Notes from Community Call - 7th June 2017

Thanks to @Gehan for taking these notes during our last community call, sharp and concise!

Attendees: @johncoate, @noemi, @winnieponcelet, @albertorey, @luke_devlin, @gehan, @ewoudvenema, @owen
Unbrexable - how can we avoid a hard Brexit? [Link] Event 2 September which continues that conversation

Ewoud is in the Netherlands, writing a book. From our inside we create the world. Collective reality is also created in this way. He is working with Edgeryders to create a more beautiful world. Doing workshops. Finding the space to create from what’s exciting to you.

Alberto Rey is in NYC. Works on accessibility of water - teaching fly fishing to kids as a way to teach environmental stewardship.

Noemi is our community manager. In September, she is going to an event hosted by Cultural Innovators Network in Berlin. She asks if anyone has ideas of communities and practices to visit there?

  • How do we see the event being a festival?
    • How to build this year’s event into something more of a festival and less of a conference. Create some time for celebration. Who might we want to get in touch with - community resilience, sustainability, in general.
    • Some examples: Setting up a version of the acupuncture clinic and demonstrating something they’re doing anyway. Using social design to address health issues - could be co-designing products. Setting up booths.
    • Basically seeking to demonstrate rather than just present.
    • Easier to have deeper conversations while doing something with my hands; building, cooking.
    • Moving away from the sitting format - wandering and having conversations through the city, the forest, etc and then having convening points.
  • Open Village concept - what’s it moving towards. We know the labour markets are tanking. We know things aren’t heading in a good direction. What are our needs? How do we meet this, one by one. When we know states and nations are dysfunctional - how might we work peer-to-peer on issues such as climate change? Wider picture of taking care of these things that are not being addressed by governments and states.
  • Map/visualisation we made based on data collected from citizen consultations in >200 cities in EU and beyond

  • How about when the government isn’t helping? One of the reasons for an event like this is to figure out how to make progress when the state isn't available to help.
  • Why a festival? Partly about leaving enough space where there isn’t a highly curated space. Free space outside is where the most interesting conversations take place. Scottish Ceilidh - no audience, everyone brought a story or a poem or a song. It creates a convivial atmosphere, doesn’t require perfection - creates sufficient ambience and builds community and warmth.
    • Something as simple as: “here’s a space, if you have a story, a poem.. Come along” Perhaps the Scottish contingent could take on organising this. It wouldn’t take much to make it happen.
    • Spontaneity is important. Make-shift … produces something genuinely original… no requirement to participate or share still a sense of genuine community.
  • Is there an opportunity to meet each other online before the event and a number of people host a call? People share their work. Imbalance between people who are very familiar with each other and those who aren’t. This would help people feel at ease. More comfortable you feel with the social ecology the deeper the conversations.
    • Balance you need to strike - getting something done and connect meaningfully with others.
    • On the site - create invitations to join certain paths. Once it’s online we can pick up on it.
  • Creating the space for things to happen.
    • You extend an invitation in a certain spirit rather than rigidly controlling what happens. Chance to embody the values of care by practicing. Rather than one of these conferences where the subject is care but people are ratty annoyed with one another. How are we trying to live this out? Rather than it’s simply a topic.
    • Example of Uncivilization & Dark Mountain gatherings - lot of emphasis on space. If you can avoid using mediating technology then do so. There are drawbacks and some found it elitist. Positive - you emphasise the people and the space (often they were in nature). The central founders decided not to have the large events but there are smaller groups having localised gatherings - more dissipated. Making space for ritual. Being open to the non-rational (might even use the word spiritual). Welcoming that. That can get nudged out of the way if its too well organised.
  • Why are we caring in the first place?

    Some of the things I remember most fondly about past LOTEs is experiences such as yoga at 6 a.m. and sound therapy in caves. My only challenge always is how to highlight that in the operational, day to day work and nudging others to live this. Any advice on mixing the operational with the embodied would be super appreciated.

  • So what venue? The Reef is the default space. It will host an intimate group of experiences
  • Level of comfort with being spontaneous or not. The bridge between generating ideas and discussing how they going to start being actualised.
  • It’d make a lot of sense to be outside - in the river. The river in Brussels is not so healthy - which is a story in itself.

Misc Topics

  • Winnie: need project leaders who want to spend an hour or two hours with a data scientist - if anyone’s interested in working on this eg. in relation to measuring impact please post in the thread.
  • I think one of the things we can do is offering each other encouragement. Deep conversations are important but also curious about how we harvest. Can we build harvesting into the coordination and nurturing a culture of harvesting in everyone?
  • Explore the possibility of a publication - a journal or photo book or website.
  • Keep the question up - what is needed to make this happen? What skills? Whose experience? If there are individuals who feel that this is something that’s needed they could convene a call to develop this and share it. It’s connected to a memory system. Where is the memory? There is a strength in relation to emergence. Becomes difficult to participate in if it’s hard to glean this. It’s always been a challenge to have the resources to curate this into something coherent for others/new people.

Can we build harvesting into the coordination?

Never too early too start thinking about this: while it has always been important in the Living On The Edge series of events which Luke and I referenced in the call, it can be much improved so that it’s more than verbatim capturing of what happens onsite.

Some potential directions:

  1. Last year @kaja took the lead and coordinated the planning, and while she wanted to make space for pen-and-paper type of reflections I dont remember seeing anything after… The questions proposed might be worth revisiting though:
  • What would be useful for me to remember from the time we spend together and learn?
  • What is useful for us as a community to remember from the 3,5 day that we are going to spend together?
  • What do we need to share/feed-back and to whom?
  • What is useful for our longer term learning and what would be useful to share with others / similar networks etc.?
  • How widely could our learnings serve?
  1. From other event I think posts like this are highly valuable - taking something that was discussed to a whole new level of reflection and insight: Stewardship Through Market Goggles. If only all of us attending could write at least something we learned…

As an idea, age is beauty

I really like this quote from Taleb. One interpretation comes back to that I’ve noticed most of my learning has a longer time dimension. It doesn’t happen during the event, or right after it. More along the lines of months afterwards.

I see some of the discussions after previous events have dragged on for longer, being referred back to even years later. They are also somehow preserved in the collective memory of the community.

Are there any specific strategies you’ve used to encourage this longer term learning?

1 Like


Hi @noemi, they are a good set of questions. The key word for me is useful.

Thanks for the link to the post from LOTE4. I think what we’re edging towards is a way to capture not just what happened and what was said but up a level of altitude in relation to forming new pictures, stories, understandings and synthesising multiple strands into new insights. What might that look like?

See also my comment here. I’ll let you know what Dougie says.