As I told Matt on Twitter,
Photo by Nikon Colucci
As I told Matt on Twitter, the main theme of Matera2019 is "Antique Future" (in Italian, Remote Future - Futuro Remoto). The Economy App fits in perfectly: values that come from the past (such as the barter culture) enabled and promoted through digital technology. It's not about putting the "digital" adjective behfore or behind every word, but it's about using the digital technology to enable and support practices which carry values which we commonly associate to so-called traditional cultures.
As you said, Matera - through Matera2019 - offers powerful metaphor and visuals: this is what is so striking about the city, but alas this also beholds a danger: rhetoric. Antoher theme is "Connection and contemplation", understood as a place which allows deep inner contemplation and inispiration and brings to creation and connection with others. This second step (the connection) is not automatic and has not always been done: there have been people which came and went without leaving anything significative but a bunch of empty words. In time, this has created a sense of skepticism. The story of Matera is filled with evocative metaphors and powerful declarations of intents which remained as such.
in 2009 I bumped into the group of youngsters that where advocating for Matera to become candidate city to European Capital of Culture in 2019. At the time I was studying how Matera passed from "national shame" (in the 50's) to UNESCO World Heritage. The risk of creating yet another occasion for adding a label to the city with no concrete consequences on the quality of life was real and, although diminushed today, still exists. Projects such as unMonastery or Economy App are exactly what we need to fuel a healthy sense of pragmatic advocating for an alternative way of making the city.
Matera's Sassi remind us every day the origins of the maker culture. But Matera's external neighbourhoods also tell us how low our building culture can get to when we totally delegate our power of decision to others. I am positive that the EdgeRyder community can empower the local community by showing in what way digital technology can enable processes without waiting for public money, public authorities or political benediction: "innovation without permission", as an Italian journalist recently wrote.
Matt, if you want to write a blogpost on the Economy App, I am sure that we can then translate it in Italian and the webteam would be thrilled to dispatch it through social network: also, this could give a pragmatic approach to the ongoing discussion on resilience which risks taking a very theoretical turn!
Matera: digital making capital!