Heike Löschmann specialized in South East Asian politics, history, languages and cultures during her studies in East-Berlin and Phnom Penh in the 80´s. She did her PhD-research on Buddhism and Politics in mainland South East Asia, at Humboldt University to Berlin (Germany). From work as a university lecturer she got into the field of development and worked as project director and advisor to the Buddhist Institute (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) and later as Director of Heinrich Böll Foundation´s Thailand and Southeast Asia Regional Office (Chiang Mai, Thailand), continued as a freelance consultant on development and politics in South East Asia with particular focus on Burma. After returning to Germany in 2010 she is currently Head of Department for International Politics at the Berlin Headquarters of the Böll Foundation. Her access to the commons as an alternative way of governance and community empowerment is the result of long years´s field experience in South East Asia, where she was exposed to the misgivings of international development and unfair trade policies and the resulting struggle of people for self-reliance, community based resource management, fair trade and gender justice. In her current position with the Böll Foundation she was as member of the Steering Committee and lead person for the Foundation in the preparation of the International Commons Conference (ICC). She continues this role now in the preparation of the Economics and the Commons Conference (ECC).