Participation in the ‘Commons in Space’ Conference: “As Above, So Below”

On February 26, CEI-Iscte researcher Ana Margarida Esteves participated in the conference “Commons in Space” organized by IASC (International Association for the Study of the Commons).

This participation was in collaboration with colleagues from the SEADS (Space Ecologies Art and Design) network, which resulted in a presentation entitled: “As Above, So Below” – Promoting reciprocal learning and shared innovation on common-pool resource management between “living laboratories” for sustainable human settlements on Earth and in Space

About the presentation

The main purpose of the presentation was to identify possibilities for reciprocal learning and collaboration on common-pool resource management between two types of “living laboratories” promoting experiential research on sustainable human settlements: ecovillages and outer life support research for space. The authors’ work was the result of a review of two outputs: one produced by the Global Ecovillage Network and its members; and the other from three selected space research projects (MELiSSA, which focuses on the development of regenerative life support systems; HI-SEAS, geared towards socio-psychological sustainability; and Biosphere 2, which aimed to combine both dimensions).

According to the authors, the relevance of this comparative exercise comes from the fact that both ecovillages and life support research for space inquire into how to create conditions for the sustenance of human and non-human life in adverse environments: disrupted terrestrial ecosystems and the life-threatening conditions of outer space.

Authors of the presentation
  • Ana Margarida Esteves, CEI-Iscte (Portugal)
  • Angelo Vermeulen, SEADS Network, Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands)
  • Mona Nasser, SEADS Network, University of Plymouth (UK)
  • Diego S. Maranan, SEADS Network, University of the Philippines Open University (Philippines)
Foto / Pixabay License

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ana Margarida Esteves

Ana Margarida Esteves is a Research Fellow at the Center for International Studies of the University Institute of Lisbon, Iscte and Guest Assistant Professor of the Department of Political Economy of the same institution. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Brown University (Providence, RI, USA) where she was a Fulbright Fellow. Her research and teaching encompass the relations between the social and solidarity economy, the commons and the sustainability transition movements; synergies between nature, culture and technology; and the application of critical pedagogies, as well as strategies of non-formal education, to social mobilization and the promotion of participatory democracy. She is a founder and member of the International Editorial Committee of the journal "Interface: A journal for and about social movements" ( She is also a member the RC47: Social Classes and Social Movements of ISA - International Sociological Association and part of its editorial platform Open Movements / Open Democracy ( ). In 2020, Ana Margarida became a member of SEADS (Space Ecologies Art and Design), a transdisciplinary and cross-cultural collective of artists, scientists, engineers and activists that is actively engaged in deconstructing dominant paradigms about the future and develops alternative models through a combination of critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation.". Previous to joining CEI-IUL, Ana Margarida Esteves held teaching positions at Brown University, Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil), Tulane University (New Orleans, USA) and Sunway University (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). She is a Visiting Research Fellow at Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) and Scuola Normale Superiore (Florence, Italy).

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