Living and Working as an unMonk - Wiki

unMonastery Matera would like to find 2-3 creative, radical and ambitious people to live and work at unMonastery for June and July, 2014. We can offer a 400€/month stipend, with travel expenses.

Especially encouraged to apply: motivated and creative people from Basilicata and Italian speakers,

and interested in:

  • Community engagement and communications outreach
  • Supporting, developing and collaborating on existing unMonastery projects
  • Developing programs and partnerships for ensure the continuity of unMonastery in Matera 
  • Fundraising for the continuity of unMonastery in Matera
  • Supporting and contributing to development of the Cultural Program for Matera's bid for Capital of Culture 2019 
  • Further developing their own local social innovation projects

We are also open to:

  • people coming for a minimum of 2 weeks to collaborate with unMonks, host skillshares and workshops
  • people who can commit to at least 15 hours a week but will not stay at unMonastery fulltime

For these short stays we will happily provide room, board and stipend, but cannot cover travel.

At unMonastery we all sleep in shared rooms, participate in organizational planning, and help with the day-to-day tasks of unMonastery, such as outreach, reporting, cooking and cleaning.

We are interest in all kinds of ideas and approaches. Please visit or email unMonastery to find out more, discuss your ideas and possible ways to collaborate with unMonastery. Contact: ( / I am happy to put my name here- along with anyone else who wants to field questions)

Send an email to with UnMonk as subject with this information:

Preferred dates of stay:

Languages you speak:

A brief description of why you want to be a part of unMonastery.

A brief description of what you will do at unMonastery.

An overview of your skillset and experience in realising successful projects. 

What attracts you collective living and working.


  • The absolute minimum stay for a funded position (per-diem) should be 2 weeks.
  • Funding travel should only be applicable to those who can commit at least 2 months. 
  • Anyone wishing to join the project should pledge to a certain set of conditions (integrate into cooking/cleaning contributions, active public reporting/sharing of their time here on EdgeRyders and elsewhere, core focus on ensuring the continuity of the overall unMonastery project in Matera etc) 
  • Those joining at this point should either have a solid project that is already underway, well resourced and matches up well with both the challenges and context of Matera OR be able to join or support an existing project (see the post about OTS as an example of this)
  • Commit to agreed 'Recipes' see below. 

Great Project

Hey Alex,

Great project, very impressively articulated in the video. What sort of timeframe are you thinking? It seems we have many overlapping objectives and it would be interesting to work together - at this time we’re assessing feasibility for the extension of unMonastery in Matera, initially it was meant to be a 4 month prototype, now we’ve saved about a 1/3 of our budget we’re extending until the end of July, with the intention to use that time to extend further, perpetual bootstrapping. I thought it would be a useful insight for thinking about when you might come!

Let me know your thoughts.

Next steps…

Hi Ben,

Bootstrap to infinity!

Thank you for the compliment.

In terms of extensions and space, the there is also an organisation in London who are interested in &Share. They are a charity who find disused spaces owned by businesses and get non-profits into them for free. I think they may have a waiting list, but could ask about a space for an unMonastary in the UK if that would be of interest.

So timing wise it could be any time before the end of July? Or then possibly after, depending on how extending goes?

What are the next steps it I wanted to come then?

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general questions

Hi Alex

Looks like a great project and well aligned with UnMon.

We are asking people who are interested in coming during June and July to send answers to the following questions:

Preferred dates of stay:

Languages you speak:

A brief description of why you want to be a part of unMonastery.

A brief description of what you will do at unMonastery.

An overview of your skillset and experience in realising successful projects.

What attracts you to collective living and working. 

wishlists for unMonastery nodes and Matera challenge #6

@alexwhitcroft I would find it a great opportunity if you could come to unMonastery:Matera while I stay there (from whenever I get there in next days, hitchhiking now!) till end of June. we could continue work on linked profiles and wishlists which we would use ourselves first to replace our current placeholder, then propose it as one of solutions addressing challenge #6Lack of philanthropy and general inability on the part of many to raise funds secure assets, as well as start using it for pooling assets while we continue to hack grant competitions :)

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Possible dates


Cool. I’ve got to check if it will indeed be possible for me to come. I’m away from the 3rd to the 16th of June. I’m probably busy until then. And then already have an event I’m booked for 19th to 22th of June. When do you leave unMon:Matera?

A note on work and outcomes: I would really like to make sure that we progress the profile work in a way that it can begin to tie in with &Share so that we can begin to get a user-case going as soon as possible.

PS: You asked about what &SHare might be built on other than Sharetribe. The developer I’ve been talking to said they propose to use OpenCart as the starting point.

Collaborative Economy innovator, welcome!

Hey @alexwhitcroft, just a little off-topic note here: nice to meet somebody else who’s creating a collaborative economy platform :slight_smile: I just read through the &Share PDF and like both the proposed interface and the insurance concept – didn’t see insurance for any other lending platform so far, and it could well be what boosts mass adoption eventually. Just how AirBnB’s host guarantee is (from my experience of renting via AirBnB) valued a lot by at least some of the hosts. Met somebody who even would stay with AirBnB for that reason, even though competitors have more more reasonable fees …

As for our collaborative project, we just soft-launched the platform: pre-register site still up, live site here, project hosting here on Edgeryders. I’m surely interested in your opinion (as a graphics guy, you’ll probably have issues with our graphics … umh well, right, I know we gotta improve there :slight_smile:

Fellow collab econ guy


Always interested to meet other working in a similar space.

Do you know this project: ? Similar to yours in the sense that it is a matching process.  Their USP is that they match up a whole chain of people with each other so you don’t have to wait for one person who wants that same thing as you. Worth a look.

Yes, insurance is an important aspect I feel. It is about reducing risk. But also about normalising sharing. People should be able to do it as easily as they buy stuff from Amazon… quick, painless, safe.

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Hi Matthias

Another example of a p2p platform - money involved - where insurance is implied:


Agreed Next Steps.

Okay just to update here on what’s been agreed.

Plan A

  • We've sent out this wiki to those we know have expressed interest or think are a good fit in Matera 
  • Thursday is the cut off 
  • Friday we review everything and make decisions 
  • Everyone currently a part of the project has also been asked to fill out the questions. 

Plan B

  • If we still have positions available we make direct invites to individuals we believe will benefit from the experience and benefit the project in equal measure. 
  • This will happen on a more informal basis and decisions about who will join the project will be made internally
  • All individuals will be asked to agree to a set of principles, with clearly defined expectations. 

Roles: in the next days we will clearly define roles, associated stipends and responsibilities.

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A new unMonasterian then!

Looks like you got yourself in, @alexwhitcroft. Congratulations to you, and to the unMonastery for having you!

Open Culture Festival supported by Viral Acaemy

David Bovill
Preferred dates
June - September
Languages spoke
English, Spanish, French, German
Why I want to be part of unMon
I really want to extend my residency here in order to build on the work and relationships created. It takes time to forge these relationships, and the September Open Culture Festival will be much easier to organise with a continued presence here in Matera.
What I want to do at unMon
I want to create a vibrant sustainable annual festival of open culture here in Matera, working with the groups and individuals we have met here in Matera supported by the wider EdgeRyders community.This festival would be the first of it's kind, but build on a lot of work that has already been done here in Matera and elsewhere. We would launch the domain, and provide this as a template for similar festivals that could happen in other cities, and other countries.
A festival is a festival is a festival. This one would be different. It would concentrate on sustainability. It would not be an expensive event requiring lots of funding, only to die as soon as the funding dries up. And it would be all about the follow up activities it promotes and celebrates. Here in Matera I would further develop the Viral Academy project to support the educational aspects of Open Culture. This would include how to use, translate, code, and maintain an open source server - with open and free Viral Academy lessons leading to effective stewardship of this digital asset for the local community. The festival would therefore promote engagement in a year round programme of education and training opportunities, leading to a celebration of the growth of thee community owned digital assets, and providing an international platform for local people to showcase there work.
This project would work with existing local partners, is designed to synergise with the work of other applicants. These elements would include:
  1. Transnational Food Festival (working with Francesco Morano at the University here - and - (with @k)
  2. Open Dojo - with the Kung Fu School of Matera (with @hazard)
  3. unMonastery Radio - and a distributed unconference on open culture (with @aden)
  4. Open Art School (with @lauren)

On the ground, the work that this residency would enable me to do, would be to work with local people to create a sustainable digital asset for Open Culture. We would run training courses at several venues around the city (the University, the kung Fu School, the Liceo Artistico, Mediatec, and Guerilla Office venues around the city. This would be an urban autonomous university on open culture! I’ve researched the venues, and with the exception of the Mediatec which we should know about soon, we have permission to run courses at all these venues. Working with the guys at Guerilla Office and some of the cafés and hotel lobbies we have found here with good wifi, we’d add to the map free spaces for urban learning.

These courses would extend the work of the Open Tech School, and in particular we would work on the following concrete applications to be presented at the Open Culture Festival in October. These would include:

  1. An open source server running a variety of services supporting open culture
  2. A development server for students to learn and contribute to these services
  3. Loomio and Share Tribe platforms for open democracy, local resource sharing, and a community market place
  4. Open Street Map, and open data assets integrated into the above platforms (particularly WordPress).
  5. An open source cross platform mobile application, built and created by local people, and celebrating the open culture event.

I would run these courses on the ground, based on the work already done, and support them with online training via the Viral Academy. My role would be to co-ordinate the festival, and work in close co-operation with existing and new projects that would like to take part in the event. I would also teach daily courses here and online, and seek to engage EdgeRyders and other remote communities in a co-learning process.

My Skills and experience
  • Agile Project Management
  • Festivals and Event Management
  • Mobile App Development
  • Teaching
  • Coding for installations, servers, and mobile
  • Science, biochemistry, medicine
  • Art and installations
  • Philosophy, writing, pitching, presenting
  • Democracy, liquid, and gladiatorial
Previous Experience:
  • a wide and diverse range of failures
  • a student multimedia note taking system for Medical Students (1988)
  • 15 CD_ROMS for commercial publishers
  • a bunch of trashy advertising based websites and projects for a range of top-10 agencies in London
  • interactive theatre, dance, music, and video installations including several arts council commissions
  • one of the founders of Liquid Democracy, and developed Liquid Law and a range of democratic projects in art and real community projects
  • developed and project managed the technical and Creative Commons licensing structure of a Vienna based community TV channel (OKTO)
  • architex anonymous - early experiment (2004) working with Architecture and Design students using p2p teaching, mediawiki, wordpress and concept + geolocated mapping in Istanbul.
  • open secret - 3 month residency working with Quintessenz based on the first ever hacking of the NSA
  • FlowerBank and the Book of Money - early experiments with crypto currencies
Current projects:
What attracts me to collective living and working
I love and respect tolerance, openness, and the respect for privacy within a sharing community. I care about creativity, and the diversity of opinions and skill sets. Consensus has it's place, and I reject the tyranny of structurelessness. I believe in leadership, and in following the lead of others. I prefer give-and-take to the lowest common denominator. I've always lived with people, and spend my whole life creating, sharing, and being part of groups. I've come to love the community here in Matera, and would love to stay here longer and work not on my own isolated art project, but in the spirit of true pragmatic cooperation towards the common good. Forgive the cheese. It's all good.

Name: Harry Bovill



Google Hangouts:

M: 07795195168

The projects name is BeltUP and is a portable mobile Dojo Studio capable of onsite podcasting.

My proposal is to use BeltUp as a bridge between the general community of Matera and the UnMonastery group. As well as fostering the disciplined behavior required for the internal functioning of the group and providing a way of releasing tension.

A brief description of what you will do at UnMonastery:

BeltUp It is designed around community engagement and communications outreach that will support and help develop existing UnMonastery projects. The Mobile Dojo Studio will be run by two Martial Artists from London (Harry Bovill and Jonathan Hatzimazorous)  and collaborate with local Martial Artists of Matera (Felice Fulco and Rosario)  to showcase the performance of martial arts skills in a number of public locations on a weekly basis.  The performers will engage the public directly in conversation around innovation, community development, fundraising and  Matera’s bid for Capital of Culture 2019. Advances in mobile technology, live streaming and low cost high quality microphones enable us to film and live stream hd multiple camera action footage on location this will provide documentation of the project as well as  public reaction. These recordings will be analysed and ultimately used to develop programs and partnerships for ensuring the continuity of UnMonastery in Matera while further develop their own local social innovation projects by encouraging people to form self-organised peer groups working together. BeltUp will work alongside Viral Academy to ensure the access to the skill sets needed to carry out a sustainable project can be learned.

Preferred dates of stay: Anytime between the beginning of June - July 20th or August 3rd - September.

Languages you speak: English, Greek

An overview of your skillset and experience in realising successful projects.

I am a Gracie Barra Blue Belt under Eduardo Cariello

Apart of an on going project with the KungFU school of Matera.

  • Agile Management
  • Project Management 
  • Teaching Martial Arts/Fitness/Healthy living
  • Science, Biology
  • Communication and Engagment
  • PermaCultureCollective - I have engaged in community outreach for Viral Academy
  • Art and Design

A brief description of why you want to be a part of unMonastery.

What attracts you collective living and working.

T (technical point)

IMO by using plain nested comment thread for managing all this information we make rather poor choice! (or we just don’t give ourselves any choice?)

Once again I suggest experimenting with Loomio to get better overview of all the involved opinions:

the original wiki does state

“Send an email to with UnMonk as subject”  with the answers to the questions.

So it was not the intention for people to post here.

We will add those posted here to the others.


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Preferred dates of stay: August-September

Languages you speak: Russian, English, French, Swedish.

Since March I had an opportunity to establish good connection with locals helping with Italian as well as contacts.

A brief description of why you want to be a part of unMonastery.

I wanted to come to the unMonastery since the idea came about at LOTE1 in June 2012. I’m interested in the unMonastery-in-a-Box and replicability of the project. Specially since working with Lars Novang, and looking at possibilities to get support from local authorities in Skane for the potential Swedish prototype.

The reason for me to be interested in this particular iteration of unMonastery is spending 3 month in Matera, which, I think, is a minimum to start getting a very basic understanding of the dynamics of the place and to put together a collaborative project.

A brief description of what you will do at unMonastery.

I will coordinate an transnational cooking event and document social connections established during the event.

This project is part of as Open Culture Festival in September. I will be working in collaboration with existing projects related to food, such as Franceso Marano’s visual ethnography project which is focusing on local recipes.

While there is a number of projects in Matera related to the local cuisine, I would like to focus on bringing in migrant communities in Matera, as it is an integral part of urban culture.

Based on what I learned for the past couple of month from migrants currently living in Matera, food festival is engaging and comprehensible for wider community local migrant communities and natives, so it also provides a platform for ethnography and network analysis.

I would like to focus on international community in Matera starting with people I have met since March. City of Matera will benefit from emphasising positive sides of it’s cultural diversity.

The ethnographic aspect of this project can also built on network analysis done by Gaia and has has overlaps with Christiano’s Siri project.

I am planning to use ethnographic research element of this project to write a paper for Migration and Ethhic Relations course Malmo University I’m currently attending.

An overview of your skillset and experience in realising successful projects.

“Don’t ask me where I’m from ask me where I’m heading” project working with people with transnational background in Malmo.

Organising workshops with Social Scientists Without Borders (SSWB) in Malmo University.

Photo exhibitions at Sexodrome, Paris.

More importantly, I was also a part of unsuccessful projects for a number of times.

What attracts you collective living and working.

Teamwork and possibility to increase capacity of parallel projects by clustering them. I’m also interested in different ways of organising collective living and co-working and avoiding common problems associated with it.



Yes @elf-pavlik I totally agree. Using would and should be the way to go. I remember well the original discussion at unMonastery about this topic. Your suggestion, which was supported by the whole group, was that given there was short term space at the unMonastery, and a pressing need for Italian speakers and other forms of project help, we should look for people to fill these places based on reputation and the need of the project. This reputation based do-ocracy is at the pragmatic core of EdgeRyders.

As @mariabyck was the only person objecting to this approach - because of her passion for democratic inclusion (particularly for the local people living and working in Matera), it was suggested that she take a lead on this issue - which she has valiantly done! It’s a lot of work, and she should be praised for putting the time and effort into to do this.


I’m making this post to introduce a topic I feel is central to both democracy, and effective community engagement. This is not the way to do things! This is a half hearted and superficial way to attempt democratic community engagement.

It is half hearted because it is neither democratic, nor makes effective use of personal knowledge and real word-of-mouth engagement of people on the ground. Also, and importantly, it is not transparent. As was brought up in the original meeting, but so far not addressed (at least publicly), the hard question is not - let’s make a widely publicised “call”, nor “post your project proposals on a web site so everyone can read it”. The real democratic question is who decides. Is it a small group, all the present residents of the unMonastery? Or perhaps the whole EdgeRyders community? Do we include people in Matera? These are the real issues.

True democratic transparency would be to use something like Loomio, and / or hold local group meetings to get peoples opinions locally who don’t use these platforms. True effective community engagement would have been to trust people on the ground and actively go out and seek people with the required skills. Doing a bit of both gives us the worst of both worlds - a long process, beds empty, projects with unmet needs and no real democratic decision making ever taking place. I feel strongly that both strategies are good, if they are done fully and properly in a transparent way, but this is not the way to do it. It’s a pigs dinner and we can and should do better than this!

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Exceptionally Useful.

Given that this is a process that has been in motion for a month now, happening in full open view, with all minutes and points being added to this thread, it’s exceptionally useful @fortyfoxes that you now step in at the last moment and declare the entire process a sham and insist that a different approach be taken - diplomatic as ever.

Need it be reminded that “who does the work calls the shots”?

I agree with some sentiments and that this isn’t a true democratic process - but everyone involved has done their best to make this work given the restrictions and precarity of the situation and what is being offered.

how to participate in projects

I would like to make a quick note that our way at the unMon to get involved in projects is the following:

  1. Someone decides to do it,

  2. and proposes it to the unMon group, so people who feel they have something to contribute, or strong views on it, can participate.

  3. The small collaborative group puts a proposal together, present it to the rest of the unMons where we discuss it. If people cannot reach a consensus, the ones having trouble with the original proposal join the group to come up with a new proposal. This continues until we agree.

  4. Project is led by people who worked on it all along.

As @fortyfoxes points out above, it was @mariabyck only who felt strongly enough to put a counter proposal together to the original idea of asking people personally. She has been working on this for a month at least, sharing all her thoughts along the way. There has been plenty of time for anyone to step up and point out problems. Nobody did, and that includes @fortyfoxes. Since it is the final day for accepting calls, it is too late to change anything.

In a do-ocracy, criticism without participation only counts as complaining. And that is against the rules at the unMon.

So who decides?

Sticking to the subject - who decides on these applications? Is @elf-pavlik’s suggestion a bad one? Can you guys be transparent about your process here?

Also in the matter of etiquette - please note it is valid to make points about real issues of content, especially when they are important. The topics of transparency and democracy are important enough to speak without the fear of speaking out. If you have any thoughts on the subject matter of the post - please comment with respect, but as strongly and clearly as possible. Trying to stop a well considered argument which has general implications for EdgeRyders process, by stating it is “too late to change anything”, or by “ad hominem” attacks, is a bad precedent for open collaboration. You guys need to be talk about these processes on this platform - it’s a good important topic, we can all learn from.