Community Economies Research Network (CERN) Online Conference

1st - 12th November 2021

Scroll ⏬ to view list of keynote speakers and accepted proposalsView Program and Registration Links >

LIVIANA is a decentralised series of exchanges and symposia over two weeks, providing CERN members an opportunity to connect and share.

It is based on the Spanish term LIVIANA which connotes openness, free-floating train of thought, and cheerful spirit.

LIVIANA opens a space where we can feel comfortable and cared for, and where we can listen to each other and learn more about life-projects communally done at CERN.

CERN> is an international network> of more than 300* researchers, activists, artists and others who are interested in ways of enacting new visions of economy. In particular the network is interested in the productivity of theorizing diverse economies and building more ethical economic and ecological relationships.

*As of October 2021; membership continuously grows


Prof. Kevin St. Martin

Creating openings for community and commons in the Digital Ocean

1st November (Monday)
5pm-6pm New York 6pm Buenos Aires 10pm Paris
2nd November (Tuesday)
12am Istanbul 4am Bangkok 8am Sydney

Prof. Maliha Safri

Mapping the US Solidarity City: Spatializing Diversity, Difference and Social Justice

8th November (Monday)
5pm-6pm New York7pm Buenos Aires11pm Paris
9th November (Tuesday)
1am Istanbul 5am Bangkok 9am Sydney


1. Postdevelopment Approaches towards Just and Sustainable Adaptation to Climate ChangeConvenor(s): Justin See, Ginbert CuatonAbstract: As the adverse impacts of climate change exacerbate over the next few decades, researchers and practitioners look for precedence to inform climate change adaptation praxis. Mainstream adaptation discourses and approaches are often top-down, relying on techno-infrastructural solutions such as building seawalls, elevating roads, and diversifying livelihoods. While these measures may increase people's resilience, critical literature suggests that these processes are rarely egalitarian with unevenly distributed benefits. This backdrop brings front-and-centre the importance of just adaptation to climate change. This session will highlight practice-based and community-based lessons to guide adaptation responses in supporting social justice, environmental integrity, and sustainability. Drawing from the lens of postdevelopment, care ethics, and diverse economies, the session will bring to the fore the various community-driven initiatives that actors in communities, markets, NGOs, or local governments take in adapting to climate change. We highly welcome presentations highlighting the importance of community capacities, relationships, and local-indigenous knowledge concerning adaptation from global environmental change vis-à-vis extreme weather events. Presentations by, from, and about communities from the Global South are especially encouraged.
2. Djanbung Gardens: A Permaculture StoryConvenor(s): Katherine Gibson Abstract: This short documentary film will be premiered in this session followed by a panel discussion with the makers. It features one of the oldest permaculture gardens in Australia, highlighting how community economic and ecological relations have built it.
3. Drawing/Redrawing Economies - waste and the appeal of circularityConvenor(s): Stephen Healy, Abby Mellick Lopes, Anisah MaddenAbstract: This panel emerges out of the Innovative Waste Economies: Redrawing the Circular Economy Project based at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University in collaboration with colleagues from UTS and Monash. The workshop has three aims:
  • to explore the frenzy for diagramming economies in the current push for a circular economy;
  • to examine how waste is accounted for and visualised in these drawings;
  • to play with drawing as a speculative method.
Everywhere you look economic relationships are being drawn and redrawn: circles, butterflies, networks, flow charts, all privilege recursivity and reincorporation where waste is eliminated or automatically returned to new uses. These diagrams seem to have a more performative than representational intent. Rather than describe, their goal is to conjure up new modes of economisation. But do these new modes of economisation really eliminate waste or do they implicitly reinscribe current arrangements? How do they reorganise relations between waste/economy/ecology? And can economies and ecologies exist without waste? Recognising that drawing and diagramming have played a pivotal role in diverse economies scholarship this workshop invites participants to explore with us how we might re-draw the circle. How does economic diversity challenge concepts of circularity and waste?
4. Doing Arts-Based Community and Diverse EconomiesConvenor(s): Heather McLean, Aviv Kruglanski, Molly Mullen Abstract: The emerging ‘Arts Based Community and Diverse Economies Community of Practice’ (ABC/DE) are hoping to curate/facilitate two workshop-sharings, in different time zones, where artists and/or practitioners and/or researchers share examples and experiences of creating, using, researching arts for building/understanding/engaging with community economies. We will invite CERN members to share a creative practice, arts intervention, arts-based approach to Community and Diverse Economies. Each person will have 12 minutes to share poetry, creative composting, a participatory activity, an arts-based auditing tool, whatever people want to bring.Our goal is to create a space for arts activity and dialogue that will eventually inform a broader research project, exhibition/collection, book/publication on the arts and community/diverse economies. We hope to continue building a community of practice that will inform this future project.There are small bursaries available for artists, community researchers who would like to participate and share something in these sessions, but do not have institutional funding.
5. Ethical Economic Prototyping: A Round Table Discussion Convenor(s): Jenny Cameron, Katherine GibsonAbstract: A round table discussion of the 2015 ISSC Transformations for Sustainability research proposal submitted by CERN members on Ethical Economic Prototyping. Authors of the proposal will reflect on questions such as: 1) What do we think of this proposal now, after 6 more years of theoretical and political development? 2) How might such a collaborative project be approached now?
6. Diverse Economies meets Urban Studies: continuing the conversation Convenor(s): Myfanwy TaylorAbstract: This session provides a space to explore links and connections between diverse/communities economies and urban research and action. It follows an initial informal online discussion of CERN members in December 2020, at which a number of themes were identified for further collective discussion:
  • The capitalocentric nature of much urban theory and theorising
  • Drawing on diverse economies ideas to inform different kinds of urban theories
  • Contesting and reworking visions/models of urban development
  • Rethinking the value and valuation models used in urban policy fields
  • Reimagining urban expertise and professions from diverse economies perspectives
  • What the urban might offer as a starting point for diverse economies research
  • Exploring diverse economies praxis in urban settings
The first hour of the session will provide an opportunity for people to contribute short 5 minute presentations on these themes and others. The second hour will provide an opportunity to advance collective discussion and ideas for further action, including developing a shared reading list, further discussions and collective writing projects.
7. Book project: Eco-social enterprises for non-growth economiesConvenor(s): Nadia Johanisova, Thomas SmithAbstract: This session will have an interactive discussion format, and its topic falls within the scope of “work in progress” and “unfinished ideas”. The “unfinished idea” is a proposal for a book hatched by one of us (Nadia Johanisova) about six years ago (and approved by a publisher). The provisional title was “Sustainable Economic Alternatives: Emerging Eco-Social Enterprises for Non-Growth Economies”. The idea was to approach what she has called “eco – social enterprises” (North, East and South) from a degrowth and environmental perspective and discuss their structure, activities, contexts and survival strategies. When Nadia started writing the book, she only wrote two chapters. In 2017 she partially burned out and the manuscript gathered dust until last year. Nadia then asked Tom Smith to be a co-author of the book. They have since been picking up the pieces and starting over. In the session, Tom and Nadia first present a framework of the book. What has been written? What is pending? What is still unclear? We will then try and pick your brains both content-wise and process-wise: What strikes you as superfluous? What is missing in the outline? And more generally: What are your experiences with book-writing? And any tips on overcoming procrastination?
8. Organizational Solidarity in Practice in Latin America: Building Coalitions of Resistance and CreativityConvenor(s): Marcelo Vieta, Ana Inés HerasAbstract: This session considers organizational solidarity in practice – modes of organizing rooted in solidarity, relationality, coalition-building, and difference. It does so by thinking about Indigenous and working-class practices in the region commonly known as Latin America, such as campesino-indígena movements coalescing traditional practices and urban-neighborhood experiences in order to self-organize socio-political spaces, or Argentina's worker-led empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (worker-recuperated enterprises), where workers have been drawing on working-class self-activity to convert companies to cooperatives in order to self-manage spaces of production. Grounded in a diverse economies approach, our interventions begin to inventory, describe, and provisionally theorize the recuperations, re-articulations, and creative proposals for organizing social, cultural, and economic life being forged by diverse groups in Latin America. The session ultimately seeks to unravel four broad commonalities that begin to speak to how organizational solidarity in practice threads and shapes these post-colonial and increasingly anti-capitalist socio-economic practices in the region: the neoliberal political economic context, collective memory, horizontal organizing, and coalitional possibilities. Though emerging in different national conjunctures, local struggles, and historical trajectories, what Indigenous and working-class self-activity in Latin America bring to the surface are the resistive and creative dimensions of each organizing experience. They are rooted in and create deeply relational coalitions linked via solidarity in difference, while drawing on collective memories of the past to recreate and re-envision the present and the future beyond the legacies of colonial histories and capitalist-centred actualities.
9. Community economies, protest and direct actionConvenor(s): Kerry WoodwardAbstract: Protest and direct action are key tactics used to disrupt the crystallisation of powerful interests and actors, as part of attempts to realise equitable, just, and ethical worlds. In recent years, mass movements have responded to racial and gender inequality, violence and oppression, climate change and environmental degradation, and migrant rights (these are of course the tip of the iceberg in terms of protest concerns). Yet on the ground (at least here in Narrm/Melbourne), there remains a feeling that not enough people engage in anti-capitalist action to fully realise post-capitalist communities.This session aims to explore the continuities and discontinuities between community economies, protest and direct action. It proposes to take form of short videos of CERN members reflecting on their engagement with protests and direct action, and how community economies can inform such action. The videos will be used as the basis for a discussion open to CERN members, as well as activists and the public. Ultimately, it is hoped that this dialogue between community economies and activism can enrich on-the-ground efforts to create more caring, convivial and just worlds.
10. Generation of collective knowledge across Territories and Turbulent Waters of the Global SouthConvenor(s): Alison Guzman, Ana Inés Heras, Marcelo VietaAbstract: In this session we will explain the process of creation of CERNLA, guiding us by the following general question: What is being learned in collective work? In order to address this question, we will first problematize the notion of “Latin America”, presenting it both as a placeholder and an unfinished geopolitical category. We will then focus on explaining the ways in which we have been including in our sessions people who are interested in thinking collectively, even though they may not reside in the geography known as Latin America. We will discuss how these inclusions have allowed us to continue thinking in ways otherwise not available. We will next describe the phases of our collective work and subsequently, we will describe a working, in progress, methodology constructed to unveil difficult issues presented in our Region´s realities, and also very current to CERN international debates (for example, what “against all forms of oppression” may mean). We will end by analyzing what we have achieved as a group and what still remains as questions or difficulties in our work. It is a one-hour session where the first half is devoted to a presentation and the second to a reflection and dialogue on the ways in which other regionals are working within CERN INTERNACIONAL.
11. Economías Diversas y Comunitarias desde los Territorios de América Latina y contra toda forma de opresión: Un marco interpretativo emergente desde CERN-LAConvenor(s): Daniel Carrasco, Alison Guzman, Ignacio KrellAbstract: In the months leading up to 2021, CERN-Latin America invited members of the region to participate in a conversation cycle on cases and / or trajectories of community economies in Latin America based on the theme "Against all forms of oppression", following the call of the Committee of Justice and Equity last year. Seven members presented their work from an approach focused on Community Economies´practices and agencies in Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Chile through an emerging interpretive framework framed in 4 axes of creative tension: a) forms of domination, b) levels of institutional involvement, c) “buen vivir”–good living and redistribution, and d) specific and heterogenous spaces of action. As the culmination of this process, we propose an interactive session that allows for collective reflection on the work methodology, the relevance of the categories of analysis used, and the lessons learned from the conversation cycle. This is a two-hour participatory session in which a recount of the work methodology will be made with emphasis on these axes of tension, a reflection by those who presented case studies in the 2021 cycle regarding the usefulness of these coordinates of analysis and a final instance of dialogue with the participants that allows to broaden and / or reorient this perspective according to its relevance to the Latin American reality.
12. Value in the PluriverseConvenor(s): Markus Sattler, Justin GaudryAbstract: This 1 hour session departs from works-in-progress that approach the issue of value from different angles. Based on pre-recorded presentations, we ask participants to think and reflect with us on recent advancements in studying value and valorization processes (e.g. from political ecology; vital materialism; green Marxism; decolonial scholarship) and how these ways of thinking about value, valorization, things and commodities can be beneficially incorporated into debates unfolding in CERN and beyond. Given Diverse Economies’ interest in post-development discourses, and in the notion of the pluriverse more recently, we would like to discuss the question to what extent the Marxian vocabulary around value with its manifold distinctions aimed to leverage an analysis of capital’s operations (necessary and surplus labor; exchange and use value; value production, appropriation and distribution; or more recently socially necessary labor time and socially necessary unpaid labor) can serve as the basis for thinking about, and practicing, diverse economies.
13. Exploring processes of innovation within community economiesConvenor(s): Tim CrabtreeAbstract: I would be interested to explore with others what it might mean to open “spaces of emptiness” in the community economy, and how this relates to processes of innovation. My colleagues and I are engaged with a set of practical projects, working with communities which wish to “take a lead” in addressing local housing need - but we are interested in all areas of community economies.I have been struck by this quote from Gibson-Graham:"Unlike the proliferative fullness of the diverse economy, the community economy is an emptiness—as it has to be, if the project of building it is to be political, experimental, open, and democratic. A community economy is an ethical and political space of decision, not a geographic or social commonality, and community is its outcome rather than a ground."Following the critique of hylomorphism by, for example, Ingold and Deleuze & Guattari, we are seeking to open spaces where the process and outcome is not predetermined in advance – rather the aim is to become attentive to how the flows of consciousness, materials and other forces combine together in a kind of confluence, and what this might suggest for future work together.
14. Found in translationConvenor(s): Juliana Flórez-Flórez, Ana Inés Heras, Antónia Casellas PuigdemasaAbstract: (EN) In this session we will present some of the questions and issues we have faced when working on the translation into Spanish of work in English of community and diverse economies. In doing so, we will think aloud about the "untranslatable" and about other aspects / conceptual / praxis oriented issues that in Spanish have a specific terminology, are not used (as much) in the framework of community and diverse economies, and could be of interest to the Community and Diverse Economies Network.(ES) En esta sesión vamos a presentar algunas cuestiones relativas a la traducción al castellano del acervo conceptual y de investigación de las economías comunitarias y diversas. Al hacerlo, vamos a pensar en voz alta sobre las cuestiones "intraducibles" y las cuestiones que en castellano tienen una terminología específica, no se usan (tanto) en el marco de las economías comunitarias y diversas, y podrían ser cuestiones de interés para ingresar en el enfoque que se trabaja desde la Red de Economías Comunitarias y Diversas.
15. Partnerships for Change in Aotearoa New ZealandConvenor(s): Kelly DombroskiAbstract: How do we leverage state-funded research programmes for genuine transformation? This session is a collection of short papers and discussions on recent Community Economies action research work in Aotearoa New Zealand, funded by the National Science Challenge Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities. The research programme Huritanga: Systems Change for Holistic Urban Wellbeing in an Era of Ecological Emergency includes co-design work with iwi (tribes) and hapū (clans) in urban areas, as well as community organisations. It draws on Māori cultural knowledges of holistic wellbeing and the knowledges of settler and Indigenous community organisations already acting for change at the urban scale. For the community economies researchers in the research programme, the process has been one of intellectual partnership and community partnership with partially overlapping start points, and negotiating with Indigenous knowledges, diverse community aspirations, State-led research priorities and university bureaucracies, as well as the challenges of producing good empirical research and imaginative design to a schedule!
16. Grassroots models of learning for community economiesConvenor(s): Ann Hill, Christoph Neusiedl, Pryor PlacinoAbstract: The current global education climate is one where the boundaries between university-based and non-university-based learning are more fluid than ever before. Lifelong learning, and self-paced, self-directed, experiential learning that happens at the grassroots outside of formal education has a crucial role to play in supporting people and planet in the ongoing processes of surviving well. Within the Community Economies Research Network there are already a number of grassroots models of learning, for example, models of learning from nature, through Indigenous co-design, peer-to-peer exchange, action research and strength-based approaches. This session aims to marshal and discuss existing models of grassroots learning for community economies with a view to compiling a set of resources that can be adapted for use by CERN members in different teaching and learning contexts.Inviting you to join this session if you would like to 1) present a grassroots model of learning for community economies for discussion (ideally, we will discuss 3 to 5 exemplars) or 2) if you would like to discuss and help document models of learning for use within the CERN network. Please contact if you are interested and/or further information ahead of the session.
17. Communities Economies current research in AsiaConvenor(s): Isaac Lyne, Katharine McKinnonAbstract: Roundtable exchange about CE research in the Asia region: each speaker presenting on current and emerging projects in the region and explanation of how they are using/engaging with CE idea and approaches, and emerging findings and/or questions/challenges. Speakers to be CERN folk, but invited audience to include stakeholders and collaborators in the region.

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