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LUISS Guido Carli

LABoratory for the GOVernance of Commons

EDU_LabGov 2016-2017

LABoratory for the GOVernance of Commons in the City of Rome

This course is open to all students who in 2016-2017 are enrolled in master’s degree programs in the Departments of Business and Management, Economics and Finance or Political Science, and to those in their III, IV or V year of the single-cycle master's degree program in Law.

The course is completely free of charge, participants will earn credits as listed in the study plan under Other Activities.

The informal educational path offered by the LABoratory for the GOVernance of Commons (EDU_LabGov) is a transdisciplinary urban clinic (economics, politics and law) that carries out the University’s third mission, and contributes to  the creation of social and cultural public goods: public engagement, cultural patrimony, continuing education and clinical experimentation.

EDU_LabGov explores principles, techniques, instruments and practices involved in managing common goods in the City of Rome, focusing primarily on the outskirts. The course begins with the LUISS Community Garden, a training center for collaboration, cooperation and self-organization. The first phase of the course is dedicated to studying and acquiring instruments and knowledge necessary to create collaborative, cooperative and polycentric governance strategies. These strategies will be, in turn, used to transform targeted public and private goods into common goods, following and adapting design principles and methodologies from Nobel Prize in Economics recipient Elinor Ostrom. Through this experience, students will learn to construct and develop concrete projects on social innovation, collaborative economics, and collaborative urban planning in Rome, particularly on CO-Roma experimental sites.

During the course, participants will encounter the real challenge of learning to collaborate, cooperate, and be at the service of the local community to apply social, economic and institutional technology. The final goal of the course is to work with the local community to launch or follow civic regeneration projects on urban common goods, building community-run businesses and cooperatives, as well as collaborative public policies to create new jobs, new forms of social cohesion, and new laws.

EDU_LabGov is structured as follows:

Preparatory work (with a fixed calendar, available in September 2016) – 50 hours:

  • Workshops on economics, policies, institutions and laws regarding common goods – 10 hours
  • Group work on urban design and planning, communication and web design, community service design and organization, crowdfunding, fundraising and European projects – 40 hours

Fieldwork (with a calendar organized around students’ and external partners’ schedules) – 50 hours:

  • Community gardening on the Viale Romania campus –  15 hours of assisted work, 15 hours of auto-organized individual or collective sessions
  • Teamwork hours, registered through the banca del tempo system, updated regularly by the EDU_LabGov team –  20 hours 

The course runs a total of 100 hours


Workshops are organized by Professor Christian Iaione, with the assistance of Professor Sheila Foster. During workshops, participants will reflect upon the potential of civic collaboration and circular subsidiarity principles sanctioned by the Constitution, and on possible intersections with social, economic and legal innovation. Students will discuss collaborations between citizens and town halls in Bologna, Mantova and Battipaglia launched by experts, members and former LabGov participants. Participants will also look at cases from the first year of Co-Roma, and the application of principles, techniques and instruments of common good governance in the Centocelle, Tor Pignattara and Tor Sapienza neighborhoods.


Co-working sessions will be characterized by a practical approach with theoretical support to train students in governance planning. Experts in the various courses themes will be invited to give guest lectures, while students will also be given tools developed within the LabGov program to promote collaborative governance of common goods such as the Collaboration Manual and Planning Kit.


Fieldwork will be primarily dedicated to the University’s community garden located on the Viale Romania campus, where students will gain practical skills while brainstorming about collaborative governance of common goods. Gardening activities are coordinated by the EDU_LabGov team, made up of former workshop participants from the Amici di LabGov association.

Throughout the entire workshops, students will have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers, experts, professionals and activists that collaborate on Amici di LabGov projects. The majority of the workshop takes place off-campus.

General Rules

  • To receive credit, students must attend 70% of the course hours. The 70 hours of presence must be distributed as follows:
  • 35 of 50 classroom hours (at least 7 workshop hours and 28 co-working hours)
  • 35 of 50 fieldwork hours (at least 21 community gardening hours and 14 teamwork hours)
  • Once a student has selected one of the courses, they cannot earn Other Activity credits in any other way.
  • Students who have already earned the credits in their study plan under Other Activites and those who have already begun taking foreign language courses or any other course that requires presence in order to earn credits cannot participate in the course.

More Information

  • The program is opened to a maximum of 30 students from all departments, on a first-come, first-served basis
  • A tutor will be in charge of tracking attendance by signing a register. Students who do not sign this register will be considered absent. Attendance is compulsory and will be used to determine the credits earned. 
  • Where less than the minimum number of 15 students sign up for a course, that course will not be offered.
  • Activities will take place on Friday afternoons (after 4:00 p.m.) and Saturdays (from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.); fieldwork sessions will be determined by the professors and tutors based on LabGov needs. There will be no more than 5 weekend sessions per semester.
  • The course lasts the full academic year, a course calendar will be available in September, 2015
  • No activities will take place during exam periods


To register, students must send an email to between June 8 and 23, 2016, including:

  • full name
  • matriculation number
  • current degree course
  • motivation for choosing LabGov for Other Activity credits 

Requests received before of after the indicated period will not be taken into consideration.

More information