Nova Iskra Nova Iskra Workspace Nova Iskra Studio

Studies of Commons

Studies of Commons are based on the analysis of existing practices and exploration of possible concepts and solutions for the improvement of work processes, production, as well as the life in communities.

14 Nov

Start Date



Nova Iskra

1 Apr

End Date



5 months

Program Language

Serbian and english

Program Slots

Once a week


Free, by aplication

Syllabus Application closed

What is it about?

Studies of Commons are based on the analysis of existing practices and exploration of possible concepts and solutions for the improvement of work processes, production, as well as the life in communities, especially those conducted by the idea of the general or common good, i.e. commons.

The aim of the study program is to help participants understand what it means nowadays to work and live according to the principles of commons, and through a specially designed, intensive, participatory, collaborative and interdisciplinary program to empower individuals and collectives to gain awareness of general/common goods in their process of thinking and acting.

The program will introduce different views of organisational structures that offer positive results through analysis of good practices in diverse contexts, as well as advice that may be helpful in practice for other local contexts when it comes to the management and use of common resources. At the same time, the program will concentrate on some collaborative practices including developing its own forms and models that are related to the idea of commons.

The participants will be able to hear about different experiences and approaches related to the subject, while some of the renowned lecturers will be Tomislav Tomašević (Institute of Political Ecology, Zagreb), Felipe Duarte (Berlin), Dea Vidović (Kulturanova, Zagreb), Karyotis Theodoros (Viome, Thessaloniki), Tomislav Medak (MAMA, Zagreb), Panayotis Antoniadis and Ileana Apostol(nethood, Zurich) and others.

The studies will last from November 14th 2016 until April 1st 2017, with classes taking plsce once a week, for 2-4 hours (except holidays). Studies are free of charge for all selected participants, while parts of the program will be open to public.

The studies are organized by Nova Iskra, the Ministry of Spatial Planning and the Regional Scientific Center of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, and are realized with the support of Heinrich Boell Foundation.

Meet up with ideas and established practices which are formed through the approach of the “common good” (commons) and gain experience through practical work in multidisciplinary teams!

Who is it for?

The main criteria for selection of participants will be: multidisciplinary, activism, commitment to the program activities, openness for cooperation and teamwork.

What's in it for me?

  • A chance to meet up with local, regional and international experts, and learn from them about the latest models and practices of participatory decision-making and management,
  • A chance to work in a inspiring environment with other individuals who apply, or are intending to apply models guided by the principles of commons,
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge used to define specific social, ecological and economic needs in its own environment, and to give potential solutions through the development of collaborative projects concepts,
  • Know-how for understanding and articulation of problems and social phenomena, as well as tools and practical knowledge for good collaborative work on dealing with the mapped problems


Tomislav Medak


Tomislav Medak leads the theoretical program and publishing activities of the Multimedia Institute / MAMA in Zagreb. He is a defender of free software and free culture, and in recent years through the work on the project Memory of the World / Public Library deals with the issues regarding knowledge accessibility, the limited role of public libraries in the digital environment and "libraries in the shadows”.He is also author and performer with the Zagreb theater collective BADco.

Panayotis Antoniadis

Interdisciplinary researcher

Panayotis Antoniadis is co-founder of non for profit organizations His professional experience includes a combination of design and development of distributed systems (Computer Science Department, University of Crete), as well as a Ph.D on the subject of economics peer-to-peer networks (Athens University of Economics and Business), and post-doc on the subject of politics for the federalisation of shared virtual infrastructure (UPMC Sorbonne Universites), and interdisciplinary research of the IC + technologies role in bridging the virtual and physical spaces in cities (ETH Zurich). Currently he is active in organization of various interdisciplinary event which aims to bring together researchers, practitioners and activists from various fields over the participatory design issue of hybrid urban spaces with a focus on wireless and peer-to-peer technology.

Ileana Apostol


Ileana Apostol (PhD in Urban Planning, University of Southern California) is a spacious production researcher in the information age, and co-founder of the non-profit organization based in Zurich. With the aim to give citizens the right of a hybrid city, she collaborates with interdisciplinary teams, proposing different forms of urban research and design pedagogy inspired by the spatial production theory of Lefebvre. Before fully dedicating to research, Ileana has taught urban planning and design at the Polytechnic University in California, the University of Southern California and the University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest.

Theodoros Karyotis


Theodoros Karyotis is an independent researcher, translator and social activist. He is a sociologist and social anthropologist, and is active in grassroot movements that are related to direct democracy, solidarity economics and self-management of the commons. He translated a large number of relevant books and articles, and regularly publishes at in English and in Spanish. He is a coordinator at multilingual portal for workers' self-management, and a member of the organizing committee of Euro-Mediterranean Forum "Labour Economics" and the advisory Council of the Transnational Institute for Social Ecology.

Felipe Duarte


Felipe Duarte is a multilateral creator, with experience in the fields of art, activism and entrepreneurship. While rejecting formal education, grants, and all the institutional relationships early in his career, Felipe devoted to his interests with passion. Some of his achievements include the methodology development of painting as a teaching, participatory project that involved thousands of people, as well as design business that constantly works on development of new forms of own organization. Currently he identifies himself as a process facilitator,  and courage and curiosity navigate him through the world. He believes in abundance, collaboration and the power of collective intelligence.