Academics and the Common Conference

I am a downright mundane figure. Reading anything academic (my definition: any publication where a page of text sends you to at least 250-page long book by somebody you never heard of, which you need to read and internalise in order to understand the fuckin’ brilliancy of the following paragraph) makes me hate the author, the issue and the whole Bologna system which turns smart people into a bunch of babbling copywriters chasing ‘points’ in a monstrous PacMan game. The only academic I really like (yes, Krzysztof, its you – Mateusz is in the family so he does not count) is popularily considered not being hermetic enough and I wish him to be fired as soon as it is possible – world needs you somewhere else, on Ikaria for example!

Somehow it happened that I know couple people who have these fancy acronyms in front of their names – Prof. David Bollier for example – and whose texts I would never call academic – just brilliant, informative and sometimes wise.
It was to my full shock when I realised how many academic titles showed on the list of participants during the Economics and the Commons. Apparently, organizers were also a bit surprised, as I could observe, being one of a volunteering ‘support team’, extending H. Boell Stiftung marvellous support squad.

And it all started 4-5 years ago, when Elinor Ostrom, the Mother of contemporary Commons, gained public acceptance for this issue by becoming first-ever female Noblist in the area of Economics. This paved the way – more and more researchers and remixers explore newly emerged land.
It seems now, people are really into making commons a mainstream-approved field of academic knowledge. Hmmm…

It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea – my concern is that people need practical knowledge (with a grain of meta-awareness), which is several levels below what was said there. But I also met some of my kind – practitioners and close-to-Earth researchers, providing me with a lot of inspiration, contacts and a lot of support. Some of them were conference participants, newly met (often already known over internet) in Berlin. Some of them were from the H. Boell Stiftung – doing marvellous job and not showing any sign of stress – as if their daily routine comprised hosting 300 people from all corners of the world, all social groups and keeping the whole show together. I don’t know, maybe it does…
I am sure you have already received tons of thankful emails – I am quite late, due to my bronchitis and poor connectivity. But let me add my small part for those who I can remember: Heike, Joanna, Tsewang, Simone, computer guys who helped me to set up the CommonoPolis – thank you for your support. Way beyond ‘just doing my job’ approach. I am almost in Greece now – our ferry to arrive there in 7 hours – and I will take you there in my heart. And I will leave my sympathy with you.

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