Building the OpenVillage (and program for Day 3)

If I understood it correctly, Day 3 of the festival program is dedicated towards laying the foundations for what comes after the event – building a decentralized network of Edgeryders community spaces, connected by our online platform and events for learning, finding collaborators and sharing opportunities.

This initiative is born out of OpenCare, a 2-year research project on how communities can better care for their members using open science & technologies and new forms of human organizing. We started asking questions about health and quickly came to the insight that a key technology to rethink is the home. More specifically: how we shape the way we live together, and how this offers new personal and professional opportunities for everyone involved. You can read more about it on

We have an opportunity to build a first live prototype in the MENA region, so the timing is right. But this part of the program should be dedicated to building something that participants can use in their own respective contexts and locations.

Before we go into the design details for the sessions, I’d like to ask other edgeryders what you would find useful for your own work?

What for you would be a meaningful goal and desired outcome of this part of the program @woodbinehealth @winnieponcelet @gehan @unknown_author @alberto @matthias @johncoate @hazem @bachar_khattar @noemi @MurielAboulrouss @albertorey and anyone else who is coming to the festival?


I’ll give this more thought. But something about the way the microcosm reflects the macrocosm. And vis-a-versa. So individual - home - organisation - society. Watched this film (which is no longer available on demand but you can get a taste here) - former British diplomat turned anarchist exploring life without government. Love this quote from his interview with Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, Mayor of Marinaleda - “If you change reality in one place, you change the world.”

So perhaps it would be to explore what we can do to change reality in how we live and work together.

We were talking today about the way toxic norms from mainstream society keep playing out internally. In this situation, someone is repeatedly scapegoated. The question is how to intervene to establish countercultural, functional, care-full norms that would support tolerance and greater wellbeing - individual and collective that don’t fall in to well-intentioned intervention that would be easy to receive as a ‘telling off’?
So perhaps a useful outcome for me would be to explore creative reminders and cues to help us collectively generate countercultural norms? Something in that feels to me to be tied up with ‘changing reality in one place’.

Don’t know if this is the kind of goal/outcome you’re looking for?


" what we can do to change reality in how we live and work together?"

"How can we use creative reminders and cues can help us collectively generate counter-cultural norms?"

It’s a good question. I’m thinking about how to set up such a session so that it is both open and pragmatic seen from the perspective of people who are strapped for time and resources.

Perhaps it makes sense to think about what we would like to have happened a year after it and then thinking about what we can do to get there:

  1. After the session: Have some kind of process in place with check in points for groups who wish to support each other in making desired changes/implementing lessons learned from the festival.

  2. Before the session: Do background research - share and discuss experiences of living and working together in different settings, find and read relevant literature or films and reach out to others to do the same.

  3. During the session: Look at the design implications for places where participants currently are working or living…or will do in the near future. Ideally a mix of rural and urban situations, and mix of place-bound/nomadic etc.

@rachel @winnieponcelet and @anthony_di_franco are heavily involved in running workspaces for community-driven science (I think). It could be a good starting point, and then invite others to add their own.

@lasindias have a lot of experience in living and working together as a tight collective.

I know @woodbinehealth is already active in a space and discussing a new initiative.

@alberto @noemi @hazem @matthias @unknown_author @zmorda are looking at spaces in Marocco.

@bachar_khattar and @MurielAboulrouss are based in Lebanon and may wish to set up something there with support from the rest of the community.

Perhaps Galgael may also be a site of experimentation and learning?

Curious to hear what everyone thinks about this?

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In my view, the best we can hope for to get done during the Festival is:

  1. Listening to stories of co-living from those who lived them. Esp. @johncoate’s stories of course, but maybe we can invite others with great stories as well. Calafou for example sent one woman (forgot her name) to present at 30C3 (2013) congress in Hamburg, basically to invite people to join their space …

  2. Coming together as a small, committed core group which wants to drive the creation of a specific OpenVillage house. Similarly to how a unMonastery core group formed in one session of the LOTE1 conference.


I second “How can we use creative reminders and cues can help us collectively generate counter-cultural norms?” as a useful thing to know. I’d be interested in physical things for the actual space and digital things or habits for our community online.

For the phase we are in, we are figuring out how to create value, earn a living and distribute value in our community. It’s a diverse mix of volunteers and professionals with different skills and ambitions. Putting a system in place is expensive in time, even though there are systems readily available.

So the question is not “what are possible ways of doing it?” but “how do we avoid or lower this high cost?”

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Agree on both points.

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hmm which reminds me. We probably should do the same for congress. I’ve got vouchers from orga - should we get a couple ? we can sell them if we don’t need them

IIn regards to art it is important to involve the story tellers in their own authentic stories and in listening to others … by telling our stories we help heal the world and reinforce oneness.
I have a filmlab I created called cine-jam and it is focused on that.
Where I live youth doesn’t believe that their own stories are good enough or they are afraid people will judge them… I believe I can help if we can together find ways to fund this filmlab and apply it everywhere in the world.
Looking forward with open arms to the open village :heart:


Yep, GalGael is very much a place where we’ve been experimenting with working together and still working with what we learned from living together in the days of Pollok Free State. Questions of how to ‘set up’ or design and sustain/maintain spaces that are countercultural have been a consistent focus of that experimentation.

Enjoyed this article from one of the Loomio founders 5 REASONS TO BUILD A NETWORK OF SMALL GROUPSI believe the root of that challenge is essentially cultural, and the best place to grow culture is in small groups.

Definitely agree that if the day is made up of session/s that have a clearly defined focus - not trying to do everything/too much, cos it’s potentially a massive topic - they’ll be most likely to contribute to developments down the line. What are useful frameworks/tools others have used for designing/maintaining spaces for living and working together? Also when we say ‘spaces’, I’m guessing we mean physical and relational… might be useful to tease that out?

Glad of the opportunity to learn from LOTE experiences down the years…

Thanks for the thoughts. At Woodbine, we’re involved in expanding to upstate NY. One of the main questions we’ve been having is how to come into a community and follow the entitled view of the metropolis that anything “outside” of the city is a blank slate. So for us, it is a slow process of learning the rhythms of the place, of the land, of the soul that makes the place special. Its a very slow process, and as much as we try to speed it up, it must be deliberate. So for me, one thing I’d like to hear from the conversation is how do we go about that process? How do we avoid the colonizer mentality that honestly so many of us from Europe/US have? In addition, how can we allow the natural land to change the extractive way we think about our lives? For me, if we expand upstate only to make it a co-working space where everyone is on their laptops “working from home” would be a failure. Because as theory teaches us, it is the revolution of everyday life, the interactions, the way we laugh and love that allow us to create the “new cultures” mentioned above. That process can be beautiful and also have the revolutionary power to change the world.


Maybe identify a truly compelling local problem and, working with local people, pitch in to solve it. Not deciding what to do until that evaluation. Turf issues are everywhere regardless of what you do, unless you go into some place that is practically abandoned. And even then…finding good local people to work with has been key to anything I have been part of.

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How about getting on board an external facilitator for pt 2? This person needs to be someone with both high level knowledge and practical experience in setting up and running their community, and can be a likely partner for us… But because of the work that they already do we assume they are busy working and would not otherwise be involved in another community’s design process.

Ideally we would do curation for day 3 specifically -

  • hire the person for a whole 2 weeks before the event.

For the follow-up we work amongst us curators to harvest that into a compelling output.

It just occurred to me after having been to facilitated events and becoming aware that some things in an event program need due attention.

Which part is pt 2?

Soz, I was answering to your reply to @Matthias’s above:

[Getting confused with the threaded comments on discourse sometimes…]