Why we get together

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

This movement has inspired the City of Amsterdam, the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the many international partners who are organising the international conference Future is Public: Democratic Ownership of the Economy.


Provisional database: (Re)municipalisation across sectors

View database





Location: Ghanaian Church


Welcome and conference introduction

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

Location: Ghanaian Church

Plenary Panel 1 (Two sessions)       Location: Ghanaian Church
Democracy and our climate in crisis: New municipalism as the response

Moderator: Laura Flanders


Strategies for energy, water,  and housing for all

Eloi Badia, city councillor, Councillor of Climate Emergency and the Ecological Transition of the Barcelona City Council
Renate Brauner,
Special representative of the city, Vienna
Anne-Sophie Olmos, city councillor, Grenoble
Philip Glanville, Mayor, London Borough of Hackney
David Dessers, Deputy mayor, Leuven (Belgium)


Strategies for strong local economies and workers’ rights

Asima Shaikh, city councillor, London Borough of Islington
Gilles Perole, Deputy Mayor of Mouans-Sartoux (France)
Freddie Bailey, city councillor, Preston (UK)
Rodrigo Hurtado Osbar, Executive director of the Open University of Recoleta, the first municipal University of Chile


Keynote Speech by David Harvey

Importance of municipal socialism to reclaim cities

Reflection by Rutger Groot Wassink, Alderman for Social Affairs, Diversity and Democratisation of Amsterdam

Location: Ghanaian Church



Location: Central Mosque Room (Changed!)


Plenary Panel 2

Moderator: Laura Basu (openDemocracy)

National and supranational policies enabling democratisation of local economies
  • Kate Aronoff – Green New Deal for climate, racial and gender justice
  • Mathew Lawrence, Common Wealth- Public finance and inclusive ownership
  • Ernest Urtasun, MEP (Greens / EFA Group) – Municipalize Europe!
  • Cat Hobbs, We own it – Democratic public ownership of public services
  • Duncan McCann, New Economics Foundation  – Publicly-generated data as a public good, the role of cities in data sovereignty

Location: Ghanaian Church


Three parallel sessions
1. Democratic public ownership at the local, regional and national level to fight privatisation  (with ES/FR interpretation)

Location: Ghanaian Church

Moderator: Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper / Transnational Institute

  • Thomas Hanna, Democracy Collaborative
  • Sylvia Chi, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
  • David Hall, former director of Public Services International Research Unit
  • Edurne Bagué (Water Observatory of Terrassa, Spain)
2. De-privatisation, public ownership and community control as strategies for energy democracy and climate justice

Location: Mosque Central Room

Coordinated by Lavinia Steinfort, Transnational Institute

  • Abeer M. Butmeh, PENGON Friends of the Earth Palestine
  • Arnau Piqué, Ingeniería Sin Fronteras Catalonia
  • Johanna Bozuwa, Democracy Collaborative
  • Daniel Chavez , Transnational Institute
3. Communities reject for-profit public services: New corporate strategies, privatisation and de-privatisation of water waste, health care and education

Location: Mosque Room 1.1

Coordinated by Iris Strutzmann and Oliver Prausmüller, Chamber of Labour Vienna (AK Wien)

  • Leonhard Plank, TU Wien
  • Vera Weghmann, Public Services International Research Unit
  • Cecilia Gondard, Eurodad
  • Thomas Enghausen, Deputy chairman of FOA, Denmark
  • Olivier Petitjean, Multinational Observatory, France


Workshop Round  1 (60 mins)

A. Public control of the food system (TNI with Voedsel Anders, Community Land Scotland/Nourish Scotland @Mosque Room 1.3
B. Countering health care privatisation in the global south (Wemos) @Mosque Room 1.1
C. Municipalize Europe! Overcoming EU obstacles to reigning in AirBnB (Corporate Europe Observatory) @Mosque Room 2.1
D. Regenerative city (TAMBO ROCA) @Mosque Central Room
E. Young Scholars Initiative – Researching remunicipalisation (Young Scholars Initiative & Dept of City and Regional Planning -Cornell University) @Mosque Central Room
F. Who profits? A research into the public assets of Amsterdam (De 99 van Amsterdam & The Democracy Collaborative) @Mosque Room 2.2


Dinner buffet available

Location: Central Mosque Room (changed!)


Transformative Cities 2019 People’s Choice Award (in English)

Location: Ghanaian Church


The main focus of Day Two is the de-privatisation of public services and strategies for democratic local public ownership, building on lessons from the worldwide remunicipalisation movement.


Recap of Day One by Mary Ann Manahan

Location: Ghanaian Church


Plenary Panel 3
Remunicipalisation today: achievements and challenges

Moderator: Ana Méndez de Andés, Madrid 129

  • Eau de Paris – 21st century innovation in a public water company by Benjamin Gestin
  • Norway – readiness for private bankruptcy brings waste services back to public by Unni Bjerregaard Moe, Norwegian Union for Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet)
  • Ireland – stronger local government means better local services by Mary Murphy
  • Canada – services back in-house, mobilising workers` knowledge by Robert Ramsay, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
  • Public sector efficiency by Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU
  • Reclaiming and creating public services: remunicipalisation global overview by Satoko Kishimoto

Location: Ghanaian Church


Workshop Round 2 (60 mins)

G. Feminist approach in public services
(Debt Observatory in Globalisation -ODG, Engineering without Borders, Catalonia) @Mosque Room 1.3
H. De-privatisation of public services: lessons from the Abidjan Principles on right to public education
(Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) @Mosque Central Room
I. The future is public transport!
(International Transport Workers’ Federation -ITF with KPTU, WeOwnIt, PSIRU) @Ghanaian Church
J. Building a pro-public research network (Queen’s University) @Mosque Room 1.1
K. Learning from the Yugoslav of self-governing socialism (Zajednicko.org, Belgrade) @Mosque Room 2.1
L. Housing as the catalyst to defend the right to the City (Transformative Cities Initiative ) @Mosque Room 2.2



Location: Mosque Central Room


Three parallel sessions
1.Worker and Citizen Alliances in the Fight for Remunicipalisation

Location: Mosque Room 1.1

Moderator: David McDonald, Municipal Services Project

  • Seoul (urban transport)- Wol-San Liem, Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU)
  • Jakarta (water), Tommy Albert Tobing, Indonesian Legal Aid Institute Foundation
  • Lagos (water and waste), Akinbode Oluwafemi, Environmental Rights Action (ERA), Nigeria
  • Ireland (waste), Adrian Kane, SIPTU – Public Administration & Community Division
  • Chile, Alexander Panez Pinto, Movement for  defense of water, land and environment
  • Barcelona (water), Míriam Planas, Engineering without Borders, Catalonia
2. Transforming public finance for a pro-public future:

How pension plans plays a role in the privatisation of public infrastructure around the world.

Location: Mosque Room 2.1

Moderator: Daria Cibrario, PSI

  • Kevin Skerrett, Senior Researcher of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
  • Fernando Toro Cano, Researcher, University College London
  • Stuart Fegan, GMB – Britain’s General Union
  • Vera Weghmann, Public Services International Research Unit
3. Public partnerships: from capacity building to transformative public services  (with ES/FR interpretation)

Location: Ghanaian Church

Facilitated by Bertie Russell, Sheffield Urban Institute

  • Julie Perkins, GWOPA- Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance / Not-for-profit, peer to peer partnerships in water sector
  • Samuel Ventura from El Salvador, Platform for public community partnerships in Americas (PAPC)
  • Milo Fiasconaro, Aqua Publica Europea/Public knowledge creation and sharing
  • Thomas Marois – SOAS University of London / Democratising Public Investment Banks for a Green New Deal

15:30 – 16:15

Walk from Mosque to Ghanaian Church

Alternative Sinterklaas celebration with special guest and music – history of Black Pete by Black Archives


Panel discussion: The way forward, reflections on next steps and what unites us

Moderator: Roos van Os, 99 van Amsterdam

  • Daria Cibrario, Public Services International
  • Andrew Cumbers,  University of Glasgow
  • Míriam Planas, Engineering without Borders, Catalonia
  • Alexander Panez Pinto, MODATIMA (Movement for  defense of water, land and environment-Chile)
  • Alana Dave, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
  • Rutger Groot Wassink, Alderman for Social Affairs, Diversity and Democratisation of Amsterdam

Location: Ghanaian Church


+ Register for this event

6 December, Friday 10am–3pm:

International Strategy and follow up meeting (max 50)

Venue :  Hart vd K, Klieverink flat (apartment building) no.73

It is a green door in the street Kraaiennest, very near metro station “Kraaiennest”

Proposed Agenda PDF

+ Event Details

7 December, Saturday 10am–1pm:

TNI, international partners meeting

6-7 December:

The 2-days local conference by City of Amsterdam on The City of Tomorrow: Democratising the Neighbourhood Economy



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

Multinational Observatory



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.


All hotels are close to metro stations (line 53). We advise you to book your room as soon as possible. Demand for hotels is always high in Amsterdam.

Price per night is in Euro

Volkshotel  – 3 stars – €100

Wibautstraat 150, 1091 GR Amsterdam

50 m from Wibautstraat metro station (lines 51, 53, 54)

Bastion Hotel Amsterdam Amstel – 3 stars – €85

85 Verlengde van Marwijk Kooystraat 30, 1114 AC Amsterdam

Close to Spaklerweg metro station (lines 51, 53, 54)

Meininger Hotel Amsterdam Amstel – 3 stars – €87

Julianaplein 6, 1097 DN Amsterdam

150 m from Gaasperplas metro station (line 53). There are options for 3-6 person rooms (80-100 Euros for one room)

QO Amsterdam – 4 stars – €220

Amstelvlietstraat 4, 1096 GG Amsterdam

Close to Spaklerweg metro station (lines 51, 53, 54)

Via Amsterdam – 2 stars – €40

Diemerhof 20, 1112 XN Diemen

600 meters from Venserpolder metro station (line 53), this is a hybrid hostel and hotel. A bed in 4-6 bed dormitory room is available from 17 Euros a night.

Campanile Hotel Zuid-Oost – 3 stars – €64–89

Speakers and guests will stay at this hotel. 

Loosdrechtdreef 3, Zuidoost, 1108 AX Amsterdam

150 m from Gaasperplas metro station (line 53)


Registration is closed. Only guest speakers, co-organizers, collaborators and volunteers can register.


Live stream the conference


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).

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