28.11.23, 18:00 – 06.12.23, 11:59

School of Commons 2024: Call for projects application deadline has been extended to December 6th at 23.59 CET

*Please note this is an abridged version of the School of Commons Open Call Information. 
The full information pack can be accessed via our Substack here.

School of Commons, a global community learning space, is looking for individual and collective projects to form the SoC informal learning space from April 2024 to February 2025. 

Deadline: December 6th at 23.59 CET.

For 2024, we will be selecting 10 Funded Projects: each receiving a total budget of 3,500CHF (- 8.1%VAT) alongside access to publishing opportunities, mentors/speakers, workshops on peer learning, collaborations, accommodation in Zürich during the School of Commons Gathering, and more. And 7 Self-funded Projects: which gain access to publishing opportunities, mentors/speakers, workshops on peer learning, collaborations, accommodation in Zürich during the School of Commons gathering, and more.  



What is School of Commons?  

School of Commons is a community-based initiative dedicated to peer learning, and the study and development of self-organized knowledge production, located at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), but takes place mostly online. 

We have supported 140 projects since our foundation in 2017, with the content and position of SoC defined by our community. Research is conducted as peer-based collaborative endeavours with annually changing members. Each year brings together a wide range of participants, guests, and contributors who share their curiosity, skills, and visions. We offer personal support, financial resources, and an active community of peers and experts engaged in a wide range of topics. 

SoC’s programme is developed bottom-up rather than top-down; instead of providing a fixed curriculum, we encourage our participants to actively shape our programme, either by organizing and hosting events themselves or by inviting guest speakers and tutors who are relevant to their research. SoC is there to support and help organize the educational programme you would like to have. 

More information about SoC is available on our website and in the full application pack



What does School of Commons offer to selected participants?

For funded projects: 

  • A stipend of 3,500 Swiss Francs (- 8.1%VAT)  

For funded and non-funded projects: 

  • A supportive learning environment  
  • Opportunity for collaboration and exchange, as well as peer-group and public presentation platforms 
  • Online and offline spaces to experiment with ideas, concepts, and practices 
  • Support with presentation structures such as the planning of exhibitions, events, and workshops 
  • Access to publishing opportunities, including an annual end-of-year publication: ISSUES 
  • Access to ZHdK’s infrastructure. Specifically: Tech material, Room access, Library access, access to faculty members of ZHdK 
  • Participation in our ongoing research project into “Accessibility and Inclusion in Digital and Hybrid Learning Environments” 
  • Introduction to a growing SoC alumni network for mutual support and exchange



What do School of Commons expect from participants? 

Over the 10-month programme School of Commons expects, from each participant, their commitment and active participation, within their individual capacities, in all SoC activities and the wider learning environment. This includes: 

  • Committing our weekly School of Commons meetings, Thursday evenings 6-8 pm CET/CEST 
  • Facilitating one of the series of Kitchen Sessions 
  • Attending the SoC Gathering (29th – 30th June) 
  • Contributing to the end-of-year ISSUES publication 
  • Participation (of varying kinds tbd.) in the School of Commons Assembly in and across Zürich, 7-9 February 2025 
  • Actively using and contributing to our growing compendium of ways and working, peer learning and commoning methodologies

For the full schedule please refer to the full application pack. 

Participants will work on a project surrounding a topic or subject of their choice, in a manner of their own choosing. Participants are thus considered experts with their own research. SoC offers impulse activities including workshops, info sessions and tutorials which aim to provide inspiration and strategies for enhancing effective collaboration with others as foundational frameworks. This said each participant is responsible for their own learning process, as well as that of one another. You will therefore be expected to take care of and communicate your own needs and requirements, which we can support by co-seeking the (re)sources, tutors, mentorship, methods, and collaborators necessary.  

There are no set outcomes expected or required as part of acceptance into the programme. SoC values experimental ways of working which do not necessarily work towards predetermined outcomes. Our approaches are curiosity-driven and process-oriented. 

More information about what SoC participants have in common and what SoC expects from participants is available in the full application pack.



What is the selection process? 

Selection is based on the completeness of submitted materials, the feasibility of the project, and how well the project connects to the aims and values of SoC.   

There are two main categories for which applications are assessed. Under each category or sub-categories which must be taken into consideration:   


Content looks at the clarity of the proposals’ key questions, lines of inquiry and suggested ways of working, as well as the relevance of the project in relation to major societal issues, tensions and questions, the current discourse on the topic, and the use of innovative and/or experimental approaches.  


Motivation looks at the proposals’ ambitions towards contributing to alternative forms of knowledge production and circulation, peer learning, and the overall SoC learning environment. It also assesses the commitment to exchanging, sharing and collaborating with fellow participants and the approaches proposed to support this.   

Please note: Applicants may submit one application only to the 2024 Open Call. Previous participants can only apply with a new project with new collaborators. 

More information about SoC selection process is available in the full application pack. 



How will School of Commons be structured for 2024?

SoC offers a learning environment and a 10-month programme structure that will evolve and be shaped, in dialogue, with the participants. As part of the 10-month programme, SoC helps facilitate an internal programme of open spaces and sessions with participants, this is combined with a series of public offerings, all of which are open access, which helps to make the knowledge and practices that arise from the programme through our participants and their processes, publicly available and shareable.

The proposed structure for the preliminary programme over the 10 months from April 2023 to February 2024 is as follows. Please ensure you are available for the following dates before applying, as full attendance is expected in the programme.  

19- 21. April 2024
Kick-off Weekend 

April – July 2024
Alternating weeks: Thursdays 6-8 pm CET /CEST

Kitchen Sessions Meetings  

April – July 2024
Alternating weeks: Thursdays 6-8 pm CET /CES

Planned Open Space for Individual meetings and workshops

29. – 30. June 2024
School of Commons Gathering in Zurich 

23. July – 24. August 2024
Summer Break  

September – December 2024
Self-Organised Curriculum  

16. December – 11. January 2025
Winter Break  7-9. February 2025
School of Commons Assembly 

More information about the structure of SoC 2024 is available in the full application pack. 



How to Apply  

Applications are submitted via Google Form where you will be asked a set of mandatory questions.  

No CVs, biographies or formal educational requirements should be included anywhere in the application form. Please refrain from including any key identifiable information about yourself. Applications must be submitted either in English or German. The programme is facilitated in English.

We strongly emphasise that if the provided information does not follow the specified guidelines, including the inclusion of names or critical information in the application, or if the application exceeds the word limits, it will not be considered 

We emphasise that your application will not be considered if:  

  1. The provided information does not follow the specified guidelines provided and/or is missing critical information, please refer to the criteria listed in the selection process on page 7 of the full application pack
  2. Names and other key, identifiable information is included 
  3. The word limit exceeds the stated character limits

For any questions, please get in touch at: hello@schoolofcommons.org

The application form can be accessed via the following link: https://forms.gle/CgdhP2BT8ohHS64X9 



SoC and Accessibility 

SoC is very concerned with issues regarding, and conversations surrounding accessibility in all its forms. We make it part of our focus both in our programme and as our ways of facilitating the SoC learning environment. As such, we encourage participants from all backgrounds (geographical, financial, educational, interest, discipline etc.) and abilities to apply.  

Read more about SoC and Accessibility, and our SoC Code of Conduct.



*Please note this is an abridged version of the School of Commons Open Call 2024 Information. The full information pack can be accessed via our Substack here.