LOTE4- The Stewardship is the fourth edition of the Edgeryders annual gathering. We believe the ability to come together to take care of assets in an unstable context is a key skill for surviving and thriving in the future. LOTE4 aims to set the foundations for a global Stewardship ecosystem encouraging free flow of information, knowledge and actors between different contexts, sectors and leadership roles.
Over the centuries, nation states all over Europe have developed or acquired control of assets of all kinds. The overarching logic behind this development and acquisition is generally to enable the provision of public services. In recent decades this model has become overstretched: states have found themselves struggling to find the resources to keep those assets manned so that provision of such services could continue, and had to retreat from many non-core services. Consequently, many such assets lie unused; some are beginning to deteriorate.
In an effort to correct this situation, some public assets have been turned over to the private sector. This move has had mixed results: while some financial advantages states has indeed materialized, at least in the short term, many privatization programmes suffer unintended consequences. The general consensus seems to be that it might be interesting to explore new avenues.
Communities have been singled out as candidates for taking care of some public assets, in particular those that can be used to provide services to the community itself.
The Edgeryders community has accumulated significant experience in this area. Many of us have been experimenting with ways to communally manage diverse assets including: spaces like the unMonastery, digital mesh networks, libraries, geographic databases or software projects as public or common goods, oriented towards the community’s well being. There is now evidence available to indicate that communities can indeed provide stewardship.
We believe the ability to come together to take care of assets in an unstable context is a key skill for surviving and thriving in the future.
Why explore this concept? Four arguments
Please help refine the points.
- Alternative responses to dysfunctional labour market and lowered demand for goods and services/consumption. Can asset transfer to communities add new tropic levels in the economy? How community owned enterprises contribute to positive impact to resident’s ability to make a living and or meaning/new social roles? What economic models are viable based on locus of control (e.g medical records) require individual retaining control due to risk of abuse. Jarod Lanier
- Cutting costs of provision of public services,while retaining or increasing control/ influence of citizens over their living conditions and environments. Alternative to privatisation?
- Efficient and responsible management of finite resources in response to social-ecological crises. Does mutualised risk and ownership foster more responsible use of public services? Can community stewardship offer a third alternative?
- Everywhere we care to look, individuals and groups are innovating in response to the trio of systemic crises threatening our futures. In part this is in response to the state’s failure to generate credible responses to problems facing the citizenry characterised by a lack of moral resonsibility and sense of power to act on things. What if what we are seeing are signs of our societies moving into a long evolutionary phase without coherence between state attempts and those of bottom up or civil society to address social challenges?
- Growing antagonism in the relationships between organised communities, commercial actors and states. Need for aligning work and help to support each other innovate away from destructive behaviours and business models.
- Another risk is that of complementarity giving way to substiution: How, then, do we handle states’ attempts to push civil society and organisations such as foundations as to take over their responsibilities? As states retreat/make cuts in provision of services there is risk of complementarity giving way to substitution: Need for consolidated atrategy to ensure states withdrawal from attempts to push civil society and organisations such as foundations as to take over their responsibilities?
Objectives of the event
The central objective of LOTE4 is to establish a clear understanding for the qualities, requirements and identity of what constitutes good Stewardship and a capable steward. As part of that process we aim to bring together a strong combination of projects in stage of development, international networks and influential stakeholders to advance the opportunities and collaboration between a new era of community stewardship. Fundamentally we’re focused on the long term support and growth of existing initiatives, as part of that drive we will work together to ensure a set of outcomes as follows:
- Develop a clear and concise report that outlines what’s at stake in the transfer of assets to communities and how different stakeholders can contribute towards positive outcomes.
- Establish a global stewardship ecosystem encouraging free flow of information, knowledge and actors between different contexts, sectors and leadership roles.
- Build and generate a critical mass of attention around key projects that emerge from the event.
- Secure sustained support for project development of initiatives selected for the Stewardship awards (idea: companies support prize winners with time of in house staff members).
Key questions for participants:
- How do projects working at the Edge prove and make legible their value?
- What qualities and skills make for a credible ‘Steward’?
- What are the risks involved in the transfer of assets?
- How do projects with long term objectives achieve support in the short term?
Preliminary program (your feedback is much appreciated!)
Day 1: Scanning the horizon
//In order to open LOTE4 on the right footing, it’s important that everyone gets an understanding for where we’re coming from, what our shared objectives might be and what’s at stake. As key factor of this event we bring together a diversity of stakeholders and perspectives - both from a top down and bottom up view, in order to understand where we can meet in the middle for the best possible outcomes of community stewardship.//
Meet the curators
This opening session will set the tone for the following days by laying out the core themes and questions of the stewardship in a grounded example of a bottom up community working at a local level with institutions and citizens to realise the reuse of publicly owned assets and the production of new social services - within the backdrop of a larger international debate about the role of the state over the coming 20 years.
Keynote by Fabrizio Barca, General Director for Development at the Italian Treasury
Building an institution to last 200 years: lessons learned from the first unMonastery prototype, by Ben Vickers, unMonastery and Rossella Taranto, Comittato Matera 2019
Meet the Stewards
Who are the key actors in the space and discourse around Stewardship? What are the key trends and events that happened this year? What new technologies and opportunities should we know about? This section consists of lightening talks, followed by facilitated break out sessions.
Track 1: Stewarding digital assets
Under the banner of the Stewardship we’re concerned with digital assets as means by which communities develop, manage and take ownership of telecommunication networks, public datasets ( like health, governmental and census records), alternative finance data and systems like Bitcoin and open mapping technologies that define our relationship to place.
Peers Incorportated. Robin Chase | The dilemmas of releasing patient data for research | Open street map: how we are mapping the whole world for the long haul.Simone Cortesi | Local by Default: on the challenges and opportunities attaching to Digital Asset/Enterprise development by and for Communities. Anne-Marie Naylor the Asset Transfer Unit | Fiber from the farms: Can community-owned telecommunications networks help bridge the digital divide?. Ramon Roca, Peter Kock | Bangla-pesa and blockchain ids: How crises are pushing citizens towards decentralised solutions and the democratic implications of these developments. Nadia EL-Imam.
Track programming curated by: Amelia Andersdotter chair of the European Pirate Party (confirmed) | Matthias Ansorg, Edgeryders CTO and founder of Economy App/Makerfox and winner of the European Social Innovation Competition, 2013 (not approached yet). Advisors : Vinay Gupta, Associate UCL Institute for Security & Resilience Studies (t.b.c) | Julian Oliver, Critical Engineering (not approached yet) |
Track 2: Stewarding physical assets
Under the banner of the Stewardship we define Physical Assets as the hard stuff, publicly owned land and buildings, hospitals, libraries, roads and transport networks…The physical infrastructures that ensure civil society is able to keep itself together.
Bottom-up wiki-cities: How a community in Cairo built four illegal exists out of a ring road and got away with it! Hazem Adel | The legitimate illegality: A journey through the Italian theatres occupied by knowledge workers ,Alessia Zabatino | Parallel Polis: repurposing public libraries as next generation job centres in Poland, by Alek Tarkowsk
Track programming curated by Fabrizio Barca, General Director for Development at the Italian Treasury and President of the OECD Territorial Policies Committee (confirmed) | Ben Vickers, unAbbot at the unMonastery (confirmed) | Anne-Marie Naylor, Asset Transfer Unit (t.b.c) | Aidan Eyakuze (not approached yet).
Stewarding Communities: Under the banner of the Stewardship we’re concerned with understanding the role of the community stewardship as a means by which a community of interest can come together to build and nurture people and relationships on which stewardship relies. In order to enable responsible, accountable and competent managing of common assets and regeneration of human potential.
- Perka, Anosi, Spitharo: Lessons learned from three successful, self-governing stable communities in Greece. Petros | Growing together: Prinzessinengarten as a laboratory for participatory, sustainable and locally grounded urban development. Caroline Paulick-Thiel | The regeneration of meaning: examples of how communities are trying to meet practical needs as well providing social identity and sense of direction of their members. Dougald Hine | Zero sum games and sustainability plans: How funding bodies are fostering unhealthy community dynamics and how they could do better. Elf Pavlik | Arthur Muliro.
Curated by: Riel Miller, Head of Foresight at Unesco (not approached yet) | Pam Warhurst, Incredible Edible (not approached yet) | Geci Karuri-Sebina (not approached yet) | Arthur Muliro (not approached yet) | Rasigan Maharajh (not approached yet) | David De Ugarte, Las Indias (not approahced yet) | Adebayo Akomolefe (not approached yet) | Irma Wilson (not approached yet). Ref: edgeryders.eu/making-sense-edgeryders-experiences-where-do-we-go-here/mission_case/living-together-reloaded
Appreciative enquiry breakout sessions
A 1.5 hr facilitated process for exploring the presented initiatives and approaches in depth, paying attention to their specificities as well as drawing more generally applicable lessons from them.
The evening will signal a coming together for each track, with a series of informal presentations and reporting back - each report will take a precise format that can be easily distributed to those participating from afar.
Day 2: Seeing the bigger picture
What are the current gaps in terms of knowledge, skills or resources needed for community stewardship of the different kinds of assets to work ? This day is dedicated to participants surfacing the tacit knowledge and hidden assumptions that inform our ideas and decisions and using it as a basis for an co-designing ways to teach one another the things the education system can’t scale, how things fail in practice, etc. Curated by: Riel Miller, Head of Foresight at Unexco (not approached yet).
Day 3: Connecting the dots
Proposed methodology for groups / projects / hacks: -Sessions are framed around key questions that have been raised during the past two days.
- At the beginning of the day anonymous asset mapping takes place (individuals fill in a list of resources and connections they have at their disposal to make projects come alive)
- Groups hack towards forming a project around a question
- At the end of the day projects presented and assets are matched with requirements
- Those who own the assets can pledge them or not, if the assets aren’t available the project isn’t going to fly, move on or make a new plan.
Who does what? Roles.
High definition of roles in advance of the event, in order to accelerate potential collaboration and partnership - the event will be defined by 4 key protagonists - Curators, Stewards, Patrons and the Support team. Like all LOTEs there will be no space for spectators.
- Curators: Are responsible for shaping the tracks, identifying where the highest energy and drive is in the theme and bringing those individuals together in a cohesive thread. They are assisted by ER staff members who do the heavy lifting w.r.t research, coordination, outreach and organisation.
- Stewards: Are those coming from the frontline, whether it be execution at a community level or a senior governmental position their role at LOTE will be to tell their story, identify the real challenges faced and share the models or initiatives they’ve built. They are assisted by ER staff members who do the secretariat work w.r.t. research, coordination, outreach and organisation.
- Patrons: Individuals and organisations wishing to see the effort succeed and bestowing it with support and encouragement.
- Support team: People contracted by Edgeryders LBG to provide services including coordination of logistics, research, documentation, floor management, partnership building, communications and production of publications.
Parallel Process: Harmonious Hackathon
The Harmonious Hackathon is a new approach to working together as part of a sprint to achieve a clear set of predefined objectives for participating projects. Rather than everyone turning up in the same place and seeing what emerges - the Harmonious Hackathon starts months before with projects posted on the EdgeRyders platform, each project will set out clearly an overview, objectives and requirements for what is to be done on the day. And is followed up with work from the Edgeryders team
During the lead up to the event, and in the physical sessions, the community will swarm the project to troubleshoot, refine the objectives and invite others to join the hack. We will also try to get companies to donate paid staff time pro bono to help individual projects with hands on project development work (coding, design, communications, fundraising etc). During day 3 of the #LOTE4- The Stewardship, 3 to 8 projects are worked on in parallel.
It is an opportunity to look up and do kind of open thinking with others that is very generative. It results in building interest and mass around existing and new initiatives or ideas. It also ensures work gets done on things that would improve existing projects and programming, but require collaborative effort outside day to day operations.