Open Call for Applications 2020–2022 | Take Back the Economy!

Take Back the Economy! towards resilient, joyful and equitable
ways of living
Open call for passionate and engaged participation
MA Practice Held in Common 2020-2022

Deadline for letters of intent: June 20th 2020
Applicant interviews: July 1st 2020

Makers, researchers and doers from all backgrounds–including but not limited to economics, agriculture, social sciences, and visual arts–are invited to develop their research and participate in shaping an
action-based research environment at the ArtEZ MA Practice Held in Common programme. A space dedicated to collectively re-imagining and enacting our economy towards resilient, joyful, and equitable ways of living. Together we will develop the knowledge, skills, and capacities to perform and reclaim the economy as a social, ecological and cultural domain.

We see the economy as the day-to-day processes that we all engage in as we go about securing what we need for physical and emotional well-being. This makes clear that the economy is created by the actions we take every day. Can we heighten our awareness of our roles in our current economic realities? Can we direct our creativity and curiosity towards identifying and developing actions and patterns of being that allow us to build an economy worth living in, with one another and in harmony and abundance with the world around us? 

We embrace the notion of economies being manifold, subtle and adaptive, as people and ecosystems are.
Which worldviews emerge in the collaboration between people, nature and culture that can give direction to new economies?

To transform our economy means to transform ourselves. The practice of Compassionate Communication (based on Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication model) is at the core of the MA Practice Held in Common programme; it helps us to understand what serves our and others’ well-being, and it supports us in creating life-affirming, authentic, connecting and interdependent ways of living. 

Cooperation and trust are developed when people identify mutual needs and collaborate to form effective strategies to meet them.
The programme supports participants in developing patterns of living and working that make life more wonderful for them and for the people around them. Underlying all human actions are needs that people are seeking to meet. Practicing from a framework of shared human needs and values creates common ground for connection, trust and cooperation. 

We offer a rich and mutually supportive research environment with national and international partners, including Godelieve Spaas, professor of Other Economies at Avans University of Applied Sciences (NL), Oona Morrow and Anke de Vrieze of the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University (NL), CERN (Community Economies Research Network) and CERN NL, David Bollier of the Schumacher Center for New Economics, Massachusetts (US), Caroline Woolard and Susan Jahoda of Making & Being (US) and Pascale Gatzen and the mentors of the ArtEZ MA Practice Held in Common (NL). More information:
To apply, please send a letter of intent to Keywords: community economies, commoning, community, collaboration, cooperation, trust, transparency, compassionate communication, NVC, care, agency, inclusivity, ecology, interdependence, choice, ecosystems, beauty, love, self-expression, respect, collectivity, autonomy, resilience, participation, local, small is beautiful, regenerative, engagement, emergent  
About the Programme
Take Back the Economy! is an action-based hands-on research environment offered within Practice Held in Common, Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design at ArtEZ. The MA Practice Held in Common is structured to support participants in creating and cultivating a self-directed practice that they sustain well beyond the two-year duration of the course. It seeks to support the development of this practice through a combination of individual and collective experiences both within the course and through engagement with external partners. The curriculum offers a value-based approach to learning. Participants are invited to contribute the dynamic potential of their practice for the common good. The course emphasises the way that students are working, participants learn to develop patterns of work that support their well-being and the well-being of others. Participants are highly self-directed and intrinsically motivated toward self-learning. The programme seeks to activate and develop the following research areas, that neither delineate nor exclude:
  Ecosystems – With an awareness of our interdependence, how do we understand ourselves, our actions and our activities as in a state of mutual becoming?
  Self-Expression – How do we involve the lived experience of our identity formation as a powerful tool to question and lighten our cultural and social conditioning?
  Community – Can we engage our skills and competencies to contribute to the wellbeing and joy of ourselves and others? How can we skillfully create an environment of care, trust, respect and mutuality in any situation?
  Beauty – How, by way of material practices, do we individually and collectively ritualize and give expression to a sensuous and intuitive experience of the world?
The MA Practice Held in Common is open to participants from every field of practice, discipline, and knowledge domain.