Scattered thoughts after an offline month in Matera

Close to one month away from the online world didn’t mean forgetting about the LOTE3 - on the contrary. Some heavy recruiting has been done offline, taking advantage of being in Matera live and streaming in order to understand what was the perception of the unMonastery and the LOTE3 in situ. Back in Brussels, on with spreading the buzz once I finally managed to read all that has been produced during this month. First of all: WOW! Seriously, this is getting big. However, I felt like sharing some thoughts and ideas which matured while benefitting from exchanges de visu with Nadia, Alberto, Rita and others very interested in the LOTE3 + unMonastery… some of this stuff confirms some of the observations that have been developed online during these weeks:

  • the LOTE3 website appears hectic to those who come for the first time. Personally, I also think that this is because people ar used to associate the communication of an event with a premade package of "about/program/info" ecc. This is not what the LOTE is about. However, maybe it could help to have - on the program page - a grid with the days and the proposed sessions up to now, with a distinctive picture, a link to the threaded proposal, the person "in charge" to contact and a place where to sign up and meet. This would automatically register you to the event. 
  • The program grid: there are the 3 main sessions, in each of them you have different panels. Some of them superpose, some not: we will not all be attending everything - because so much stuff will be proposed. From the online upskilling to the gureilla knitting, to the crowdfunding session, passing from the photoshooting and the pasta party... (as I write this I'm looking for Valentina's and Rita's posts on the pasta and knitting but cannot seem to find them on the Tracks and track proposal part...). Having this grid would also enable us to fuel people whom we might think could be interested in the session and get them to register and participate. This would also start setting the rythm to the whole event: it is important for logistics: for example if we get the Lucanian cooks and the coldiretti to support the pasta party, we will have to start blocking the session now (date, hour and place) in order to start checking out who's available and who is not. We are in the South of Italy. To much of the DIY spirit on one side can bring to uncommitment on the other :-)
  • while speaking in Matera, this great idea came up for the plates, cutlery and cups: there is a (small) budget for the unMon's software however we will need stuff for the LOTE3 so why not use the LOTE3 to initiate the making of the plates and cups by local artisans - the budget would pay for the raw material. I spoke directly to some artisans, who were ready to take up the challenge... however said that October was way to early. I was thinking maybe we could test 2 ways: on one hand have some of the artisans make 5 plates for the unMon, on the other one could use the recollection of objects and needed material as a way to pubblicize the event: 
  • Alice nel paese della Marranella is a good exaple of this (video): in a very densely populated neighbourhood of Rome, with many different nationalities, the organization of the "festa della Marranella" becomes a way to communicate the event to very diverse people and situations: food, pans, plates, tables, ecc. are given by the shopkeepers, neighbours, schools, ecc. who then ensure their presence since they have contributed to the making of. The Sassi are filled with restaurants, some families live there: we could involve artists and inhabitants in the walk to recollect the material necessary for the LOTE inviting everybody. The video shows how initial individual suspicion gets overcome by group dynamics. If every restaurant in the Sassi gives out 2 plates, we would have a number :-) same with the ingredients... 
  • accomodation: Rita and I have been brainstorming and we wanted to highlight that sleeping at a Materano's home might not leave you all the autonomy of movement you might be expecting. We wanted to make this clear, although we don't want to alarm you guys. Since we know the city, and the neighbourhoods, we just wanted to send a quick reminder that sleeping at someone's place might lead bring you to have to cope with other issues. We are going to publish a list of b&b's which are willing to do a special price for those who spend more than 3 nights in a row .
  • transportation from Bari to Matera. brainstorming with Rita again, we are going to publish the hours of buses and trains (4€ one way)

I’ve been speaking to Giuseppe (post on photoshooting), Laurent Trezeignies (wants to tape the Sassi), Jean Amoris (Echoes from the future), Luisa Lapacciana (scrap books of Matera while walking) about the LOTE3: Giuseppe made it to the post (hurray!) the others got a bit lost on their way (somewhere between threads and registration :)… However, I was wondering: there’s all this creative stuff popping up, do you think the best session would be the Unconference on the Edge?

Valid points (and some answers)

Welcome back to Brussels, and thanks for the thoughtful post!

Some of the points you raise have been coming up in other conversations too. Let me try and share some of the thoughts that those conversations generated on your points.

  • I think it is still too early to attempt a grid. Too much is in flux, starting from... the number of attendees, and the number of rooms we will be using simultaneously! But we are almost there; people have been recruiting session speakers. What we need is an empty grid, tenative as it might be. The easiest thing is to have three rooms, one for each track. Then divide each day into seven one-hour slots (9.30 to 12-30 am, then 2.30 to 6.30 pm); finally, allocate some time for the unPilgrim to be all together (example: Tuesday evening, welcome and mingling, no work; Thurdsay evening, unHalloween Party; Saturday lunch, Pasta Party...). Time is not allocated to cross-track activities is allocated to track-specific sessions. That gives us 4 days x 3 tracks x 7 slots = 84 slots. Some of the sessions, maybe most, will use two or more slots, but that's still a lot of slots! Maybe we should slice away one day, start on the 30th instead.
  • if a session feels they need an allocated time slot now, let its proponent simply grab it. By all means make arrangements with Basilicata's Coldiretti, just say "you guys are not supposed to do anything around lunch Saturday, it's pasta party. We'll commandeer the unMonastery kithcen on that day. Everyone OK?" If no one raises objections, you can mve on.

I have more to add but am too tired now. I’ll finish tomorrow.

We cant wait for stars to align

Indeed many interdependent variables need to be made known before those working with concrete preparations can go on and close deals - like planning the location and time for the pasta party. I agree with Alberto that those organising it should actually call the shots. There is no one i think who owns a complete overview and especially sequence of steps that need to be made to achieve full alignment and consensus. and as you rightly point out, Lote is not just like any other conference with predefined format and program.

About the website and how to make it more intelligible for newcomers, I am very fond of Dorotea’s idea of organising private tours for to show people around and guide them through the process of posting on the platform. live ! :slight_smile: Let’s see if we can work somehting concretely tomorrow at the call.

You and Rita are doing a great job with scouting for accommodation and keeping a critical eye on the compromises Loters will have to consider if they stay with a host - Rita drew my attention about the fact that hosts may live far away from the venue, and access to public transportation in Matera by night might be a problem. I say we’re in time to keep things transparent, get the information and individual conditions Materani pose prior to assigning participants free beds.

Travel: people are considering ridesharing already, especially from Milano, Bari etc to Matera, so a timetable would come in handy  :slight_smile:

Finally, thank you Ilaria for paying this much attention and working to make connections and for Edgeryders to feel welcome in Matera. See you tomorrow in the call! Your post here makes for a good agenda, we can go through the points tomorrow together with the others.