Synergia Summer Institute for Commonwealth Transition

Want an intensive introduction to the emerging “ethical economy” led by some of the most active practitioners and experts around?  Consider attending an unusual two-week study program, “Transition to Co-operative Commonwealth:  Pathways to a New Political Economy.”  It will be held from September 11 to 23, in Monte Ginezzo, Tuscany, Italy. 

The course will be hosted by Synergia, an international network of academics, social activists, practitioners and policymakers engaged in building a new political economy that is sustainable, democratic and socially just.  The course will provide a critical overview of the diverse elements of the ethical economy and the mechanisms required for its realization. 

The course will consist of lectures, workshops and site visits to leading cooperatives and commons projects in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, home to one of the most advanced co-operative economies in the world.

Among the topics to be covered:

• Co-operative capital and social finance; alternative currencies;

• Co-op and commons-based housing and land tenure; community land trusts;

• Renewable energy; community-owned energy systems;

• Local & sustainable food systems; community supported agriculture;

• User-controlled health and social care; social and community service co-ops;

• Co-operative & commons-based governance;

• Platform co-operatives, digital commons, and peer-to-peer production systems; and

• Convergence and the new political economy – principles, propositions, and practices.

Instructors for the Synergia Institute will include Michel Bauwens, Founder of theP2P Foundation; Pat Conaty of the New Economics Foundation and Cooperatives UK; Professor Christian Iaione of Guglielmo Marconi University of Rome; John Restakis, Executive Director of  Community Evolution Foundation; Jason Nardi, Coordinator of RIPESS Europe; and Julie MacArthur of the University of Auckland; among others.

The two-week program will provide 100 course hours and be eligible for university credit.  The cost – 1,500 euros, or one week for 1,000 euros).  Here is a brochure for the Synergia Institute, and here’s the link to its website. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact John Restakis at