IASC President Insa Theesfeld reflects on her new role and looks ahead in challenging times


Dear members and friends of IASC Europe,

Since a number of years, I have the privilege to lead, now also together with Ilkhom Soliev, our communications officer, the European Chapter of the IASC. Over the years, we have been extremely successful and fortunate in attracting and keeping members, and therewith grown into the second largest geographical chapter in terms of its membership. Many interesting activities, which you might have either joined or noticed, have led to such critical membership power, which in turn regularly provides the IASC Council with creative ideas and moves commons discussions and action on the ground. Experiencing the diversified work and tasks as an IASC Council member since eight years now, I am still and even more committed to the fantastic opportunities the IASC can provide to all of us. Thus, I am excited to be able to serve since January 2021 for the next two years as the president of the IASC.

Bringing an international organization that thrives from personal interaction and exchange through the times of the COVID pandemic restrictions is incredibly challenging. Even more so is addressing most burning issues of our society, starting from regulating global and traditional commons to understanding new commons and digital commons, all of which are receiving an increasing importance and attention. Instead of the previous focus, when we mainly studied fair appropriation of resource units of various kinds, my view is that the current attention may shift towards questions of how the world community has to organize the provision of various resource systems. This includes the latest challenge of a fair vaccine availability for all countries and population groups on our planet. These are future “commons questions”, to addressing of which we are responsible to contribute. More than ever, our intellectual capacity and practitioners’ know-how can support solutions to help the world community out of many challenging socio-ecological situations we have maneuvered ourselves into.

Since ever, I love the openness and the mixture of academics and practitioners at the IASC, who are in this combination also not bothered by disciplinary boundaries, but rather encouraged by the range of different thoughts! This academic and exchange culture I would like to maintain!

Let us build on many great achievements of the commons community and continue our dialogue and action! Check out our series of IASC events and consider joining at least one of them, and learn about your new Council members, the other regional coordinators, and the participants of the Early Career Network. In order to serve your needs best, a small request at the end: please log into your membership profile and update your interests, affiliation and country of work. We draw on this basic information as we develop our activities, so we could do even better, if that is up to date.

I wish you a healthy and successful year ahead and look forward to seeing you in one of our numerous IASC events!


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