Future is Public book is released


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Conference report:  7 steps to build a democratic economy

Download the Future is Public Conference Report here.

Videos from social movements and campaigns

Laura Flanders Show ‘The Future Is Public: Special Report from Amsterdam – Full episode (26 min)

Laura Flanders Show ‘The Future Is Public: Special Report from Amsterdam – Promotion video clip (1 min)

Keynote Speech by David Harvey – Importance of municipal socialism to reclaim cities

Panel 1 on 4th December : Democracy and our climate in crisis: New municipalism as the response

Panel 2 on 4th December: National and supranational policies enabling democratisation of local economies

Panel 3 on 5th December: Remunicipalisation today – achievements and challenges


We are living in a crucial moment. Cities are on the front lines of today’s most urgent challenges, including fighting climate change and rising inequality, as well as the need to support refugees and provide universal access to public services that are human rights including housing, drinking water and sanitation services, energy, health care and education. These global problems call for public solutions.

A growing network of progressive, green municipalities is developing strategies to tackle these and many other critical issues. Cities are well positioned to explore direct democracy, and advance innovative economic models that build community wealth and create decent jobs. At the same time, we need a national level of coordination and ambition to reverse market fundamentalism, which is the root cause of our collective economic and social crises. Profit-driven, market-based policies led to the privatisation of our public services and to the denigration of solidarity and public service.

Public ownership is at the heart of an alternative vision, one that puts people, public services and the planet first. It is our social obligation to develop integrated climate and energy policies for decarbonisation – for the sake of future generations. We can and must build public services and systems that support healthy and sustainable communities that advance social, racial, gender, economic and climate justice. Democratic renewal must also go hand-in-hand with our work to advance public ownership at the national, regional and local levels.

The organisers of this conference share a sense of urgency. Far-right political movements seek to capitalize on people’s insecurity and anger, and are using racism and xenophobia to further divide societies. It is critical that progressive forces offer solidarity and concrete solutions – decent jobs, public services for all, and vibrant local economies. We must provide viable public alternatives that meaningfully engage and support communities, instead of fostering fear and insecurity. Future is Public: Democratic Ownership of the Economy will provide a unique opportunity to connect actors on the local and national levels and exchange strategies for economic democracy globally. Our public future lies in the hands of communities – not corporations.

The Future is Public programme
Download Programme


Asima Shaikh, London Borough of Islington Councillor

Asima Shaikh

London Borough of Islington Councillor

Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam

Rutger Groot Wassink

Alderman for Social Affairs, Diversity and Democratisation of Amsterdam

Tanja Jadnanansing

chairperson of the Executive Board of Amsterdam Zuidoost, a borough of Amsterdam

David Harvey

David Harvey


Renate Brauner, The City Councillor of Vienna

Renate Brauner

Special Representative of the City of Vienna

Anne-Sophie Olmos

City Councillor, Grenoble


Miriam Planas

Engineering without Borders, Catalonia

Eloi Badia, Barcelona en Comú, City councillor

Eloi Badia

Councillor of Climate Emergency and the Ecological Transition of the Barcelona City Council

Philip Glanville

Mayor, London Borough of Hackney


Laura Flanders


Laura Basu – openDemocracy

Laura Basu


Kate Aronoff – a fellow at Type Media Center

Kate Aronoff

Fellow at Type Media Center

Daria Cibrario – Public Services International

Daria Cibrario

Public Services International


Wol San

Korean Public Service and Transport Workers Union

Akinbode Oluwafemi, Environmental Rights Action, Nigeria

Akinbode Oluwafemi

Environmental Rights Action, Nigeria

Benjamin Gestin, Eau de Paris

Benjamin Gestin

Eau de Paris

Johanna Bozuwa, The Democracy Collaborative

Johanna Bozuwa

The Democracy Collaborative

Rodrigo Hurtado Osbar

Executive director of the Open University of Recoleta

Mary Murphy, Maynooth University, Ireland

Mary Murphy

Maynooth University, Ireland

Mary Ann Manahan

Duncan McCann

New Economics Foundation

Cat Hobbs – We Own It

Cat Hobbs

We Own It

Ernest Urtasun

MEP (Greens / EFA Group)

Thomas Marois – SOAS University of London

Thomas Marois

SOAS University of London


Andrew Cumbers

University of Glasgow

Ana Mendez de Andes – Madrid 129

Ana Méndez de Andés

Madrid 129

David Dessers

Deputy mayor, Leuven

Gilles Perole

Deputy Mayor of Mouans-Sartoux

Thomas Hanna – Democracy Collaborative

Thomas Hanna

Democracy Collaborative

Abeer M. Butmeh

PENGON, Friends of the Earth Palestine

Samuel Ventura, Foro del Agua, El Salvador

Samuel Ventura

Foro del Agua, El Salvador

Chi Sylvia

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Cecilia Gondard


Leonhard Plank

TU Wien

Mathew Lawrence

Common Wealth

Lavinia Steinfort

Transnational Institute

Hilary Wainwright

Red Pepper / Transnational Institute


Aqua Publica Europea

Jan Willem Goudriaan

General Secretary of EPSU

Alexander Panez Pinto

Movement for defence of water, land and environment, Chile

Freddie Bailey

City Councillor, Preston, UK

Satoko Kishimoto, Transnational Institute

Satoko Kishimoto

Transnational Institute

Julie Perkins

Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA)

Edurne Bagué

Fernando Toro

Director NGO Ciudad Común

David Hall

 Visiting Professor in the Business School, University of Greenwich, London

Alana Dave

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)

Unni Bjerregaard Moe

 Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet)


Thomas Enghausen FOA

Thomas Enghausen

The Danish Union of Public Employees (FOA)

Vera Weghmann

Public Services International Research Unit

Arnau Piqué

Engineering without Borders, Catalonia

Kevin Skerrett

Senior Researcher of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Robert Ramsa

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Stuart Fegan

GMB – Britain’s General Union

Bertie Russell

Sheffield Urban Institute

Daniel Chavez

Transnational Institute

Adrian Kane


Olivier Petitjean

Multinational Observatory

David McDonald

Municipal Services Project

Hosted by

Transnational Institute TNI
99 van Amsterdam

Co-organised by

AK Wien
Public Services International Research Unit
Public Services International
Municipal Services Project
Enginyeria Sense Fronteres
FOA Sammen Gor Vi Forskellen
Fagorbun Norway
Aqua Publica Europa
Democracy Collaborative
FNV Overheid
Canadian Union of Public Employees
European Public Service Union
We Own It UK


Collaboration with Asia Europe People’s Forum (with financial support from EC DEVCO), Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED), Vigência! (Brazil), Eurodad (Europe), Platform for Public Community Partnerships in the Americas (PAPC), M-Power project (Municipal Power), Corporate Europe Observatory, Food and Water Watch (USA), Transform!Denmark,  Platform for the Remunicipalisation of Public Services in Madrid, ITF (International Transport Workers Federation), ODG (Observatori del deute en la globalització, Spain), Universidad Abierta de Recoleta (Chile), openDemocracy (media partner), The Laura Flanders Show (media partner).



Hart voor de K Buurt

Hart voor de K Buurt is located next to the Kraaiennest metro station  (20 minutes ride on metro Line 53 from Amsterdam Central Railway Station) in Amsterdam’s South-East borough, the Bijlmermeer.

Main venue (for plenaries and registration) is the Ghanese Church (address: Kempering 58 Amsterdam, Zuid Oost 1104 KG).

Workshops are at the Mosque Taibah (address: Kraaiennest 125)

Two venues are close to each other and within a few minutes’ walking distance.

The Bijlmermeer neighbourhood is home to almost 50,000 people of over 150 nationalities.


The Future is Public International Conference will serve lunch and dinner (vegetarian buffet) on 4th and 5th at the venue.

One meal voucher (7.5 Euros) can be purchased at the venue


Simultaneous translation in French and Spanish will be available during the international conference.

La traduction simultanée en français et en espagnol sera disponible pendant la conférence internationale.

La traducción simultánea en francés y español estará disponible durante la conferencia internacional.

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