Case Study Adventures - LOTE4 goes Nomadic

So LOTE4 is upon us, having launched publicly last week, we’re ready to move forward towards the next steps. If you haven’t already read over this years theme,this is a good place to start, once you’ve got a sense of where we’re heading with the theme, you might want to join a team or if you’re feeling bold propose a session.

In a community call the other week we discussed the idea of case studies, finding out about initiatives that match the objectives and theme that we’re working towards. So far making call outs online we haven’t managed to garner as many examples as we’d like - so we thought the best route would be to go out and meet the projects and people face to face.

And so, the Case Study Adventures begin. Starting next week myself and @lauren will begin travelling Europe in order to experience the projects and initiatives that matter most to this years LOTE first hand but we need your help - where do we go? who should we speak to? what are the questions that we should be asking?

We want to engage projects that we think exemplify notions of Stewardship, whether they be concerned with stewarding physical, immaterial, digital assets or building new infrastructure. We’d like to find the initiatives that are confronting the difficult questions head on, both newly started and those with a long history. Despite our work over the last couple of years within EdgeRyders and the unMonastery project we recognise that our perspectives are still limited by the networks we’re most familiar with, we’d like to take this opportunity to broaden our horizons.

So how is this going to work? To start, we’ve set up this spreadsheet that anyone can add to, to decide on the locations we’ll be visiting and route we’ll take between projects, obviously this can change on the fly but it’d be good to have some structure. We’d like you to contribute and share this as widely as possible, so we can find out about as many projects and individuals as possible.

With each visit we plan to record a short interview, asking questions that are relevant to LOTE4 but also deeper questions that we’re likely to face together over the next few decades, such as; What does Stewardship of the commons mean in this moment? / What are the fundamental lessons from the past that we can learn from now? / What is an example of a heroic act in this moment? / We’re beginning to pull together questions for the interviews in this wiki, feel free to add yours.

Once we know where we’re going and who we’re meeting, we’ll need some places to stay and eat - hospitality is always welcome, so if you know of interesting projects in your city and have a place to stay let us know in the comments of the spreadsheet or leave us a message on this thread.

Next there’s the race to get everything online quickly, as we go, myself, Lauren and hopefully others who will join us on this adventure we be moving between locations rapidly, recording interviews with each encounter - uploading what we have at every possible moment. We’re hoping that @SamM and @NicoBis will be pitching in to edit the content into something that makes sense - if you’re reading this and have video editing skills feel free to help out (@mariabyck?)

The core objectives of this adventure is to learn from existing initiatives, to spread the word and invite people to LOTE4, generate a debate around the concept of ‘Stewardship’ and see where serendipity takes us. If you want to get involved or help, you can:

  • Go and interview people running projects, join the adventure, this can be in your own city or places you’re already travelling to
  • Add to the list
  • Add questions
  • Offer help in editing video
  • Offer places to stay

Project Involvement

Hi Ben, thanks for the mention as this project looks incredibly interesting. Would it be possible for you to detail what part you would be looking for me to contribute.

1 Like

Too much fun to be had! I think I have to join you :slight_smile:

Woop woop. It begins!

Very very cool idea

My hat is off to you. Let us know how we can support you. :slight_smile:

Also, if you let us know where you are in a timely way, we will try to mobilize people in the area…

I am happy to help out

and could visit places in Greece, Turkey and Northern England.


Awesome plan guys! Love the idea! We should try to get also video material of your trip, so we can use it for a nice intro at LOTE4. For that we need to coordinate your travel plans I think. What I can do:

 set up a group on platform (with the wikis containing interview questions and list of case studies posted in that group)
- set up events in that group, and Edgeryders event on F,  for the happening in Berlin (and other ones you guys have already scheduled).
 What do you guys think?

Case Studies Group

@Inge, all sounds great. Here is the Stewardship Case Studies Group on the platform. We should be collecting video material and writing case studies here. Shall we start by creating events and Edgeryders FB event for the Stewardship Meetup Schedule . Still confirming locations and times. 

Tech Advice from Sam

Just wanted to add this tech advice to the thread, which came from @SamMuirhead in an email.


"Lauren and myself are armed with: zoom q2hd
In terms of Micro phones and interviews, highly portable lighting etc - do you have any advice, or do you think we'll be good with this? (i.e should we buy lapels etc). "


hmm. a lapel would be ideal but the problem is the q2hd doesn’t have an extra mic input.

If you want to have clean audio recorded separately, this is my low-budget ‘on the road’ setup which is surprisingly effective: Zoom H1 recorder + Audio Technica ATR3350 lavalier microphone

But that of course requires synchronising (press record on both devices, and start by saying 'Name of interviewer - take 1" then CLAP once loudly. This makes it much easier to synch audio quickly by aligning the clearly visible claps in the waveform.

If separate audio is too much hassle, then you can use the q2hd by itself, but GET CLOSE. Maybe not up-the-nostril close, but as close as you can get while still being a comfortable headshot. Record in a quiet place free from weird buzzes, construction noises and wind (i.e. not where I interviewed you at unmonastery!)


a wee little mini tripod / gorillapod would be a useful investment, or a monopod if you plan to move around a lot.


lights are heavy, fragile, easy to make mistakes with and not very nomad-friendly. A reflector is much cheaper as well as more portable and friendly, and with two of you, there should be a free hand to hold it in the right place during an interview.

Here’s a how-to guide.

And also a general refresher on good practice for filming for interviews etc.

Next thing is that although we haven't discussed directly, I understand you're doing editing and compiling of video? 

At this stage I have time in late September and also October when I can help with this, but I’m fully booked for August with other jobs and another ER project.

Wanted to check before we start, our plan is to upload raw footage to the unMonastery Vimeo account, set to private and share logins, this way we can all view content easily as it comes in and download and edit.

As long as you have a PLUS account with vimeo, this plan will work (otherwise vimeo discards the original file)

let me know if you have any other questions or need help with anything else!


p.s. I noticed unMonastery uses CC-BY-NC-SA on Vimeo. How come? any chance you could switch to a libre license (CC-BY-SA) for this footage? (my own issues with NC are in line with this document)"

an update of sorts.

Just wanted to make a short note here, to register some observations and give a sense of progress with this.

So firstly, it seems setting up meets ups wasn’t the best idea logistically - since the visits to cities have been so short and at a such a fast pace, it’s added quite an overhead to planning that has yet to bare fruit. It’s likely though that where there’s an established network, like Berlin and London, it makes sense - so please share the schedule and alert friends.

Having made this observation, someone (I forget who) made a very clever suggestion, we should just be turning up at other people’s Meet Ups that could be relevant to the issues at hand. This seems to be quite a reasonable tactic.

Another observation is that August isn’t the best month to try and meet up with people - especially in Italy.

As for travel, @Lauren has been city hopping at speed, we just had a short gchat and it seems she’s met some interesting people - recorded a few interviews and acquired a long list of relevant projects to follow up on. I’ll let her though fill in the details.

This morning I had a very small meetup in Drop Coffee, Stockholm, what struck me though was that if you’re asking the right questions with just one or two people it can still be hugely productive - perhaps more so than a big group speaking together. This morning I interviewed an expert in Urban Farming, which I’ll have a full write up on before the end of the week.

Okay, I think that’s it for now - this is more a reference point for myself to come back to later :wink:



You guys are doing a great job though, it must be very tiresome to travel so much and meet so many different people. Hats of to you guys!

Oh … is this offline-online seamless ethnography already?

At the Spot the Future event in Tbilisi, I was inspired to think about organizing Edgeryders conferences a bit differently (using embedded community journalists who do the data collection on projects – see here). And now it hit me that you on this Case Study Adventures tour do something quite related already :slight_smile:

So if you have insights about how your method of project surveying could be integrated into the Edgeryders ethnography methodology, just let us know. The key question would be, how can offline surveying experiences like yours seamlessly feed into the “horizon scanning” that Edgeryders does usually via online engagement.

All the best for the rest of the tour, keep having fun with this and keep us in the loop! :slight_smile: