On April 19th 2012, Communautique organized the first working lunch “Commons lunches” at its offices in Montreal. The context of the event was remarkable; for two months already an unprecedented social movement initiated and driven by students had taken over the streets of Montreal and other cities in the province, mobilizing people across all layers of society with unrivaled levels of involvement. And on this 19th of April, during what was called a “printemps érable” (or maple spring), and rightly so by the depth of its demands, on the eve of the march for Earth Day, reaching what would be the climax of the union of all sectors of the civil society, the protest was held under no other theme but the Commons and gathered nearly 300 000 people. This lunch was indeed very relevant at a time when “the Commons was on every lips”, a paper issued by Communautique was widely circulated on the web.
Prior to this first of a series of four in 2012, Communautique had contributed to the animation of this subject of the Commons on various occasions by organizing workshops or taking part in events in the charged ambiance of the student protests, particularly suited for participation and innovation.
Each of the meetings facilitated the exchange of knowledge in a horizontal way through discussions and “learning circles” following a proven animation methodology that is increasingly used in co-creation, co-design projects and bottom-up social innovation. These methods are described by Percolab, partner of Communautique, who facilitated the discussion at the event.
Each lunch was video recorded but was also followed by video productions extending the debate by illustrating some activities of the participants’ activities through interviews and shots taken on their field of operation. These productions were eventually used to fuel the debates at the next breakfasts.
The continuation of Montreal lunches could be an occasion for a remix, whether in Dakar or other cities.
Alain Ambrosi and the Communautique team are assisted by Samatha Slade of Percolab.
Video production of Montréal lunches is made possible by support from the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports in the training mission and a contribution of trainees from Industry Canada’s Youth Internship program.
Rôle of Remix Bien communs
Remix the Commons was the melting pot for the concept of the montreal lunches, and helped by sharing views on the commons with Kër Thiossane from Dakar.