Call for Practitioners’ Labs [CLOSED]


With the theme of the conference, ‘Practicing the Commons: Self-Governance, Cooperation, and Institutional Change’, the organizers intend to bring together not only scholars working on commons, but also practitioners involved in commons or organizations dealing with commons and shared resources from around the globe. Therefore, the organizers of the IASC2017-Conference will organize several Practitioners’ Labs. At these labs, practitioners have the opportunity to put forward their experience on commons-issues and at the same time discuss the challenges and questions they encounter with academics working on these issues, as well as with fellow-practitioners and policy makers.


How does a Practitioners’ Lab work?

Practitioners’ Labs are organized around specific topics and will take 90 minutes in total. First, several (approx. 6) practitioners will give a short (5-10 minutes) presentation about their initiative and the challenges and questions they encounter that are related to the topic of the specific lab. Second, the participants of the lab (both practitioners, policy-makers and academics) will have an interactive session or debate about the raised issues.


Options to submit a proposal

If you want to join in a practitioners lab as a practitioner, you can propose your organizations’ description and the questions you would like to see addressed. There are basically three ways in which practitioners can participate in a lab:


1. Individual contributions to a Practitioners’ Lab

Submit an individual contribution describing the organization you are involved in and formulate a number of questions you would like to see addressed. The local organizers will then compose sessions on a specific theme, based on the debating issues raised by the individual contributors.


2. Full Practitioners’ Lab proposals

Submit your own lab proposal (1,000 words max.) with a clearly defined topic and approx. 6 contributors that have agreed to take part. In this case, the proposal for a lab first needs to be submitted via (link no longer available). After submitting your Full Practitioners’ Lab proposal, you will find the ID of your proposal in the overview of active submissions (left column). Please provide this ID to the intended participants of your Practitioners’ Lab.

After creating their own account via (link no longer available), the participants you have suggested to take part in the Lab, should then register their own contributions via the option Session-related proposals, using the ID code you provided. Please communicate this procedure well with the persons that wish to present at your Practitioners’ Lab and do also note that it is possible that the conference organizers may adjust the composition of your lab after reviewing the proposal.


3. Contributions to an existing Practitioners’ Lab

You can use this option to submit a paper to a Practitioners’ Lab you are invited to present at (see 2). In that case, please use the code provided to you by the organizer of the Practitioners’ Lab.

Or you can propose a contribution to an already set-up Sponsored Practitioners’ Lab, on a theme proposed by one of the partners of the conference. You can find a list of such Sponsored Practitioners’ Labs underneath. More labs to which you can contribute will be posted over the next few months through the conference website (see

The local organizers of the IASC2017-conference have sought collaboration with a careful selection of a number of Dutch organizations (foundations, companies, and policy organizations) that are actively and genuinely concerned about the commons, and related issues. Their participation in the conference consists of financial support and an active engagement to contribute to the conference by participating with the conference delegates in debates that currently play an active role in Dutch society and beyond.

External practitioners have the opportunity to present their own case and questions for debate in these Sponsored Practitioners’ Labs if they submit a proposal for one of these labs (indicating this by using the designated code for the lab they want to contribute to – see further) and if they are selected to do so.


Sponsored Practitioners’ Labs

both-ends_logo_w687. Reimagining the Future of Food, Capital and Community. Towards a transparent, sustainable and closed-loop production model
689. The role of emerging regional sustainability networks for local initiatives
utrecht-city_logo1667. Participation Paradoxes in the interaction between local governments and initiatives
agriterra_logo1685. Strengthening the position of cooperatives on the global market

More labs to which you can contribute will be posted over the next few months via this webpage.


Registering and submitting

If you want to propose or contribute to a lab, or submit your case and/or questions, please go to to create an account and submit. Have you already registered for the Utrecht 2017-Conference? Then log in to your account and submit your case and/or submit your questions by choosing the option Contribution Practitioners’ Lab.

The deadline for proposals for (Contributions to) Practitioners’ Labs will be March 31, 2017.


Review procedures

Proposals will however be reviewed right after submitting, so we recommend you to submit your proposal as soon as possible. If you submit a proposal for a practitioners’ lab, you will be notified about the acceptance before the end of April 2017, possibly earlier.


More info

Practitioners can of course also attend the conference as non-presenting participants (please go to for further information). Academic researchers are also welcome to submit proposals, but do need to take into account that the Practitioners’ Labs are explicitly designed for exchanging experience on practical issues and not for the presentation of academic papers. Do also note that the call for academic papers has already been closed.

The Practitioners’ Labs will be announced in the official program for all conference delegates to attend and will run parallel to academic sessions. After the conference, the descriptions of the initiatives/organizations will also be shown on the IASC-website, so that these will remain visible to other interested parties.

In case you have additional questions, please contact the local organizers of the IASC-conference through