In Matera for 10 days. How can I use them wisely?

Dear friends,

I’ll make this short. I will be attending a YiA training titled “Soul Revolution. Spreading a culture of sharing” from June 28th until July 9th.

I am super excited to be in the city where the unMonastery and LOTE3 will be taking place. I want to put my the free time spent there to a good use. If you think there is something I would be able to help with, let me know.

As for now, I am cathcing up with all the work done so far by Ben, Nadia, Alberto, Mike and the resident MT2019 team.

I have already arranged to meet with Andrea and a great guy from Couchsurfing that is passionate about social/solidarity economy. I would also like to check out the venue for the unMon, if you could tell me the address I’d really appreciate it.

I have printed out the list of challneges the city is incountering and will put my thoughts into ways to tackle them. Also I will try to speak with the locals about them and how they feel about the city, the unMon and the prospects for change.


in peace,


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Interesting how all kinds of events and collaborations start to pop up about Matera. Which basically means that every reasonably sized city can be a great place for Edgeryders … . Wish you a great time in Italy!

While I don’t have the unAddress, here’s the uM’s Google maps location and Andrea’s six walkthrough videos. Maybe you know these … but should be sufficient to find the location, no? Or anyway, Andrea lives nearby and can show you :slight_smile:

Because of Economy App (the project I applied to unMonastery with), I am eager to learn about all kinds of social / solidarity / alternative economy projects in Matera, and the people interested in this. If you find some initial hints and contacts for me regarding that, I’d greatly appreciate that! (Also, on a not so serious note, when you go to the unMonastery location could you take a look if it’s possible to get there or near there with a truck? Measures of mine are about 6 m long, 2.40 m wide, 3.20 m high … I fear it won’t fit though :smiley: ).

On it…

Andrei, this is a nice turn of events. You did well to get in touch with Andrea, unMonastery liaison on location. Another thing that I recommend is to show yourself on the MT2019 community website: I’ll have people waiting for you.

First, create an account. Once it’s activated, go here and click on “subscribe to group”. You’ll be asked for a confirmation. After you have given it, you’ll find yourself in a “create post” kind of screen, with a field for writing title and body. Just write a couple of paragraphs saying you are coming to town, you are also an unMonasterian-to-be and is anyone up for meeting for drinks and telling you a bit more about the city and its people? Or something like that.

The unMonastery does not really have an address, because it’s not exactly on a street. You’ll see. Anyway, Andrea and all people on the MT2019 web team know where it is and know where the keys are.

Collaborative Matera

Dear Andrei, welcome welcome!

Alberto is right, please post something on the community! Why don’t you start by presenting yourself and telling us about what you would be glad to do? I am sure there will be people who will bounce on the occasion!

It’s been all weekend that there has been an ongoing discussion in the mt2019 webteam on collaborative ways to organize (cultural) events. I would say that although there is a sharing subculture in Matera, it is not (yet) explicit nor has it taken the form of services or explicit functioning. However, some seeding initiatives (such as Casa Netural, progetto RENA…) are starting to spread stories of collaborative services and projects. How about you bluntly ask the question out loud to the community, and the webteam will be in charge of dispatching it through social media? It would already be of great help and interest for all of us!

@Matt: uish! You really put your finger on an uncovered nerve: trucks and cars in the Sassi are quite unwanted although some inhabitants of the city make quite a bad use of them. I would say: you can get there with your truck, but you cannot elave your truck close by. If you do, you can surely find a place in an unofficial" way, but this would not be a good start for an un Monastarian. This is a very, very sensitive question. Last time I was in Matera an idea popped up in order to take away all the cars from the Sassi. Organize a cooperative of young, jobless kids that would take and bring your car in 2 minutes from the parking lot out of the Sassi to where you are. But it is an open question. It has been open for years now :frowning:

Ooops :slight_smile:

Ilaria, thanks for telling me in time. Seems there are some more specialties to discover about Matera when I go there :slight_smile:

Adding to your preps :slight_smile:

Also regarding Matera as a collaborative space, maybe have a look at Tiago’s experience, while living for a week in Casa Netural? His open question is about How might Basilicata become self-sustainable using its own resources, given the big amount of public subsidies? /t/pop-up-collaborations/342/my-co-living-in-basilicata


I’ve been hopping between the ER and the MT2019 platforms more often in the past days and the ongoing discussions on sharing economy and collaborative networks have gotten me thinking on a question which I want to share with you.

Edgeryders are plunged in issues linked to sharing economy, collaborative activities, distributed skills: such a reflection, although ongoing, has settled on a couple of things that are only just started being discovered in the South of Italy. It is true that there are some great examples and initiatives taking place in Calabria, Apulia, Sicily, Campania and Basilicata… but let’s not forget that Casa Netural is the first co-working space that opened in Basilicata - and it’s not even one year old.

I don’t even want to go near the language issue (it seems like english is just perfect for describing and speaking about innovation and collaboration): how come in Italian we are always taking english words to speak about changemakers, digital media marketing, social media strategistcommunity management and so forth (you basically just have to read them out loud with a bit of an Italian accent).

What I want to address here is the spirit behind the sharing economy: it’s based on collaboration, sense of community, reciprocity, scarse resources, jobless but skilled people, ecc.ecc. Well, doesn’t "the South " represent, in general opinion, the place of reciprocity, community, sharing, familiarity, ecc? Moving away from stereotypes, how come that the European country that has the highest number of young NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), and the regions that in the past years have lost a great number of youngsters (the number has grown of more than 400% in the past years, Alma Laurea) seem to be marginal in the debate on sharing economy?

It strikes me how urban agricultural practices are exploding in London and pick up so slowly in the South, that collaborative services are being designed in Milan and systemizing practices that in the South are so common. It reminds me when in a discussion in Matera I was speaking about Casa Netural with enthusiasm, and a friend of mine answered with a tinge of resentment mixed with disapproval “the guy is just making money on practices that we do for free” - meaning that co-working and co-living is just another name to call something that - it is true - we had been doing for the past years. Opening your house to colleagues and friends to live and work together.

Matt’s sentence got me thinking: “every resonably sized city can be a great place for Edgeryders”. But can it really? Matera is only just starting to discover “collaborative services”, but collaboration is something that has always existed. It is now taking other forms (some very service-oriented and well designed) and being expressed through a dense narrative that has to be channeled to places that know little about all this. 

Although I know that my distorted passion for the South of Italy does bring me to enhance sometimes exceedingly the specificites of these regions, I still think that this gap between areas that seem so ripe for collaboration and other zones has to be tackled. It is not only about language. It is not only about entrepreneurial spirit. I believe a lot has got to do with the digital divide (very little internet access), not knowing that all this is possible and the fact that a lot of these practices are in the dna of the people who cannot understand why one would “design services” on them.

But there is more to it and I would love to know what your take on it is.

Thanks for your attention :slight_smile:

Some thoughts

Good points, Ilaria. I have not made up my opinion about this … but to get a feeling about how widespread “organized” sharing and collaborative economy is in Matera, I looked at some numbers to compare it with cities I know or have lived for some time:

  Matera, Italy (60k) Fuengirola, Spain (70k) Gießen, Germany (70k) Bari, Italy (320k) Bielefeld, Germany (320k)

CouchSurfing hosts

98 95 892 900 1290

AirBnB hosts

70 432 38 142 33

Note that the extraordinarily high number of CouchSurfing hosts in Gießen is easily explained: the Gießen is a city awash with students (about 25-30 000 out of 70 000 people). Given that context, Matera is not doing bad. It’s slightly better than for Fuengirola, Spain (71 000 people and 95 profiles). On the other hand, there are 70 AirBnB offers in Matera but only 38 in Gießen. Of course Matera is a much more touristic place than Gießen, so again not a fair comparison. The other comparison (with Fuengirola, an extremely touristic place) is also not fair.

These numbers might not tell much. For example, the AirBnB numbers for Bari are so low (inspute of being a touristic place) that I gues there is probably some other room-sharing platform that is used more in Basilicata? But if there’s any preliminary conclusion to make, then maybe that Basilicata is a bit behind when it comes to the diffusion of web-based sharing economy services, but still has really substantial numbers. And I guess that, except for the resource-poor but Internet-savvy young generation, sharing economy is still a fringe science :stuck_out_tongue: Which means, even where it works well, the user base will be not much above 1% of the population. And it still works. Means it’s enough to find some in an area for a functional sharing economy. Others may join later once they get accustomed to the Internet and what their friends are doing with it … that takes indeed a good amount of time, so I think you’re right when speaking about the “digital divide” as a hindering factor for the sharing economy in Southern Italy …

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Keeping an eye on proceedings; hope to see people on Friday.

–  sitting discretely on some wonderful plans –

Someone to get in touch with

Hello Andrei, you should be in Matera right now. Before you leave, make sure you get in touch with Andrea Paoletti at Casa Netural (more here). You might also find another Edgeryder, game designer Augusto Pirovano, though he does not spend all his time there.

How is it going? Let us know!

getting my Matera contribution on track… Strategic Considerat

How does the proposed LOTE#3 serve the convergent goals of Edgeryders, Matera and the unMonastery?

On a recent collective video hangout, I was twice told that LOTE#3 and the unMonastery were to be considered two different things - I understand the genesis of this understanding, but this does not strike me as optimal project management.  I’d like to air an alternative:

Surely there is a deeper rationale for placing LOTE3 at the location of one the ER community’s first major projects?   I can spot some obvious ones:

— forces afoot (administrative?, economic?, both?) have pushed back the unMo launch date another 4-5 months to mid-winter, it could be valuable to maintain momentum by demonstrating our presence.  —  At the same time, exposing a broad selection of Edgeryders to the potential of Matera can help distill both general enthusiasm and a useful flood of fresh concrete projects. 

It is at this point my questions of strategy arise:  How specifically can LOTE#3 be angled so as to nourish the unMo both in its practical infrastructure/logistics challenges, and as an interactive social organ in the broader community?  Should it ideally mark the arrival of our first ‘permanent’ residents?   ( It likely desirable that we don’t mirror the pattern of descending northerners there for the scenery. – nor of course repeat versions of drunken revelry by the canal.)

I suspect this can be adressed by refining the conceptual narrative of the event from something like:

ER is investing in unMo by injecting energies in the unMo space; this cannot help but to make unMo thrive.

  • to -  unMo has invited ER to come and initiate our local activities in their own special way.

Having appointed myself a guardian of theunMo spirit, I strongly support some version of the second storyline.  The problem then being that while ER actually exists, unMo doesn’t.  This may leave my belovéd second scenario a bit of a needless fantasy; what will happen will be a compromise between the desirable and the managable with a heavy weight upon the latter.  However, I feel strongly that this need to use the LOTE#3 event to root the unMo in the realitiies of the community becomes a collective central tactical concern.  That as yet undeveloped elements of unMo culture determine the quality of the LOTE, rather than the imported culture of, say LOTE #1 + #2 descend upon Matera. 

The unMonastery is more than a conceptual home of the ER spirit, it is its practical manifestation - if, and this is an uniformed, but not an unlikely if -  the volunteer committee charged with kitting out the unMo location needs some practical guidelines (and deadlines), placing  LOTE#3 in the unMo location (Drafty and dusty as it may be) gives us some leverage.  If we accept this choice of test drivng the unMo location, it flavours others. The descent of dozens of ERers to initiate the unMo space has practical and symbolic power.  We could easily do a mop & bucket brigade and remove 95% of the cave dust in an afternoon.  A light show and some flag unfurling might just render us visible (amid the other flags and light shows) to the Materani that something is finally about to happen.  Addressing the plumbing, cooking and sleeping logistics would require that we address plumbing/cooking/sleeping logistics; more sustainable solutions might not be that much harder to solve than temporary ones (especially when they need to be done anyway.)  This may effect economy of scale - 45 workers might be more flexible than 145. 

The suggested primary goal of LOTE#3 is to create a catalogue of the combined skills/excellence of the ER community.  I suggest that by building the unMo as an organ for ER research we get something beyond a catalog of current skills, we get a laboratory for refining new ones.  A motto might be experience first, then reflexion.  The very minimum, before we risk diluting our already taxed resources, is to create a project management spread sheet that slots in all activities and actors to ensure that everything is building in a coherent effort.

At this point the unMo is lagging behind.



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Right contribution, wrong place

Bembo, this is really useful, but does not belong here, where we discuss what Andrei should do with his time in Matera in June. I am copying it into a post, into the Making LOTE3 group:


Anybody interested in discussing this please follow the link and post a comment there.

stupid typo

Everyone else is excused, but English natives should at least avoid mistakes such as the idiot one in paragraph 5, second line: uninformed not uniformed.   Øy øy øy