How EdgeRyders has Changed


#1

I believe that something has fundamentally changed in EdgeRyders, and that it is causing cumulative damage to it’s ability to fulfil it’s own mandate.


In order for this post to be productive and inclusive I’ve tried to highlight these issues with respect to what has come to pass over the years. In good faith I have purposely avoided naming individuals, or making unreasonable targeted points. I have previously tried to raise these issues on 3 separate occasions, both in person and on the admin board, each time they have been effectively dismissed or undermined, in this respect this post should be read as a last attempt to confront and work through them.


When I joined EdgeRyders 3 years ago, the draw, enthusiasm and excitement for what I perceived in the future potential of what EdgeRyders could become was enormous. What I found at the opening conference in Strasbourg, was a diverse set of people looking for pragmatic solutions to very real problems found in the world - with a much longer term perspective than other groups, communities or initiatives that I had previously participated in. It was also rare to find a critical mass of people interested in values and practices such as decentralisation, open source and large scale collaboration. Many of the people I met have become friends and collaborators for life and since then the learning experience has been huge.


Bembo summarises this feeling well in this post:


“We talked of a Treasury of Wisdom, Rebooting Democracy, Resiliency Hubs, Transparent Budgeting, Creative Extinction, a Society of Inclusive Civil Survivalists. Among our slogans were indeed Collapsenomics, State in a Box, unCivilization, The Age of Crisis. It seemed to me that someone was finally addressing the Dark Arts of confronting the ghosts that haunt us.”

- Nearing the Edge


At this same event, a group of us came together to discuss building foundational infrastructure for supporting the development and lives of those doing important work - this conversation birthed the unMonastery project. Work on that concept continued in earnest if not somewhat erratically between myself, @nadia, @ola and @edwin in 2012.  


Until later that same year when #LOTE2 happened, in Brussels, during the conference, a decision had been made that EdgeRyders would leave the Council of Europe and become autonomous. At that same conference, in the closing hours we formed a circle, and those who wished to make a pledge stepped into the circle and declared it. I stepped forward and said that I would lead the unMonastery project (the phrase I used to indicate modest facilitation, was “pick up the shit”), some pledged to projects that have since disappeared, others pledged to keep the lights of EdgeRyders on as it became it’s own entity.


Not long after this EdgeRyders, through a number of long conversations and deliberations decided to incorporate as a UK based corporation. You can read about this here and here.


In 2014 EdgeRyders played an instrumental role in supporting the development and opening of the first unMonastery in Matera.

And up until this point all was well - but going forward past this point, about a year ago now, things started to slowly degrade in the EdgeRyders universe, this has been for myself (and I’m sure for others) deeply upsetting and called into question many of those early visionary principles.


Saving specific details (because they’re not important right now), the characteristics of this decline in quality of experience can be recognised in:

  • Steady and significant decline in numbers of individuals posting on the platform.
  • Noticeable degrees of distrust and paranoia between key people instrumental to building ER.
  • Personal attacks on individuals through back channels and over email.
  • Unfounded defamation of character.
  • Burning of bridges.
  • Increased concentration of power - diminishing openness to disagreement.
  • Continual degradation of a shared vision and loss of long term perspective.
  • Closed meetings and groups becoming common place in the culture.
  • Unpleasant and high tension posts being the most active on the platform.

One such unpleasant exchange, was catalyzed by my suggestion to @Alberto and @Arthur in person (then subsequently in the closed Admin group) that we were in desperate need of a cathartic, mending of fences and a safe space in which anyone could express their views. I believed this was fundamental for bringing people back to EdgeRyders, making people feel safe on the platform and working together to fix the issues. Unfortunately this suggestion led to the aforementioned exchange, and has as such now rendered the suggested exercise untenable (I have outlined these reasons to Alberto in a personal email, but would prefer not to go into depth here, for fear of going off topic but I can if it is required).


But, regardless of everything that has come to pass, I still consider myself an EdgeRyder and I would like to make the effort to try and fix, and work towards some of what I consider to be broken on a longer time scale. In order to do that, many things have to be said in the open that have previously remain undeclared, spoken in private or brushed under the rug…


Despite the machiavellian undertones of the previous post - there were some very important, and necessary questions being raised. Namely issues of openness and access, which unMonastery has sought to address.


As part of that process, I have been examining and reading back over documents relating to the ‘Company’ and the kernel, essentially to try and understand where the misunderstandings lie. During which, it struck me that a lot has changed in the way EdgeRyders’ expresses its function in it’s documentation and the way the EdgeRyders LBG board acts in reality.


And as a result of that, and in order to begin a mending process I have a few questions and observations to make, which I believe are worth discussing:

  1. In almost all discussion, documentation and more precisely the Company Structure and Governance page; EdgeRyders has been positioned as a sort of Github for social innovation, providing the platform, architecture and context in which projects can grow. At no point does it say that the legal entity (LBG) wields or would even seek to define how those projects will exist in the world - yet this seems to be a growing trend. Could we please clarify what the relationship between project, community member and ER LBG actually is? (Sidenote, most of the pages for the company and legals relating to ER have become impossible to find without googling, the company page no longer features any of this information)
  2. Who gets to use the EdgeRyders trademarked logo and branding - and what is the process for this?
  3. Over 2 years, next to no effort has been made to expand the board, or open out the governance structure - I think this is a major contributor to discontent on the part of those who view LBG as wielding too much power. But conversely, this also contributes to a situation where people don’t feel they have ownership or responsibility over EdgeRyders itself - creating unfair levels of work for those who have committed to the kernel.  (Whilst this week there has been a call for replacement directors, this cannot be seen as any kind of shift in governance structure, and with regard to non-exec oversight see point 9 below)
  4. In an environment under which all content is automatically licensed with Creative Commons Zero - how do community members (who may not be interested in seeing their work financialised) say what can and cannot be pitched to funders such as a Rockefeller?
  5. How are decisions about who has technical rights on the platform articulated - after having contributed code to ER and having admin rights from the outset of ER - I recently logged on to find mine had been revoked, without prior communication. Arbitrary decisions such as these add to a sense of unease about who makes decisions on ER and the openness of those decisions.
  6. Who defines the meaning of ‘community’ on EdgeRyders? (There has been a continuous shift between representing LBG and community. LBG directors consistently fail to represent the company viewpoint as unique and not necessarily the same as community)
  7. EdgeRyders has increasingly begun to feel more and more like an agency primarily focused on financial interest - the core drive seems to be focused on generating revenue - projects that don’t appear fundable suffering at the expense of those that are. With things such as LOTE being seemingly discarded because they didn’t generate the necessary sales environment. It is entirely fair for this to be the direction of ER LBG, but it must be clearly stated to the broader community.  
  8. What is the status of “The person who does the work calls the shots” as the primary modus operandi under which ER functions - this seems to have been repeatedly contradicted in recent months - with calls for consensus (for which ER has no mechanism or culture by which to fulfil such requirements).
  9. In the company structure page it states: “Openness is our best safeguard against opportunistic or misguided behavior. People vote with their feet: if the kernel abuses the community, the community will evaporate, and the kernel will be left without a viable company. They definitely don’t want that! But what happens if they don’t notice something is wrong? Or if there is a major disagreement? If somebody else does something stupid that threatens your project as it unfolds? Our second safeguard is the board of directors. We are giving it statutory powers to overrun management and act as benevolent dictator when it perceives a threat. At the moment they are: Ásta Helgadóttir Vinay Gupta”

    In the past 6 months I have witnessed this clause be completely disregarded, as if it were never written - meaning that there is currently no mechanism in place that ensures protection of abuses of power; this is a problem. Was this ever written into the Articles of Association or have any legal standing?

And on this final point, I think it’s fundamental at this stage that EdgeRyders LBG engages and put forward a well defined, clearly articulated mechanism which ensures that it is accountable to it’s community. And within that, a clear channel by which abuses of this position can be communicated in a way they will be heard and acted on. Until this is done, there is no way that ER can act with integrity or with trust by those who choose to work on the platform and contribute to our future.



////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////


Final point: It’s likely been noticed that this post isn’t in the unMonastery group, because this is categorically not about unMonastery, this is about EdgeRyders, EdgeRyders LBG and how it relates to the community because these issues are ones that concern every member and project present within EdgeRyders. unMonastery has been used as an example since it has at times become a focal point for these issues and where I have seen many of these issues surface.


It’s also important to note over the past weeks since many accusations were leveled at the work of the unMonastery and despite mountains of work currently needed in Greece, Italy and Germany, we have actively sought to take the first step in resolving the issues raised (read here). Before any more demands, accusations or personal attacks are leveled at that work, I believe the above questions and positions must be clarified.


Licensing content in Edgeryders: initial thoughts
Stewarding Ourselves: Two Non-Executive Directors wanted for Edgeryders LbG (call closed)
Beginning of a great adventure: Patrick Andrews joins the board of Edgeryders LBG
Stewarding Ourselves: Two Non-Executive Directors wanted for Edgeryders LbG (call closed)
Stewarding Ourselves: Two Non-Executive Directors wanted for Edgeryders LbG (call closed)
Completely unacceptable
Stewarding Ourselves: Two Non-Executive Directors wanted for Edgeryders LbG (call closed)
Beginning of a great adventure: Patrick Andrews joins the board of Edgeryders LBG
#2

I’d like to talk with you about this in person.

I’ll try to get along to the meet-up in London that you organised in London on the 26th, but if you are in London for longer, then give me a shout. I’ve got crash-space available.

One method that would get around this situation of a mis-match between the Edgeryders community and the Edgeryders LBG, would be to give voting stock equity in the Edgeryders LBG to everyone in Edgeryders.

Another would be transforming the Edgeryders LBG legal structure into a co-operative, with explicit rules that would enable the individual Edgeryders to make changes.

Another would be altering the company Articles and Memoranda to give a similar effect.

Point 4 is of direct interest to me, as i would prefer an explicitly GPL-like hardware license to be used for the projects i’m creating, and i’m still working on getting this legally water-tight.

Point 5 is directly relevant to me, as up till this conversation got started, i didn’t know about any of this, including the existence of the closed Admin group. Transparency is needed, especially with the access rights to our work.

How long will you be in London? I can introduce you to some of the trustees of the London Hackspace. We’ve had to face similar problems, and we can show you some of the solutions that we’ve been using successfully, and the ones we tried and failed with… :smiley:


#3

! Yes.

Hi Billy,

Yes, all of these are reasonable suggestions and I have some thoughts on this but given that this post has been met with a stone wall of silence, I’m not sure how any such iniative could be approached!

As for London, I’m actually based there, kind of, most of the time I’m away and when I am there I have a brutal schedule as I try to compress work into this time - however I’d really welcome meeting up at Hackspace at some point soon, I’ve actually started an interview series regarding this subject which I plan to start posting on in the next weeks.

Shall we coordinate via email?


#4

Sent you a reply off-list.


#5

License

I believe Michel Bauwens gave some thought to this matter in a related context. I haven’t worked through it though, because I hate burning my time on such topics due to the larger societal dynamics  involved. I do agree that they are important - and I would be interested in brief and clear arguments on the topic.


#6

stone wall of silence

hi ben, personal perceptions with such online communication are so unique…i appreciate that it seems like a stone wall of silence…i read this when you posted (as probably did many others), but there’s so much information here, so many ideas, to know where to start…we could create a two day conference around these thoughts… :slight_smile:

hope you and billy will post further ruminations here…


#7

Appreciated.

That’s fair enough, and I understand that it might read as information overload, perhaps this was unfairly laid out to insist upon a direct response. Which with respect to ER LBG I believe it is needed - but I also tried to compile enough history and context so that others might have space to contribute.

In the past LOTE actually did serve this purpose, an opportunity to check-in, align perspectives and build the next parts, although (and in part because of things set out above) I don’t think LOTE4 really served that function. At the end of the conference there was as a large meeting where the general consensus seemed to be that there was a desire for decentralisation and a drive towards an ecosystem of initiatives, but that seems to have been redacted from the conclusions of LOTE4 (and likely the reason why no one followed up).

Perhaps a conference on the subject of organisational form, good legal stewardship and community dynamics is a good idea, I’ll mull it over. I’m planning an event on Cities and Communities with Near Now in Nottingham this July, which will likely also host the 3rd unMonastery summit, so that might make for a good fit, lets see.


#8

I was literally afk

To be clear, speaking as a member of the ER LbG, I was away for the whole last week and am barely catching up. Jeez, if we all demanded that level of attention of each other we would die off quickly as a group/ or group of groups or whatever :slight_smile:

Starting with the first list and then will move on in a different comment or maybe at the community call Thursday, or others? To be clear, these signs are the empty part of the glass. It’s your choice whether to see (only) that or not, but anyway.

  • Steady and significant decline in numbers of individuals posting on the platform.

    You of all people should know this, as unMon has been doing a lot of work offline!

    Individuals posting on the platform is a result of engagement, which costs resources that ER LbG does not permanently have. If there is a specific funded project, people working on it take care of engagement - and that isn’t only company people… on the contrary, it’s community members.

    If more people would be willing to make ER their main “work”, this would generate bigger response…

  • Noticeable degrees of distrust and paranoia between key people instrumental to building ER.

    This includes all those you have in mind, and yourself towards those you have in mind. Cause-effect is not an easy thing to flesh out.

  • Personal attacks on individuals through back channels and over email.

    People have emotions? I have not been involved - but I did take offence when Elf posted swear words on the platform where I took on the responsibility for community management.

  • Unfounded defamation of character.

    Nothing to add, a lot of it is personal fights that individual people choose to fight. I doubt it speaks of Edgeryders in general.

  • Burning of bridges.

    Nothing to add, a lot of it is personal fights that individual people choose to fight. I doubt it speaks of Edgeryders in general.

  • Increased concentration of power - diminishing openness to disagreement.

    It’s your personal perception and your own definition of power which I don’t know.

  • Continual degradation of a shared vision and loss of long term perspective.

    We should all do more work for that, badly needed. It could be part of any organization’s or community’s life at a moment, and that is not to reproach to anyone in particular.

  • Closed meetings and groups becoming common place in the culture.

    ER Admin group you mean? Just because they are closed doesn’t mean they are evil. Just because some people put their personal contacts and work in progress on a platform they trust as opposed to google doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to judge and take offence that they are not part of other’s personal communications. It’s like asking me to give you access to my email… the Admin group is my email box basically. The question is if you, having been part of it, can judge it based on what you have experienced.

  • Unpleasant and high tension posts being the most active on the platform.

    No one can’t control where people’s attention is going. Some even said that conflict is healthy, it’s even a sign of openness.


#9

?

@Noemi,

so your response to each point raised by @Ben is YES and as a community manager and company director you have nothing else to say that that is life? So things changed, changed for the worse, but all is okay?

Ben: “Steady and significant decline in numbers of individuals posting on the platform.”

Noemi: “You of all people should know this, as unMon has been doing a lot of work offline! Individuals posting on the platform is a result of engagement, which costs resources that ER LbG does not permanently have. If there is a specific funded project, people working on it take care of engagement - and that isn’t only company people… on the contrary, it’s community members. If more people would be willing to make ER their main “work”, this would generate bigger response…”

My understanding was that the company was founded on the assumption that people come here and share their thoughts and writings anyway Because that is what online communities do. Making that ‘cost resources that ER LbG does not permanently have’ - meaning paying people for posting, was maybe a mistake. The company has had at least one eroding effect on the community - people do not come here and post. Turning the logic back, that ‘we’ need more paid gigs to pay for posts, shows how much the conversation shifted from ER community to ER company. Maybe ‘we’ need a place where posting does not generate an income to support projects are are negotiated without visibility and feedback.

With regard to unMonastery, people did not go offline, they just went elsewhere to post their thoughts.


#10

No

What I am, is being empathetic towards what Ben admitted is his perception and others’ (but not all) and I take his points at face value, so I make a decision to engage, even it it feels unconfortable.

What I am not, is someone who would talk about what they imply is everyone in the community, the community as an immovable entity, or even worse, position myself above all with my views of what “it” should become. It becomes what it becomes, based on a complexity of individual views and incentives to engage. People are happy to engage when there is something interesting, immediate, something that they really care about. And conveying that is hard work, it has to do with making opportunities visible. You are basically saying that ER LbG is supposed to provide that as a default, all the magic, and also opportunities for unMonastery, Lote etc. which need resources to build. And all while doing hand holding, making itself responsible for “everyone”'s wellbeing, bearing responsibility for deliveries, but not talking about “clients”, “paid gigs” etc. I think you are wrong. We would all want the cake and eat it too…

My strategy is keep honest and the values carry themselves. Where conflict arises from egos, and mine is not that big, I will surely stay away.

I have my own vision of Edgeryders - a community moving somewhere together or in distributed groups, and generating value that is recognized at the centre, rather than yet another online fora where people only share their thoughts. The conversations can be equally interesting in both cases, the question is what they lead to. And I put work into making this vision happen. That’s the only thing I signed up for. Anyone else can sign up to other things, drive their conversations and projects etc. It would be great if other ER organisations would pop up, and you now are involved in one, while building on everything that the people and content here has to offer or offered, which is the exact purpose because we all stand to benefit. What we have is a common space and shared networks that we can each use generatively (my own work and ER LbG’s lies bare naked for anyone to build on and I’m not concerned that it will get stolen because of so much openness and a compulsive working out loud culture:)). Honestly, I don’t know what else to say.


#11

community, incentives to engage, making opportunities visible

hi there noemi, to me it feels you’re saying that having ‘another online forum where people only share their thoughts’ and working on interesting projects that ‘generate value’ are mutually exclusive. i think we need both for a healthy community.

random conversations are where great ideas emerge, whether followed through or not. we don’t seem to have much of a culture of conversation just for the sake of it around here and it’s probably something worth working towards…or pondering over…

thanks for the interesting thoughts and ideas in this thread everyone,

noemi, are the community calls still happening on thursdays?

m


#12

When were people paid for posts? How much were they paid?

I need to add to my previous comment above.

Another thing that we need is total transparency of the accounts and all money moving through the organisation.


#13

Costs

Billy, sorry for not being more explicit. By costs in engagement I meant material eg gigs like these:

+ non-material (time and consistency in pushing content from the platform outwards to make sure people see what others post so that they engage).


#14

Actions speak louder than words

Here is a work-in-progress list of recent ER LBG actions. Insofar as possible, each item is documented – as little hearsay as possible.

Can we do better? Yes, at least by (1) engaging in a more formal way with the non-executive directors and (2) publishing our financial data (Arthur has been working on building a financial dashboard for a while now). Can we do much better? No, I don’t think so. We are working like mad as it is. Maybe we will get better with time. Hopefully. But in all honesty, after two years, I can tell you: this is hard. I cannot promise much more than this any time soon. Any additional action people want, someone else will have to step in (working with ER LBG or outside it) and make it happen herself.


#15

Good intentions all sides but tone detox & inclusion the way fwd.

 
I can see all sides of this but it's painful to witness. At \#Lote4 people voiced that they felt left out of LGB planning, enlistments and proposals and I asked them why don't you just go up to Alberto & Nadia & ask them what's happening? (Please don't hide behind Team Responsibility you two, you're way out front in leading most of ERs directions.) At a well-attended meeting I asked Nadia did she know people felt like that & doesn't stewardship mean taking others with you while exploring options & she said yes it meant everything to her. But still this polarisation.
 
Rightly or wrongly there is a feeling among some that Nadia & Alberto:
~are less than open in their planning & strategising
~come accross as clever pseudo-corporate charmers with steely edges
~respond sometimes impatiently & in a slap-down fashion to suggestions or evaluations they don't agree with.
Much of their leadership has more-than-token inclusiveness, intelligent & admirable foresight with elements of humility, plus infectious dynamism. But if they want to be more effective imho, they need to do even more of placing themselves BELOW the community they serve & to give personal processes more time & space than the sharp way they handle logistic processes. Saying this is blunt, especially because what those two have achieved & the inexhaustible energy and investment they have made is legend & inspiring. But this is not about the what... it's about the how. Arguably, the other major unhelpful aspect of leadership from Alberto & Nadia is they have been so close to this for so long that they have understandably long ago lost the distinction between having a close connection to something and having a self-compromising ATTACHMENT. They both need to not mind what happens (don't we all! but we're not steering a ground-breaking, work-redefining project - & they indisputably are). Hands off the steering wheel, you two, and a steady hand on the tiller instead, please. Cos the engine of the change we want to make is collective wisdom and your place is at the back. There is no authority without contempt.
 
The individuals who felt too uncomfortable to just come up & ask you where you are taking ERs might lack your hutzpah & some may be too fond of gossip but they are also hard-working unpaid volunteers on ER strands. The poison in the well of good will is worth giving time & resources to. I suggest we ask Linda Joy Mitchell [2], or someone equally brilliant at bringing teams together, to save us from our shadow selves & recognise it will need time & some face-to-face rapprochement. (I will happily contribute €100 towards enlisting a professional facilitator.)
 
Nadia & Alberto, you might be surprised how much I see this from your stance & carry an unshakable belief in you both. Alberto is right when he says someone needs to be a right bastard at times. The Do-ocracy concept that bypasses do-nothing's who merely sour the action with negative comments is hard ethics in the name of productivity. I don't doubt for a second that you both care to the core. Just wanna tease out more wisdom in your style of leadership.
 
I was going to Athens for up to ten weeks in a month from now but will change my plans if any and all parties want me to join in facilitating or if you want me to recruit Linda Joy Mitchell to help. As people, NONE of us are wrong. Sometimes the behaviour, actions or lack of action can be criticised - but let's differentiate between the individuals and their actions. Everyone is well-intentioned & deserves respect.
 
David Ridge
 
[2] https://www.lindajoymitchell.org.uk

#16

David :slight_smile:

@Vidrij_Da, thanks for your very generous offer. But please, don’t renounce your holidays! There is no way you can procure a facilitated meeting with a few hundred euros – travel costs alone would make it run more in the high thousands. laugh

Thanks also for your kind words – even though I don’t think you are doing justice to Noemi’s, Matt’s and Arthur’s hard work. I think you are right on all respects save one. The most important thing I agree with is that everyone deserves respect. I can disagree with people, while still respecting and even admiring them. I do disagree with Ben’s current approach to Edgeryders and priorities (we have been aligned in the past), but that does not mean I disrespect him. I have been very careful in never posting a harsh word, or making allegations, or using private communications in a public context. So: yes, @Ben, @katalin, @Bembo_Davies, and everyone who has been involved in the various exchanges, I still think you are smart, brave people, capable of impressive deeds – even though I might not be the best travel companion for some of the things you want to achieve, and viceversa.

The style of leadership you describe remains, for me personally (and I think I speak for my fellow directors too) an aspiration. But really: I am throwing every available hour at this project. What are the results? Vinay says we are winning. I am not so convinced – in 2014 we could only start a handful of projects, with contracts signed for probably less than 200K EUR, which resulted in these opportunities. We are still unable to pay any salary to what two years ago we envisioned to be the kernel (we have been hiring community members on specific projects, though). I am not getting any younger. My friend Ivan, who started a new (traditional business model, digital media agency) three years ago, is invoicing two million and employing 30 people. Very soon this discussion might be moot – we might decide very soon to shut ER LBG down, demobilize and look for jobs while we still can.

What I am left with is that I work in my preferred style (do-ocracy, no veto power etc.), and on things I care about. This is a great privilege, and also the only way in which I personally have been known to get any result at all. I strive for more humility; some of it will come with age and wisdom – and I can assure you that, as a former minor rockstar, I have already made great progress! But meanwhile, I am struggling uphill, and I need any edge I can get, and the steelier, the better. “It’s about a how”, that you present as a matter of style, feels to me an unreasonable extra demand, the straw to break the camel’s back. Get in and pull, guys: bring in contracts, share them with others. Then I – and everyone else – will be able to relax.


#17

Wisdom. Some things are structural and come down to resources.

Yes I do see your points David. And I do recall that conversation. I also very much appreciate your stepping forward with advice, with a clear offer to back it with your time and resources. I am replying as myself not because I agree with your reading of who is responsible for Edgeryders’ successes. For one thing, Noemi has been at the heart of Edgeryders since day 1. Not to mention Matt and Arthur, and many others who have contributed throughout the years.

Re transparency in planning and strategy: It is a lot of work distilling things which are tacit knowledge, or processes which are long and windy, into legible information/knowledge such as this post. Or this one. These take hours to prepare. Getting the word out so that more people get them also takes hours of work. And so on. Assuming things not happening, or happening, are due to malicious intent are a great way to demotivate this effort.

Being able to “put a hand on the tiller”, or “move to the back”, would be wonderful. Organising the community calls. Producing weekly newsletters to keep everyone updated, maintaining the website, welcoming new arrivals, driving the building of LOTE events and fundraising to cover participants travel etc. . The work we all do on Edgeryders, myself included, has involved a huge commitment of unpaid work. And the paid/resourced opportunities that have been drawn into Edgeryders could just as easily have been channeled into personal consultancy gigs. So I consider myself one of those strand of ER volunteers. It has also involved finding personal resources to cover costs of travel etc in building relationships with clients and or funders that result in our having resources to pay for travel grants etc. Or getting into closed spaces where we can interact with certain societal actors for those in the community who’s desire for change requires engaging the old school political/institutional machinery. I have stepped back to see who would indeed step forward to keeping the ship afloat.

It seems that people, rightfully ask, what is the personal return on investment for doing this largely unseen work.

All components which people say they appreciate, and which contribute towards bridging gaps in information, making people feel welcome and invited etc. require commitment over long periods of time. Making calls for help which is engaging and does not feel like just asking for someone’s unpaid time but offers something in return costs a lot of time. Especially when constantly facing suspicion you might be taking advantage of people.  My choice to do any of this work is not unconditional. What you refer to as a sharp tone w.r.t logistics comes down to making it clear what I am up for doing, and what it is up to others to make happen if they really care enough about it.

People’s perception will vary. Pseudo corporate, communist, hippy, too rough, too smooth, too tough, too soft, anarchist, politician, totally unstrategic, machiavellian. The list of what I have been called is long. Time required for engaging in longer, slower personal processes is something which can be requested, not demanded. I can spend time dealing with personal issues or I can spend time creating the work opportunities for work that rarely is valued but important, there are only 24 hours in a day. Economically, it would be a much better investment of my personal time to just do for-profit work in a corporate environment. I do not want to do that because think it is an irrational position in the long run (who cares what you earn if the air is poisoned). Nor do I think self-exploitation catering to never ending demands for my time/attention is acceptable.

If others wish to build other organisations or spaces with different rules, good for them. At the moment I cannot afford to commit more time than I already to do Edgeryders. In a few months this might be more feasible for me. Especially if it is within the context of a community event such as the next lote, and especially if someone neutral and not vested in any interpersonal conflicts takes responsibility for driving it.

If we start the work of organising lote from now it’s possible we can find resources to cover the costs involved, but this requires more hands on deck.


#18

licence : CC-BY-SA possible ?

As a quite recent and peripheral member of the Edgeryders community I have refrained my temptations to intervene in this debate. But in point 4 of this post @Ben made me aware of something that I had missed : all contributions are under CC-BY.

I presume most are familiar with the Open vs. Free/Libre debate; so I will just say that for my activity I am in the Free/Libre camp. I can elaborate if needed.

I would be interested in knowing when and why it has been decided for CC-BY; but what is crucial for me is if it is irrevocable, or if it would be possible to have an option to decide by project for CC-BY-SA. Otherwise I will have to find another solution for my project.

Thanks for any reply.


#19

Interesting questions

Hello @fjanss. This is a really interesting question, and one that might be asked by others. So I addressed it in its own post for better searchability. Here:

https://edgeryders.eu/en/agora/licensing-content-in-edgeryders-initial-thoughts


#20

The questions?

I’m still interested to hear about views on the 9 questions that Ben posed!