The Conference gives ample emphasis to participatory methods of discussion and comparison. From the process of construction and preparation up to the methods of participation in the conference itself, we emphasize participatory methods in order to to hold together as much as possible the aspects of scientific research, political and social commitment, artistic expression and best practices.
From a methodological point of view, we emphasize four dimensions:
1) The process of preparation and construction of the event.
2) The means of intervention and participation in the conference.
3) The construction of synergies through side events.
4) The definition of alternative methods of fundraising.
The process of preparation and construction of the event
We consider the conference as a step – albeit important – in the process of reflection, analysis, and exchange of ideas and practices that has run since the last conference held two years ago in Barcelona.
To broaden the base and involve as many associations as possible, so to ensure that the 3rd International Conference of Degrowth sees greater participation, in 2011 we began a series of initiatives,discussions and debates through which we proposed to all of the potential stakeholders (university departments, networks, associations, cooperatives) to participate in the definition and articulation of a single path of initiatives with the common title “Towards Venice 2012″ (in this site you can see the list of all Verso Venezia events and the list of partners). Up tol now we have seen over 60 events organized, and many others are underway. These events hold a twofold purpose: (1) to introduce our initiative to the widest audience possible and, (2) to provide analysis and proposals to enrich the debate at the Conference.
Modalities of participation in the conference
For the methods of intervention and participation in the conference we have contemplated several possibilities; however, it is certain that all methods will be as engaging as possible – involving and “active”.
Plenaries are open to all registered participants of the conference. The introductory plenary; however, is open to the general public. The keynote speakers of the plenaries are selected by the organizing committee.
Workshops: each day the workshops is dedicated to a different theme (Commons, Work, Democracy) and divided into sub-themes. Each workshop will include no more than 30/35 people and will be opened with three introductory speeches that have been selected through the call for papers. Also, the workshops will have a facilitator whose aim is to stimulate and moderate debate, to ensure a plural discussion and to gather crucial points made to bring to the synthesis exercise Sunday morning.
Focus: open to all registered participants. Papers have been selected through a call.
Poster: There will be an opportunity to display posters visible for the all three central days of the Conference.
The conference will finally include a specific section of the workshop titled ‘activity workshops’, more practical and withour presentation of papers, at free entry.
Creation of synergies through side-events in Venice.
The Solidarity Economy Network of Venice will host an event – the Fair Altro Futuro, the same day as the Conference.
Alternative methods of fund-raising
Funding sources for the conference reflect the ethos of degrowth and ethical fundraising criteria. The main sources of funding are participation fees, co-promoters and partners, and the help of the Venice Council; a “funding from the bottom” approach has been adressed to all people interested in the Conference and, in general, to the themes of degrowth: many supporters have decided to help the project either donating produtcs or services or small amounts of money.