA


50 Years After Henri Lefebvre: The Right to the City Then and Now
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Henri Lefebvre’s manifesto “The Right to the City.” Published in the aftermath of the 1968 May-June protests in Paris, the term “Right to the City”  has since been used as a rallying call for affordable housing, expanded notions of citizenship and accessible public spaces. In this workshop we will discuss the “Right to the City” through the lens of insurgent local electoral campaigns, community land trusts and the development of organizing through local,national and international networks.


Derrick O Keefe, Candidate for Vancouver City Council
he/him, Twitter: @derrickokeefe

Mia Charlene White, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at The New School
she/her, Twitter: @MiaTuckerWhite

Malcolm Torrejón Chu, Communications Strategist of Right to the City Alliance
he/him, Twitter: @EmCee_Chu

Kazembe Balagun, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung —New York Office
he/him, Twitter: @netflixandrebel

Affiliated Organizations: 
  • The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Rosalux-nyc.org)
  • The Right to the City Alliance (righttothecity.org)

avatar for Kazembe Balagun

Kazembe Balagun

Born in Harlem, NY, Kazembe received his B.A. in Philosophy from Hunter College. From 2007 to 2013, he was the Education/Outreach Coordinator at the Brecht Forum. Kazembe recently contributed an essay on “We Be Reading Marx Where We From: Socialism and the Black Freedom Struggle... Read More →
avatar for Malcolm Torrejón Chu

Malcolm Torrejón Chu

Malcolm was born and bred in Brooklyn NY and now finds himself in Boston.  Malcolm’s early exposure to gentrification in Brooklyn, and to the fight for community control of community space and housing as a human right came while volunteering with the Fifth Avenue Committee as a... Read More →
avatar for Derrick O'Keefe

Derrick O'Keefe

Derrick O’Keefe is a co-founder and editor with Ricochet. He is the author of The Lesser Evil? and A Woman Among Warlords, co-authored with Afghanistan’s Malalai Joya. Derrick is also a long-time political organizer in Vancouver and a member of Métis Nation British Columbia... Read More →
avatar for Mia Charlene White

Mia Charlene White

Mia Charlene White is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies in the Environmental Studies Program at The New School for Public Engagement, with a co-teaching appointment at the Milano School for International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy. She is a faculty-affiliate of... Read More →

Saturday July 28, 2018 11:00am - 12:50pm
4th Floor Conference Room 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA


Tensions in the Community Land Trust Model
A generative strategy session that will encourage practitioners, researchers, and observers to approach community land trusts with a critical eye, grappling with questions of governance, political application, the role of the state, long term sustainability, and their role in the broader movement to preserve and create housing for the lowest income community members. Our goal for the session is to improve the way the model is implemented in American cities. We envision the session as a beginning of a longer conversation that could continue to support participants after the conference.

  • Lynn Lewis, she/her 
  • Hilary Wilson, she/her 
  • Oksana Mironova, she/her

avatar for Lynn Lewis

Lynn Lewis

Lynn Lewis is a founding board member of the E Harlem/El Barrio Community Land Trust as well as a board member of the Cooper Square Community Land Trust.  She is the founding Executive Director and former civil rights organizer of Picture the Homeless (PTH) and her leadership was... Read More →
avatar for Okasana Mironova

Okasana Mironova

Oksana Mironova is a writer and researcher who was born in the former Soviet Union and grew up in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Her writing about cities, urban planning, housing, and public space has appeared in Urban Omnibus, Metropolitics, and City Limits. She is a housing policy analyst... Read More →
avatar for Hilary Wilson

Hilary Wilson

Hilary Wilson is a PhD student in Geography at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research looks at the racial and gendered dimensions of urban policy, particularly in the context of neoliberal austerity. She is particularly interested in documenting existing and imagining new alternatives... Read More →

Saturday July 28, 2018 11:00am - 12:50pm
5th Floor Room 502 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA


Seizing Power, Organizing Utopia: Municipalist lessons from the Pacific NW
While revered for its radical activism and progressive politics, the Pacific Northwest is also a hotbed of some of the nation’s most violent institutional racism and repression, proving it a difficult region to organize across the spectrum. 

Since the presidential election, a new municipalist tendency has emerged, dissolving barriers between typically separatist Left-oriented groups. A handful of critical groups and organizers have been paving the path for effective collaboration in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. These groups root their organizing ideals in social ecology, creating the commons, municipalism, and just transitions by utilizing tools within and outside of traditional power structures. Collectively, they are imagining the next systems and creating spaces to build our world anew.

This session will be hosted by leaders from the Pacific Northwest’s growing municipal networks: The Portland-Metro People’s Coalition, Portland Assembly, Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition, Olympia Solidarity Network, Olympia Assembly, Demand Utopia and Abolish I.C.E (formerly OccupyICEpdx). After briefly sharing their organizational perspectives, panelists will break out into groups with attendees, each focused on exploring one of these different approaches, giving participants the opportunity to workshop their projects within their breakout group as we explore the parallels to local organizing in challenging climates across our different regions and throughout the world.

  • Adriane Ackerman, She/Her, Twitter: @adrianehere, @PDX_PeoplePower
  • Tyler Bee, He/Him/They, Twitter: @demandutopia
  • Paige Corallo, She/Her, Twitter: @OlySolNet
  • Reed Ingalls, He/Him, Twitter: @olympiaassembly 
  • Ami Sommariva, She/They, Twitter: @AmiSommariva
  • Justin Gifford, He/Him, Twitter: @captaingiffy1
  • Antonio Zamora: They/Him, Twitter: @OccupyICEPDX
  • Amanda Qu, She/Her, Twitter: @seattlenac

Affiliated Organizations:

avatar for Adriane Ackerman

Adriane Ackerman

Adriane Ackerman’s contact card reads: Researcher, Rabble-rouser. She holds dual degrees in Political Science and Urban and Public Affairs from Portland State University and is pursuing her graduate education in Public Administration and Policy. After 15 years of large-group facilitation... Read More →

Tyler Bee

Community Organizer
Tyler Bee is a community organizer in the Portland area. They were involved in formulating the international solidarity network to support the Sept 9th International Prison Strike Against Prison Slavery in 2016. Since then then they have they have helped to found several grassroots... Read More →

Paige Corallo

Olympia Solidarity Network
Paige Corallo is a libertarian socialist who organizes with the Olympia Solidarity Network and Olympia Assembly. Her work focuses on coalescing direct action campaigns against slumlords and bosses with the Olympia Solidarity Network.
avatar for Justin Gifford

Justin Gifford

Justin Gifford is a libertarian syndicalist and generally likes to pipe it up through direct action. He is an active labor union delegate and firm believer in collective bargaining. He is also honored to be an organizing member at Seattle Solidarity Network, the ACC Tenants Association... Read More →

Reed Ingalls

Reed Ingalls is a climate justice activist and co-founder of the Seattle Neighborhood Action Coalition, Olympia Assembly and Demand Utopia. He is trying his best to save the world but knows that he can’t do it alone. In addition to organizing, Reed studies restoration ecology and... Read More →
avatar for Amanda Qu

Amanda Qu

Organizer, Neighborhood Action Coalition
Amanda Qu is an organizer with the Neighborhood Action Coalition in Seattle. Her work on houselessness in NE Seattle incorporates mutual aid and communal knowledge sharing, and she envisions a utopian future built on community-based health initiatives and prison/police abolition... Read More →

Ami Sommariva

Demand Utopia
Ami Sommariva, Ph.D. works with Demand Utopia to stimulate radical dreams and build sustainable communities that are rooted in the principles of social ecology. Facilitating collaborative and participatory learning is at the center of her work with both Demand Utopia and Portland... Read More →
avatar for Antonio Zamora

Antonio Zamora

Antonio Zamora is a Chicano activist, farmer, water protector, and extreme world backpacker. He also organizes sacred spaces for human rights and offers political strategy workshops. Antonio is a co-founder of Mass Vigils of Abolish ICE PDX.

Saturday July 28, 2018 2:00pm - 3:50pm
2nd Floor Room 222 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA


Freedom Cities
A City Based Campaign to Redefine Safety by Demanding Reparations & Investments

In 2016 a group of multiracial immigrants came together to discuss the major issues facing low wage communities in New York City. Folks lifted up the need to redefine safety in the midst of police/ ICE brutality and displacement of communities. People wanted to demand that NYC divest from institutions like the police that are causing harm to our community, and demand reparations and reinvestment in our communities. The result was the creation of Freedom Cities in NYC, and since then cities around the country have joined the movement.

This session will introduce participants to the emerging Freedom Cities movement. We will dive into the framework approach that local organizers have been using that includes popular education, direct action, and campaigning. We will also feature an interactive session from the Freedom Cities curriculum for folks to see firsthand. In following with the framework, the session will be interactive and a peer-to-peer space for folks to share movement building and political education approaches to their work.

  • Cindy Martinez, she/her, 
  • Daniel Carrillo, they/their, Twitter: @DanielXicana
  • Pear Bhatnagar, she/her

Affiliated Organizations:

avatar for Pear Bhatnagar

Pear Bhatnagar

National Freedom Cities Coordinator
Pearl is the National Freedom Cities Coordinator. She was born and raised in Queens, New York. In the past, she has co-created a political home for Asian-Pacific Islander organizing, redistributed resources towards community-based alternatives, and has also led campaigns to hold institutions... Read More →
avatar for Daniel Carrillo

Daniel Carrillo

Daniel is a queer xicana with over a decade of experience organizing in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Chicago, New York, and Internationally. They have organized workers, negotiated contracts, researched and led campaigns for AFSCME, SEIU, and CWA. Daniel has worked in their community... Read More →
avatar for Cindy Martinez

Cindy Martinez

Lead Organizer, Enlace
Cindy was born and raised in New York City and comes from a large mix-status Mexican family. As a student at Hunter CUNY she became involved with organizing for immigration rights and mobilizing immigrant communities. When deportations hit home she began fighting against deportations... Read More →

Saturday July 28, 2018 4:00pm - 5:50pm
4th Floor Seminar Room 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA
Sunday, July 29


Cooperative Cities Of Tomorrow: How International Lessons Can Inform North American Strategies
A vision for a just, inclusive city of the future features cooperatives as hubs of economic activity. Worker co-ops are a better way of doing business, and simultaneously a forceful alternative form of organized labor where workers seize capital as their own instrument. Housing cooperatives can stem the tide of neighborhood hood displacement and gentrification. Food cooperatives and CSAs linked to local supply chains are ways of creating food sovereignty and long-term sustainability.  Cities like Montreal, Barcelona, New York, and Philadelphia are at the forefront of building economic alternatives around cooperatives. What lesson can we learn from these experiments? How could we better strategize regionally? How do we create scale?   Facilitators from the Racial and Economic Justice member council of the US Federation of Worker Co-ops will guide our process for advanced strategizing to explore the possibilities of cooperatives for the urban future of work, consumption, and living. 

avatar for Esteban Kelly

Esteban Kelly

Executive Director, U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives
Esteban Kelly is the Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) and is a worker-owner and co-founder of AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance), a worker co-op that builds capacity for social justice projects through intersectional training... Read More →
avatar for Laurent Levesque

Laurent Levesque

chair of the youth wing, Chantier de l'économie sociale
Laurent Levesque cofounded and coordinates UTILE, a Montreal-based nonprofit that builds affordable student housing in Québec, Canada. He is the current chair of the youth wing of the Chantier de l'économie sociale and a co-organizer of the Transform Montreal series of conferences... Read More →
avatar for Alvaro Porro

Alvaro Porro

Commissioner of Social Economy and Local Development and Consumption, City of Barcelona

Sunday July 29, 2018 9:00am - 10:50am
4th Floor Conference Room 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA


Freedom Farms Coop: Land & Black Healing - BLACK CAUCUS - [Black People Only]
co-anchors from Cooperation Jackson's Freedom Farm Cooperative will be facilitating a Black caucus... we invite (only!) our folks of Afrikan descent to share in this attempt at a safe(r), healing space. bring your wonderful selves and unique expressions of joy, rage and everything in between. let us try to hold space for all of it, and help each other survive the enemies within and without, in love and struggle. or just get away for a little bit and meet some dope Black movement fam!  

  • Jo Jordan - he/him
  • brandon king - he/him

Affiliated Organization:


Jo Jordan

Alerta, Alerta... Jo Jordan is an eco-anarchist and New Afrikan nihilist, born and raised in Brooklyn, NYC. Graduated from LaGuardia High School and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Also an alumnus of Books through Bars NYC, Picture the Homeless, the 123 Space, ABC No Rio, COPWATCH... Read More →
avatar for brandon king

brandon king

Community Organizer and Cultural Worker
brandon king is an community organizer and cultural worker originally from Hampton Roads VA, currently living in Jackson MS. After graduating from Hampton University in 2006 with a BA in Sociology, brandon moved to New York City where he worked as a union organizer and later as an... Read More →

Sunday July 29, 2018 9:00am - 10:50am
5th Floor Room 502 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA


Against the Public-Private and for the Social-Public
Municipal Water and Broadband, the Federal Job Guarantee, and Inclusive People-powered Civic Infrastructure  

Many condemn neoliberal public-private partnerships but what is the alternative both conceptually and in practice?  A return to the welfare state even if possible would be inadequate in this moment.  Divergently, this session carves out an approach which outlines what the democratic capture of government looks like and how it can create policies and practices that are inclusive, reduce inequality, create shared authority, and also work against more neoliberal and unaccountable aspects of the state, especially at the municipal level.  Menser draws upon his recent book “We Decide! Theories and Cases in Participatory Democracy” and experiences with participatory budgeting and climate change adaptation efforts in NYC and looks at the examples of water utilities and municipal broadband. Alex Kolokotronis gives a municipalist take on calls for a Federal Job Guarantee made by Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and other 2020 Presidential hopefuls. Kolokotronis draws upon his experience with Students Organizing for Democratic Alternatives (SODA) and illustrates a number of ways a job guarantee could be implemented at the municipal level utilizing participatory budgeting, sortition, and cooperatives.  And Liz Barry, drawing upon her research on the radical digital democracy efforts in Taiwan and work with Public Lab will examine the importance of facilitation and the development of civic infrastructure both inside and outside the state to ensure the long term entrenchment of participatory governance practices.  

  • Michael Menser, he/him
  • Alexander Kolokotronis, he/him
  • Liz Barry, she/her
  • CS (Claudine Scherr), she/her, @itsmisscs

Affiliated Organizations:

avatar for Claudina Sarahe (CS)

Claudina Sarahe (CS)

Claudina Sarahe (CS) is a creative consultant, speaker, organizer, teacher, etc etc. She has worked in product development and team building for over 12 years. CS was a founding member of UNICEF Innovation Team. Past clients include PBS, Scholastic, Daniel Libeskind, Red Cross, and... Read More →
avatar for Liz Barry

Liz Barry

TreeKIT, Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science
Co-founder of TreeKIT and director of urban environment at Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, Liz Barry develops geographic tools and civic science methods for collaborative cities. She holds an undergraduate degree in landscape architecture from NCSU, and a MSA+UD... Read More →
avatar for Alexander Kolokotronis

Alexander Kolokotronis

Alexander Kolokotronis is a PhD student in political science at Yale University. His research broadly touches on participatory democracy and workers' self-management. His current research focus is on the general strike, and participatory democracy in public schools. Alexander has... Read More →
avatar for michael menser

michael menser

Professor/President of Board, Brooklyn College/Participatory Budgeting Project
Urban/rural/regional commons; participatory governance, economic democracy; climate justice; social public vs public-private

Sunday July 29, 2018 11:00am - 12:50pm
4th Floor Seminar Room 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA


Electoral Strategies and Municipalism in the US
In the context of the recent electoral surge and spectacular growth of left and progressive political forces in the US (Bernie, DSA, WFP, among others), how does Municipalism as a political framework of practices resonate with the current growth of left and progressive organizations? What role can it play in municipal politics vis a vis national politics? How do left and progressive organizations understand the municipal level in terms of their own growth and strategy?

  • Becca Rast, she/her, Twitter: @beccarast
  • Maria Svart, she/her, Twitter: @DemSocialists
  • Ava Benezra, she/her, Twitter: @avabenezra
  • Luis Gallardo, he/him. Facebook: LuisGallardoPR

Affiliated Organizations:

avatar for Vicente Rubio-Pueyo

Vicente Rubio-Pueyo

Nociones Comunes NYC | Common Notions NYC
I teach as an adjunct instructor at Fordham University. As a researcher, I'm currently working on a book on political cultures, State and movements in Contemporary Spain, from the 70's Transition to the post-15M present context.A Spaniard living in the US for more than 10 years now... Read More →

avatar for Ava Benezra

Ava Benezra

WFP, Campaign Manager, Working Families for Cynthia Nixon + Jumaane Williams

Luis Gallardo

Luis Gallardo-Rivera is a community activist and former two term city council member for the Municipality of Aguas Buenas. As a public official, Gallardo pushed for increased citizen participation, popular democracy and anti-displacement protections, leading him to run for State Representative... Read More →
avatar for Becca Rast

Becca Rast

Campaign Manager, Jess King for Congress
Becca Rast is from Lancaster PA, where she grew up and currently lives. She started organizing as a 16 year old against the war in Iraq, and has never stopped organizing. She has organizing roots in labor, immigrant, and climate justice movements. In the wake of the 2016 election... Read More →
avatar for Maria Svart

Maria Svart

National Director, Democratic Socialist of America
Maria L. Svart was appointed by the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America to be DSA's next National Director in June 2011. Maria Svart had been a member of DSA since 2004. She first joined as a member of the University of Chicago Young Democratic Socialists... Read More →

Sunday July 29, 2018 11:00am - 12:50pm
4th Floor Conference Room 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA


Symbiosis: a Dual Power Network for Radical Municipalists
This session will discuss Symbiosis' work to create a confederation of radical, directly democratic local assemblies and projects in North America. We will provide a brief and accessible overview of this project's theoretical underpinnings, proposing a transition from hierarchy to direct democracy at scale through the creation of dual-power institutions. The discussion will center real-world examples and applications to sites of lived struggle in our communities, from community land trusts to cooperatively-owned renewable energy infrastructure. Through facilitated conversation with attendees, we will crystallize the next steps to building a confederated network and a free and ecological society from the ground up in the here and now.

  • Eleanor Finley, she/her, @eleanorfinley16 
  • Kelly Roache, she/they, @kelly_c_roache
  • Katie Horvath, she/her, @katesville7 
  • John Michel Colón, he/him, @JMColony
  • Mason Herson-Hord, he/him, @mason_h2

Affiliated Organizations:

avatar for John Michael Colón

John Michael Colón

John Michael Colón is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. His interests include avant-garde art and literature, intellectual history, heterodox economics, sociology, and publishing. He has done reporting for USA Today and the Asbury Park Press, and produced news and cultural programming... Read More →
avatar for Eleanor Finley

Eleanor Finley

Eleanor Finley is a writer, speaker, activist, and radical municipalist. She is a member of the Institute for Social Ecology (ISE) and Steering Committee of Symbiosis. She has written about radical democracy in diverse contexts including the Kurdish freedom movement, the United States... Read More →
avatar for Mason Herson-Hord

Mason Herson-Hord

Mason Herson-Hord is an organizer for Motor City Freedom Riders, building power with bus riders to fight for better public transportation in Metro Detroit. His main political and academic focuses are decolonization, radical feminism, and bioregionalism. He holds a bachelor's degree... Read More →
avatar for Katie Horvath

Katie Horvath

Katie Horvath is a community organizer and writer who left institution-based organizing to work on building dual power with Symbiosis and creating the next system in Detroit. Her work has included leading a university divestment campaign, building local power in Detroit to win issues... Read More →
avatar for Kelly Roache

Kelly Roache

Kelly Roache is a community organizer with the NY Energy Democracy Alliance and Solstice, building locally-owned shared solar energy infrastructure and the movement to advance it statewide. She is a former diplomat turned municipalist, Steering Committee member of Fearless Cities... Read More →

Sunday July 29, 2018 11:00am - 12:50pm
4th Floor Flex Space 20 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003, USA