New Residencies: Proposal from our today's #IRL meeting

This morning we: @mariabyck , @antonioelettrico, @RitaO, @Lois, @Lucia, @Bembo Davies, @nathanairplane, me plus @Marc (who needed to leave early in a process) have met to review applications from our last call for residencies. We decided not to make any decisions on our own but to prepare clear proposal for all of us to review and hopefully agree on it together.

We focused on applications for June & July since currently we can only make commitments for that period of time. We also focused, according to the original intention of that call, on applications submitted by people who haven’t yet walk the path of an unMonasterian. Which means Juliana, Alessandra, Harry, Adil and Alex

We attempted to create a matrix of how submitted answers relate to 6 points of interest mentioned in the call. In that process we realized that we might have left space for certain ambiguity in the way we formulated those interests and the way information we requested suggests putting emphasis on them. We also realized that we may lack clarity on how many people we can accommodate in next two months, and the process of extending residencies for current unMonasterians.

Also during our meeting we discovered need to estimate feasibility of proposed projects and incorporate lessons from our experience of having more projects happening then people in the house. To make realistic estimate of willingness and capacity of Supporting, developing and collaborating on existing unMonastery projects we may need to enhance our application process to include clear (bulletpoints) requests of support from all the existing projects as well as invite people applying to add additional precise offers of support they can think of and feel excited to put out! When it comes to Supporting and contributing to development of the Cultural Program for Matera’s bid for Capital of Culture 2019 our friends at MT2019 committee seem to stay in best position to estimate this aspect of applications. Also in the spirit of in-kind support from the community we want to take more open perspective on fundraising to include, and possibly even emphasize, creative experiments with securing real world assets (products & services) through various other means, while still keeping monetary funds as pragmatic fallback.

Having all above in mind and still wanting to take care of the needs which originally motivated this call for applications we propose:

1. For now inviting only Juliana and Alessandra for residencies in June and July - They both:

  • speak italian language
  • lived in Matera for long or very long time and stay well connected with local community
  • work on local social innovation projects preceding unMonastery:Matera - Casa Netural and Agri Netural
  • stayed present in unMonastery in past months and participated in some of our developments in that time

2. Clarifying ASAP our capacity of accommodating people in next 2 months, by starting a focused workstream for it right away.

3. Based on experience from this process as well as the original applications of Matera pilot, propose clear, open and robust process for allocating all the rest of available residences among current unMonasterians interested in extending their stay as well as all the other people who replied to our current call.

We also see urgency to agree at least about inviting Alessandra and Juliana and notifying them by Tuesday (May 20th) morning. Keeping in mind that this way we leave them only 10 days to make all the arrangements they may need to make so that they can move in with the beginning of June!

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Thank you Maria!!!

Right away I would like to personally recognize @mariabyck's persistence on experimenting with process she considered more open and participatory. Even while I may question its effectiveness, I see us learning a lot from going through it and I very much appreciate her taking active leadership and the effort of coordinating it! THANK YOU Maria :slight_smile:

Elf: Am I too late to augment your brilliant document…

Elf you don’t mention the procedure discussion as to how some of us had assumed that David would have been included in the meeting even if his tendency towards long-windedness/dominance would have inevitably gone out over our need for time to refurbish the unMo 2.

I’ll leave this to your editorial voice which I feel is quite good – balanced and clear. if we are going to try to be transparent, it is proper to mention where transparency meets its borders.

please speak up now or don’t complain later!

we moved our planing meeting to tomorrow morning to give chance for @Ben to land, i hope we can approve this proposal and notify two people we would like to invite right away!

if someone strongly disagrees please speak up now or don’t complain later, of course one can post any feedback (including strong critique) later on but please don’t attach to much expectations to it…

i hope we will also come up tomorrow with proposal of smart and open way for allocating (whatever number we clarify) remaining unMonastic opportunities :slight_smile:

How to read the matrix?

I see colored cells, but not all color-codes are clear to me. What does a red cell mean under the MT2019 column? That these people are detrimental to supporting Matera’s bid for ECOC? I don’t see how that could be the case.

A question: have you discussed the question of unMonasterians vs. Oblati? It seems to me that @antonioelettrico hit the nail on the head when he spoke of the difficulty for local people to actually live the life, eat and sleep in the house etc. If people are “too local” then added value disappears: you end up with people who were in Matera before and still are, and more or less keep doing what they had been doing before.

We need stronger connection with local community!

IMO and I understand others share it do different extent. We do quite badly on interface with local community! @Cristiano Siri who worked on it doesn’t stay here any more. @RitaO and @antonioelettrico stay connected with various people in local community but I would say not very present in the house, and I don’t talk about eating and sleeping but also working together - to my understanding they both have rich and time/attention demanding lives outside of unMonastery. Our dear friends working with MT2019 bid, while physically just across the street don’t seem very interactive.

With this matrix, we attempted to make it but IMO frame for submitting proposals haven’t emphasize focus on clearly addressing all of those ‘6 interests’, so we struggled with making it!

If you like we add online hangout to our meeting tomorrow so you and anyone else interested can jump into this synchronous conversation. This proposal tries to connect back with our original need to strengthen interface with local community!

No brilliant ideas

I am afraid I have no brilliant ideas to contribute, @elf Pavlik. I am just drawing on my own recollections from the unMonastery experience, both in the long launchpad of 2013 and the live period. Rita and Antonio were brought in with considerations similar to yours in mind. But the result is that their rich connections with the local community do not fully get extended to unMonasterians, possibly… because they don’t live in the house. So, by doing more of the same, I expect more of the same. Or are you making it conditional that they actually live the life?

Cristiano, on the other hand, seemed to have an important impact. Perhaps you need people like him, that are NOT local but they speak Italian and care about the Interface issues. On the other hand, if none such applied there is not much we can do about it.

They both want to live in the house!!!

Both Juliana and Alessandra want to live together with us! As you may remember from my post about separation of concerns I would like that we focus on enabling creative people to do what they do with sharing accomodation, food, equipment etc. And not get into proxying micro grants :wink:

Of course besides those basic assets we all need so that we can focus on our work,  I see networking playing crucial role but in that case we try to stay very open and help with connecting everyone interested in connecting with others sharing similar visions and aims, including people who even just only occasionally drop-in.

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“keep doing what they had been doing before” - GREAT WE NEED IT!

In case of Juliana, grant which enabled her to work on Agri Netural ended and through our invitation we can enable her to continue working on it rather then needing to get paid job (possibly meaningless one). I see this situation directly among lines of what I consider original intention behind unMonastery! Please read her application

This sounds OK.

If Alessandra and Juliana are invited on, I think we should all have a discussion to set limits on the amount of translation asked from them.

I hope we all stay clear on that!

We don’t invite them as translators! They can more easily then us interact with people who don’t feel comfortable with using english, which comes as great advantage for everyone. But of course to my understanding we don’t expect them to carry the weight of our incapacity to communicate in italian!

Of course

Yes, definitely, I know that’s totally not the intention, and I don’t think anyone would be okay with that! Just thinking to how much last minute help we often need with translation, I think it would be a useful discussion to have prior to them moving in anyway.

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Local People

Quick note on involving local people in the residency. We’ve come across a number of possible candidates. However it’s pretty hard to translate the current call into something that is relevant to them, at least that is my experience. Like @antonioelettrico I support a richer definition of residency that fits in with the life of people that live here, and that can be extended to other types of unMonastery in the future.

I’d extend the category of unMonasterians to include people living in the community (Oblates), as well as people that come and stay in the community (staying as a guest of a local person, couch surfing or renting an apartment), but wish to come into the unMonastery on a daily basis to work. This model of nomadic monks, embedded in the community, has a strong history, adds greatly to the long term financially sustainable, and has a great deal of advantages. These ideas were discussed at LOTE3, and followed up with many discussions, but so far not an explicit part of the call for participation or unMonastery-in-a-box. Looking back at the history of unMo 1, a strategy like this would have avoided many problems, and helped embed the project better in the community. When looking forwards I think it should be a vital part of the call for participation over the coming months?

No shortage of space to work!

So far we never filled up the downstairs coworking space, on contrary I have impression that sometimes swallows and stray cats play around there when no one uses it!

To my understanding scarcity comes in this order:

  1. financial stipends (if people want to receive small amount of money) see this spreadsheet
  2. sleeping places - if we stay more then 10 people for longer then few days it may start feeling dense
  3. food - as long as we don't find in-kind donations of food it stays bound to expenses and point 1 above, IMO kitchen can handle cooking regularly even 15-20ppl

When it comes to helping people who come to contribute to find places to stay through hospitality of local community YES! Did you gather somewhere documentation of your research/experience on that field? I remember already asking @K once or twice to try make notes and share them while she looked for extra spaces where she could stay.


@fortyfoxes see here for discussion of roles and issues encountered so far - much of which you’ve highlighted in this comment. I haven’t had the opportunity to write this up yet but if you have the time please do take the lead. If you track back through that thread, you’ll see the process for putting the call together, the issues we were trying to confront and the reasoning for the approach we took, which was explicitly to bridge June and July.

Also I of course remember the discussions well about integrating with local community, have you got a link to the write up you did at LOTE3? - It would be great to have a clearer idea of how such an approach might be implemented effectively, which can be fed into unMonBox.