What do the privatization of water, the flourishing remix culture, the genetic information of a tropical plant, and open source software development all have in common?

They are all part of the fiercely contested commons; natural, cultural and social resources which we have inherited from the natural world or which have been developed through collective processes. In essence, they form the foundation of our lives.

Commons are the basis for the production of food and pharmaceuticals. They are as important for breathing as they are for social networks. We need them to interact, produce and deliver knowledge, art and culture, to move and to regenerate. There can be no sane society without intact common resources.

In the face of such severe problems as manmade climate change, the destruction of biodiversity and the food crisis, but also in the light of the immense new possibilities for the evolution of creativity, the production of open knowledge, citizen journalism or free software, the commons debate might be one of the most significant societal controversies of our time.

The enabling of a future worth living will, to a great degree, be dependent on whether it is possible to guarantee the preservation and sustainable and innovative use of the commons. Therefore finding appropriate forms of handling them is without doubt one of mankind’s greatest challenges in the 21st century.

So the central aim of Elevate 2008 is to raise awareness of the importance of the commons and to shed light on the social and cultural conflicts surrounding their usage. This will be the framework for a wide range of discussions, workshops, films and lectures as well as for the presentations of groundbreaking projects.

Free admission to all events!