Create the 2014-11-dd newsletter (LOTE4 follow-up)

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for a beautiful lote. I am so happy we finally managed to find the time to really meet one another and have an open conversation(s) about many questions and issues. Including where we want to take things looking forward together.

After our conversations it struck me that one of the fundamental errors I have been making is forgetting that there is a huge information asymmetry between those of us who have been involved in Edgeryders for the longest and more recent arrivals. Step one to honoring our pledge to bridge that divide so we have more of a level playing field is online:

To honor the care and attention that went into our coming together, I thought it might be a good idea to put together a simple overview to remind us all of what was agreed (before we forget :)) and make it easy for others to contribute towards the shared goals/initiatives. Can you guys help compile this here so that we are sure everyone understands the same thing (when we speak it is easy to misunderstand because of language differences or miss key information when your mind wanders):

The big picture: What we agreed on

1. A key aim of Edgeryders is to facilitate and encourage mutual support between community members and collaboration on projects.

So over the next year we are going to focus energy on

A. Harmonious Hackathons: making them happen on a regular basis (several times a year) and making them an economically sustainable line of activity (ensure people organising them are paid). We also agreed that we need “our own” space to do this as hackathons need to run for weeks rather than days to “complete” work, but still keep money and time costs at an acceptable level. We would do a number of themes one of which could be HackCare continuing on foundation set at lote4.

B. Edgeryders/ Makerfox integration: the experiment with using barter to build lote4 using makerfox produced promising results. In order for us to use it for more activities the integration with Edgeryders needs to be smoother, so we need to specify what needs to be done and find resources to cover the cost of the work.

C. Building stronger community ties: We aim to grow the number, thickness and quality of Edgeryders community members social ties with each other, members of other communities and networks and with members of organisations with resources and need for their skills/projects. We will do this online with regularly updated content like Jeffs posts and a newsletter (who knows how to do this well?). If and when we do organise physical meetings, we commit to ensure they are properly documented online so as not to fragment the community or exclude others from the conversations. Core team: Ben Vickers (UK) and Nadia EL-Imam (Belgium) and you (wherever you are).

2. The unMonastery prototype was successful and we want to continue developing the existing site and set up new ones.

It was agreed that the time is not mature for setting up a separate unMonastery organisation and that Edgeryders LBG should continue to be the “home organisation” for the unMonastery project.

A. Continued presence in the Palazzo Casale complex:  it was agreed that the next step would be to produce a credible plan for running the space including revenue streams/fundraising activities in order to present to the Committato Matera2019 before they are dissolved (i.e. before end of the working year).

B. New possible unMonastery sites: Edgeryders LBG has been approached by with two requests for new development projects which could involve setting up new unMonastery sites. After discussing the matter with community members in the room one proposal was sent off to Fabrizio Barca.

3. We would like to experiment with different formats for community events

A. Produce lote4 community report: To get an overview of the value generated from this event in a format that is easy to understand and spread ( also for those with little or no time to wade through a lot of material on the platform). This report should cover :

- Content- (what was learned about stewardship and what new insights/ideas for projects and new questions were generated).

- Organisation- budget, allocation of resources, how decisions were made and what are the constraints we acknowledge.

B. Call for proposals of new event formats (and teams to drive them): Proposals ranged from piggybacking existing events like CCC and making ourselves visible as “Edgeryders”, to making them more harmonious hackathon focused, to doing a walking format (we organise a long trek and people do lectures/host conversations while walking or during breaks). The key thing being that whatever the format it has to not exclude people with disabilities if they want to join, and honour the commitment to great documentation.

Where to begin?

Think about how you can align your own interests and work with any of the above.

If you cannot make it this time don’t worry, just leave a comment below and maybe join us another time? we do the calls the same time and place every week!



P.s Thank you @Björn_Ekblom for the photo!!

see you in the call :slight_smile:

see you in the call tomorrow!

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During our well-being session I proposed to make an “EdgeRetreat” - a recharging retreat for the community to connect better to each other and learn how can we help each other better.

During LOTE events there is often an intensity that can create a feeling of burnout for a while, so the event we have been thinking of would be rather to recharge and spend time in harmonious way, while sharing what’s important to us and opening our projects to more help from the community.

In a way this could be a “community healing” retreat. I think it could be helpful for some of us.

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“unDojo” calls just after the community calls every week

I would like to invite everyone to join the “unDojo” calls, after the community calls, every week, in the same space - just stay after the hangout in our online space.

Why? To create a space with flexible structure for us to share our ideas and find synergies and alignments.

To listen and understand each other and learn how we can support each other and care about each other better.

To create more well-being in the community and work together in harmonious and healthy ways.

Join! :slight_smile:

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you are welcome to join :slight_smile:

you are welcome to join !

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harmonious hackathon

I very much like the idea of the harmonious hackathon. This is an issue many people are wrestling with. Hackathons have been oversold in the past 5-10+ years, and have had all kinds of unrealistic expectations layered onto them. As a result they are now in the “trough of disillusionment” phase of the hype cycle.

Consequently: many groups want to run hackathons, and have money to spend on them. They recognize that not all hackathons are equal, and would pay to have their event work well. If edgeryders figures out how to run hackathons that don’t suck, we have a skill that’s both useful for our own communities, and something we offer as a paid service.

That said…we aren’t there yet. I know I made a lot of mistakes in arranging the website track of the LOTE4 hackathon – some my own, others from imperfect interactions with the wider event process.

And I’ve not seen much concrete description of what makes a hackathon “harmonious”. I love the label, but I don’t think we’ve yet done the work to justify it. [or possibly, there’s a huge amount of work in a corner of this site that I’ve not yet found]

I’d be keen to work more on this area. Perhaps we’d start by developing a framework of “how to run a harmonious hackathon”, then put it to the test at future edgeryders hackathons?

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Framework + testing

I’d missed this Dan, sorry for taking so long to respond.


Want to take this back in the Harmonious Hackathon Group? I set up a task with a link to more info on it here:

Can’t join tomorrow but…

I can help with:

-Blog posts from sessions (but not until towards the end of November, will this be acceptable within the slow release approach or should they all be out before then?)

-Not listed as such but: Building thicker and stronger ties between the community offline, I do this already but will be doing it in a more concerted way from december onwards.

-With the session write ups, I think I can also ask and work with other dedicated unMonasterians to take the lead on some of these.

Are we to put together a schedule for release on content? And how much should things be added to or tidied up? I think it would be useful to also ask key individuals involved in particular sessions to contribute reflections but this could be done in the form of questions at the end of posts and prompts on social media for comment.

As for follow up collaborations, I’m focusing on organising the extended stay in Athens during December (not a formal event), will be attending CCC with a strong unMon contingent, Common Libraries is solidifying its work with Matera, the unMonastery event in January will be announced soon and the #HackCare thing has a lot of momentum with Anne Marie suggesting all kinds of funding opportunities and possible partnerships (but I’m still catching up on my life in London).

With regard to unMonastery specifically I’m spending this week and the next month refining elements of the unMonastery framework and tools for deployment into something that is replicable. Will put out some updates in the next week or so - then speaking with various funders to support unMon initiatives and beginning to think seriously about possible UK based unMonastery.

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Ok guys are we ready to send this out or does it need more work?


Sure, except

… we’re waiting for Sam’s video which should be up any moment now and can be included.

Ok. Do we set up tasks on Makerfox as starting point?

There are three main projects/processes that people can get involved in.

I think in order for the newsletter to be effective we need to make the first step about people who want to participate getting to know one another through some small task which is both fun/social and moves the processes ahead.

One thing could be prepping for the assembly at 31C3 (for which I have reserved 4 extra beds for Edgeryders community members who will be participating). Another could be building a moneyless crowdfunding campaign with makerfox to build the projects. Could be something else.

And then we publish on Friday and send newsletter on Saturday.


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“Tasks on Makerfox” = moneyless crowdfunding

If you want to use the Makerfox platform to facilitate collaboration between projects and to get people involved, welcome :slight_smile: There are no tasks on Makerfox, though, just offers to purchase from. So the person wanting a task to get done looks through through the Makerfox market and orders what is required to get it done. (The details: We had a “task” feature once in Makerfox, but removed it because Makerfox is meant to work for collaboration between users who don’t know or trust each other yet – so you wouldn’t want to allow anyone to take your task, making people very busy with applying for tasks and accepting / rejecting these applications as the Makerfox needs 10-20 alternatives for each task to find one match. That just wasn’t practical …)

Since every market has a chicken and egg problem, your best bet is currently to use a few parallel moneyless crowdfunding campaigns instead. Say, one for organizing the 31C3 session, one for the Edgeryders/Makerfox integration development. Then people support a cause of their choice, and offer something in return. Inter-project collaboration then happens by one person donating to the 31C3 session campaign, and working for ER/Makerfox integration instead, and vice versa for another campaign. That’s why having multiple campaigns in parallel is important.

As you said, planning and setting up a moneyless crowdfunding campaign is some work on its own, so yes, probably keep that as the first collaborative task and send the newsletter before entering something into Makerfox. (Or maybe, already set up the project accounts on Makerfox for the intended moneyless crowdfunding campaigns, as a reference point.)

That said, there is no company user “Edgeryders” on Makerfox so far. Wait, I’ll just create one …

Proposals of new event formats

Regarding new events formats, do have a look at this ressource:

I have collected over 450 co-creative formats from smalls icebreakers to large flashmobs, it covers a wide range of domains from start-ups to agriculture and you can search by the type of action you want to to do together (#communicate, #think, #produce, #debate, #play …)

For each format I try to find a recipe and/or a community of practice to make it easier for other groups to copy and reuse the format.

@Nadia : I don’t think this is the right place to write this, but the suggestion link in the newsletter points here. Feel free to move my comment in a more appropriate place.

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Thank you Lilian this is a great contribution

I had started doing some research on Hackathons and this will make my life alot easier, if I come across anything you’ve missed I’ll let you know so you can add it.

Two questions: is there any of these that you enjoy getting involved in building yourself? and which ones would you say are good at bridging the online offline divide for a community like ours that is spread over many parts of the world?

There are a lot of options to choose from and I think many people in the community have been to different event formats. What makes the decision is when people choose to start working on a format and self-organising…

@lilian, what a wonderful resource this is!

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Moving your comment to the post page…



Ok, the task is done (we afforded a lengthy newsletter since we haven’t sent one to literally everybody in a year).

The MakerFox option is open, and we’ve had various ideas popping up here and there, we’re definitely keen on taking up something, but it needs to be small enough to be manageable and interesting enough for people to participate.