Living and Working as an unMonk - Wiki

Re: UnMonestary Radio and Distributed UnConferences

@aden a couple of thoughts… first you should take you mobile phone and other details off the site :slight_smile: On the project description, maybe it would be stronger if you described the way in which internet radio can be used by people here in Matera - how individuals with a simple mbile phone can be part of the programme and record their own conversations, and how this would work in practice?

Another aspect that I think is strong is how an open Creatively Commons archive of such conversations and debates, can both be democratic, and be used in an unConference style to capture distributed conversations? You’ve made good contact with communities here from your own cultural perspective and experience as a journalist and this does not come across strongly in your project description?

Creative Commons - how to make it UnCommon ?/

Copyrights issue might come about if UnMonastery Radio uses mainstream media content without permission. However, the audio broadcast by users from either "Phone", computer or private studios of the locals may use it under not for profit creative commons licence stored on public online server. And programs and shows developed from the feeds may attribute the original producer of the content that can be used by the listeners to edit and modify. This process will hopefully promote locals to build, market or collaborate interests and ideas with more control. 
The project testing  of the UnMonestary Radio can be used by the locals to browse through live or recorded interactions, adwords, events, weather, or other important updates by uploading streams from 3g connections. which can afterwards be taken by community broadcasters, like Radio stations in Matera or UnMonestary Radio itself.
The radio shows can be developed in remote areas and can organize collaboratively radio programs using source fabric airtime or shoutcast servers in the beginning. These activities will hopefully try to make cultural and social development events around Matera more engaging by sharing info of do's and dont's of the gatherings, and establishes communication channels between the organizers and their participants in a more open way.  
Also I updated my post also on how to proceed in terms of setting up the radio streams across Matera. 

Re: Transnational Food Event

@K - some quick thoughts… there is along history of food-art events. How about the more grounded aspects of this project? I think you should mention Christo’s (from Bulgaria but living here precariously in Matera) project he discussed - and is keen on bringing to the unMonastery. Also the aspects of the project which people can do at home, or in the outlying villages and how this relates to Ramona Bavassano and the cultural programme she is organising here with placing artists in outlying villages and organising food related events?

Last suggestion would be to describe the relationship between food, open culture and Creative Commons. Food is a fantastic example of open culture - there is no copyright on recipes (in the USA), yet this does not hinder a rich and creative industry of restaurants and cultural exchange?

@fortyfoxes Reason for me to propose this project, is that most people I spoke to about it in Matera can related to it and can join. Participation doesn’t require having a venue, nor catering business. Speaking of Open Culture, Creative Commons Film Festival in Matera also gets positive feedback.

And keeping in mind the theme of the next LOTE.

@katalin Time is great, as

@Katalin Time is great, as long as there is space.

I have been appointed an official house heretic, but was suggested not to step up and point out the problems right then temporarily for several reasons. I agreed. In some situations, it is more appropriate to first point out problems in private, and leaving to the person you have pointed them out to, to decide whether to make these problems public. Dissent in a box. We can talk about it, if you like. But here is the story of discussion about democratic decision making @Mariabyck work on selection of new unMonks starts:

First discussion about democratic decision making happened when Christiano left the unMonastery, and unMonks unanimously agreed that the best person unMonastery can welcome is Juliana, based on her reputation: projects she is involved in, knowledge of local community and language skills. Maria objected claiming that a selection based on good reputation is not democratic and needs an open call. However, the objection appeared contradictory, as Maria then mentioned that one of the reasons to object this candidature is the lack of personal relationship with Juliana.

@Ben, whom put work in the first selection round, and aware of the difficulties associated with this, said that regarding limited capacity, we can’t afford a full blown open call, and in a tradition of do-ocracy proposed to Maria to work on it the way she wanted. There is a dilemma here in terms of do-ocracy. When one person wants to do something which might not be regarded as particularly useful, but put a lot of effort o it, calls the shots. Do-ocracy requires discussion, not just a passive agreement to go along just for the sake of avoiding confrontation. Do-ocracy also wouldn’t work in a group where questioning, doubt, and dissent are temporarily discouraged.

It was and is still unclear to me whether designing the call also implies the selection process will also be her responsibility. Though, social contract usually benefits from reputation, charisma or both. @Ben we like benign dictatorships as well as true democratic processes.

I like Elf suggestion to use Loomio, there is no reason for not tryig it out. But, of course, the question then is who will be voting: Edgeryders community+ people of Matera? Is there age limit? Should you have a permanent address in Matera? Are unMonasterians themselves allowed to vote? I won’t go into long discussion about flaws of conventional democracy right now, but I’m sure we all have something to say on this subject, and when time allows I would be delighted to continue.

I think this conversation is extremely interesting and beneficial to the unMonastery-in-a-Box, and it is a right moment, context and place for it to happen.

Multiple font sizes are unintentional.

"…he question then is who

“…the question then is who will be voting: Edgeryders community+ people of Matera? Is there age limit? Should you have a permanent address in Matera? Are unMonasterians themselves allowed to vote?”

for now we may need to go with what Loomio offers as for today, in long run we may need to do feature request (even better put effort into a pull request) and add way to visualize opinions within different circles, for example: current unMonastery:Matera residents, involved ER community members, local community in Matera (which might happen in Italian), general worldwide population… this way everyone could openly express opinion but also everyone could filter it by certain contexts!

Re: portable mobile Dojo

@hazzard hope all is going well in the UK, and good luck at the Jiu Jistu Open Championships on Saturday! I know you don;t have so much time to update your proposal - but here is my feedback.

I think you should describe the physical nature of the Dojo - how the mats are light and portable. how it will be used at the Piccianello event, not just as a showcase with the local kung Fu School and other martial artists.

Also we’ve been having a number of good conversations with local people about the limited access to public sports and games in general. Maybe you could consider broadening the proposal to a wider access to public games. Outdoor table tennis is completely lacking here and we’ve been talking to a number of local people about starting a competition, and you could mention the use of the dojo for discussion, meditation, and playing board games?

It is true

I do feel strongly that we should not invite people in to UnMon without an idea of what they want to do or why they want to be here.

I also feel it is important for all of us to be able to explain to others what the process is for expressing interest in joining unMon.

That is what has been established, through discussions here and in meetings that have included Rita, Lois, Antonio, Bembo, Ben, Lucia, Katalin and me up to this point, notes have been posted here and on Trello.

Request for Method

In our meeting this morning @fortyfoxes requested that the method for this process be made clear - here is that method as I understand it and the context in which the process was followed.


  • As a result of optimising and reducing the expenditure of the unMonastery, we were able to save around 10,000 Euro, which meant we can feasibly run the project for an additional 2 months.
  • This budget allows for 6 funded positions within the unMonastery based on previous calculations.
  • MT2019 agreed to this and had the decision signed off by the municipality.
  • Recognising that we needed better support for Italian and better integration locally we targeted the call towards people we had already begun working with or have close contact with.
  • Given that limited timescale and lessons learnt in the initial selection process it was determined that we should "hand pick" individuals that make sense - discussed here with @Alberto
  • Since we were keen to have some locals join existing unMonks, it made sense to discuss with those unMonks already from Matera how well or badly we'd been doing so far, so to factor it into the process - found here.
  • We then defined expectations and folded it into the above wiki - so to make clear what the offer was.
  • Acknowledging that we do not have time to do comprehensive integration nor can we act as a support to existing projects, we framed the invitation for someone who would be a quick starter and who "gets it" see 'Conditions' in the wiki.

Process and Method. (Taking into account the above context.)

  • Assessing the budget and timescale we decided 6 funded unMonasterians were all we could invite at this time.
  • The call was explicitly only for June and July, since this is the only gurantee we can offer.
  • Through a series of meetings and conversations on EdgeRyders we defined the call and the expectations.
  • We circulated this on EdgeRyders, by word of mouth and via personal emails, asking individuals to answer the questions that had been filled out.
  • We also asked each current unMonasterian who wishes to continue their stay to clarify what they would be doing in June and July and why they think that should stay - so that we could match internal objectives effectively with new comers.
  • The deadline was Thursday last week.
  • On Friday an internal meeting was had to assess the applications recieved by existing unMonasterians, because; this was an informal call, unMonasterians are at this time best placed to assess which projects make sense to the continuation of the project and we have neither the resources, time or inclination to approach the process in any other way.
  • Each application that met the requirements of the call (i.e was focused on a June and July stay, met the conditions and preferably spoke italian) was entered into a matrix - to assess applicability.
  • On the basis of that assessment the decision was taken as to who was a good fit.
  • Next step is the officially invite those individuals.

No argument

Everything is clear and documented, as far as I am concerned. The only thing I don’t understand is the matrix (as per this comment).

I would like to emphasize that this was not a formal selection process by open call, nor was it meant to be. “Hand picking” was both necessary and interesting as a learning opportunity.

I also would like to mention that a clear process is not necessarily a good one, and a good process does not necessarily yield a good result (a good process is a process that yields good results most of the times, or in probability if you prefer. It is still a stochastic process). I took the time of re-reading the whole thread: there is much to learn. I especially would like to thank @fortyfoxes for voicing dissent and Ksenia “the resident heretic” for this comment.

A session on governance at lote4 is in order. I have a number of thoughts that I would very much like to discuss.

Thanks for claryfying

Thanks @Ben for your detailed response. We’ve been having a number of good conversations about process and decision making, and I think it would be a really positive theme at lote4. Talking of lote4 is there a place where we begin planning sessions? @Alberto, maybe it would be good to move some of this discussion to a governance thread?

Some of the points that have come up recently here in Matera may spark some interest / discussion regarding decision making democracy etc?

I’ve made a long fuller post on my blog on Why everyone hates voting. I’d be interested in hearing what people think about voting as used in groups in particular, but also on platforms such as EdgeRyders. I’ve had a number of discussion with people over the years on this topic, and I’ve tried my best to describe the main reasons why people tend to avoid voting in group work:

  1. Voting is confrontational, it can be used to coerce people who are in a minority, and encourages combative or aggressive dialogue.
  2. Voting takes time, it is formal bureaucratic, and while in an ideal world we would consider it, it is faster for us simply to meet, discuss and decide together.
  3. Voting is not needed, we come to an understanding by simply debating and talking it through as a group.
  4. Voting does not result in the best result. You get a better result when people who are passionate speak up and make good arguments.

There are also a number of background reasons that people give (often in confidence), when I’ve discussed this topic with them. There is a perhaps surprisingly common apathy and even antagonism to democracy in general, and the focus of this target is often elected politicians, and the quality of the public debate which seems irrelevant to most peoples concerns. Voting is also associated with companies, and legal structures – which people tend to distrust.

I’ve done my best to counter these arguments, in a little detail on my blog, but I’d be interested to hear what people here think?

What to say…

After reading through the post and digesting It’s hard to know where to go in terms of the original post… Sorry my reply is late. There were so many off topic notifications pinging to my email, so I have to admit I completely abandoned the thread until reading over everything last night.

I will say it would be really interesting to have you guys record conversations with V/A, not only would it document the evolution of design/creation of UnMon and Open Collaboration techniques (a great educational process for everyone on the outside); I also have a feeling it would really nurture the internal environment of the group. It takes courage to step into a potentially confrontational situation even on a verbal level.

Visual and Audio documentation can act as a subtle reminder that personalities aside everyone is just thinking of the bigger picture. Confrontation doesn’t have to be destructive and can have positive outcomes if fostered in a positive environment.

@FortyFoxes Was a great experience, will fill you in on the details in person my next tournament is potentially in August

"I think you should describe the physical nature of the Dojo - how the mats are light and portable. how it will be used at the Piccianello event, not just as a showcase with the local kung Fu School and other martial artists.

Also we’ve been having a number of good conversations with local people about the limited access to public sports and games in general. Maybe you could consider broadening the proposal to a wider access to public games. Outdoor table tennis is completely lacking here and we’ve been talking to a number of local people about starting a competition, and you could mention the use of the dojo for discussion, meditation, and playing board games?"

The design of the dojo is to make it as easy to transport as possible. The 200sq/Ft Dojo Studio (Including the mats) weighs 15kg and can easily be extended. The project with the KungFu school was the simplest form the Dojo could be used in and to show how it could draw people to a space. The Piccianello event would take the Mobile Dojo into the Sassi. Work with a local shop owner that @FeliceFulco is in contact with to direct the event towards local food produce.

There is a lot of writing and thoughts I would like to share. The concept in mind for the Dojo is a portable Monastery capable of documentation and if at all possible live streaming. A physical space that can be easily transported and is un-specific enough to be molded to fit the needs.

The term Dojo has an educational heritage which translates to a concept signifying ‘way’, ‘path’, 'route’, meaning a place of any practice. What this allows, along with the concept of Mobile, is a connection between the different practices that can be applied within a Dojo “Our Mobile place of practice”. The Dojo acts as both a physical and mental space, with the physical space creating a peer to peer learning environment, and the mental developing resilience and discipline. The Mobile Dojo has a multi-skill flexibility, meaning all communities can participate.