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Honoring the life of Silke Helfrich

Dear IASC members and the visitors of the IASC websites,

We all know Silke Helfrich as a rousing and convincing speaker when it came to commoning.

Silke had a fatal accident on November 10, 2021. Torn out of her life and numerous projects that have just started – she was just preparing a new contribution about what the Corona pandemic is doing to our society and what this means for the Commons movement and research.

With her enthusiasm, Silke enriched the IASC. At several IASC conferences she gave keynotes and talks and moreover initiated with that a scholarly debate on the concept of “commoning”. Silke was an author, blogger and independent activist of the commons. Silke was also the co-founder of the Commons Strategies Groups. Further she was the co-founder of the Commons-Institut in Germany, which serves a network of scientists, practitioners and activists. Silke Helfrich was the editor and co-author of several influencing books on the commons accessible to a broad audience.

I will remember her how she tirelessly taught a group of students that, in addition to the efficiency-oriented form of resource use, there are shared forms of governance that do not focus on profit maximization and that we only discover those when we think outside the box.

Silke was someone who kept thinking outside the box and challenged us again and again. Her enthusiasm, her strong will to make a difference and to actually do it, remains a role model for us.

– Insa Theesfeld

President of IASC


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We are a Chapter of the International Association for the Study of the Commons.

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