opening speech by
Percy Schmeiser (CA)

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.

The aim of Elevate 2008 is, together with scientists and activists, to raise awareness of the importance of Commons and to shed light on the social and cultural conflicts in the usage of these goods. This will be the framework for discussions, workshops, films and lectures as well as for the presentation of innovative projects.

participating are:

Farmer and winner of the Right Livelihood Award 2007, Percy Schmeiser (CA); musician, author and multimedia artist, Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky (US); journalist and Science Commons expert, Kaitlin Thaney (US); leader of Creative Commons Brazil, author and professor of law, Ronaldo Lemos (BR); author and Commons expert, David Bollier (US); founder of the Free Knowledge Network, Petra Buhr (DE); Commons activist and blogger Silke Helfrich (DE); Anne Schweigler (DE) from the BUKO campaign against biopiracy; political scientist and economist Massimo De Angelis (UK); Michael Tuck (US) from History Commons; the farmer and La Via Campesina activist Heike Schiebeck (AT); Hans-Jochen Luhmann (DE) from the Institute of climate, environment and energy in Wuppertal; bestselling author and publicist Christian Felber (AT); Stefan Meretz (DE), who studies the political economy of the free software movement; expert for international political economy and climate change, Achim Brunnengräber (DE); "legal project lead" of Creative Commons Austria, Florian Philapitsch (AT); co-director of the documentary film "Good Copy Bad Copy", Henrik Moltke (DK); and many more

All events are free of charge!