Should we be sending an open letter from Edgeryders to Materani?

I read Ilaria’s post today about matchmaking and mapping skills in Matera with needs for Lote and I agree that we need to find a space to mobilize logistic resources, and more if possible. Before that I suggest an open invitation on behalf of ER to be translated in Italian and set the tone of the engagement between the two communities, kind of like a preambul.  I wouldn’t wait until we have all the information about the event agenda and what we need for x many people. What do you think, too early? i’ve drafted something but mostly to see if I, myself,understand the angle, communication wise. It has an implication also for our shared understanding of Edgeryders and Lote at unMonastery -its “flagship project” (Bembo) - in general. 


For Edgeryders everywhere, Matera is a European Capital.

  • an invitation to Live On The Edge -

Edgeryders is a consolidated network of hundreds of change makers from Europe and the globe. It is a community and not-for-profit organisation working to support creative and innovative individuals who often find themselves at odds with current socio-economic problems or abusive political establishments. Most community members are not wealthy, or live precariously, but have a record of running projects that make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of communities in all corners of Europe.

During October 29 - November 3 the network convenes for its third offline event - Living On The Edge (LOTE), and chose the city of Matera as location. Why? Because Matera is becoming a warm home to the world’s first unMonastery. If you know about this project being prototyped, you probably also know that Edgeryders is where it was born and got its first acclaims.

For those of us willing to take risks to try out innovative solutions, they cost a lot in personal commitment and security. So having been given a context in Matera where we can do a service to the community with passion, and have our meals covered makes us immensely grateful. Aside from taking pride in it, Edgeryders believe in and want to learn how to create other unMonasteries in Europe. A good relationship has been built with the municipality and local social innovators; we would like to cultivate it and benefit from the expertise of the people in Matera. We also want to introduce ourselves to Materans properly and in full capacity, at Lote.

If you are up for building a long standing relationship with people at the Edge, come to Lote! It’s a five day event built entirely by the community as we write this. It costs you nothing, but there are plenty of ways you can get the most out of meeting Edgeryders:

  • Register for the event. We’re expecting around 150 people, and Materans in particular.
  • Take an Edgeryder home: if you live in Matera and have a free room or bed, you could be matched with someone coming from Europe to Matera for the event. You get to learn or practise your English and make a new friend.
  • Help with logistics and work with the lovely Elf Pavlik who already offered to help participants secure cheap transportation methods, like ridesharing.  
  • Be part of the welcoming team: we will hook you up with Andrea from Casa Netural, or unMonasterian Bembo who has already offered to do that.
  • Are you a teacher? a worker? a tour guide? Anything you can offer, we are glad to take your word for it.

Feel free to write us at [edgeryders email] / [Italian edgeryder willing to take charge?]. Come join us, meet new people and be part of putting Matera at the heart of Europe, as we think it deserves to be.



Writing this letter is definetely a first step. Once you give me the green light, we can ask help for translation to eh invaluable mt2019 webteam and:

  • make it graphically attractive
  • send it through our personal channels directly to people we know
  • dispatch it through the social media.

Content-wise I would add a link to the video, and a link to the “who’s coming page” so we start to put names and faces on the ERs: this is important in a place where, up to a few years ago, you would committ yourself to a cause, with a person by putting both hands on a rock and looking at the person in the eyes. Rocks are witnesses to engagement, they are there to stay beyond us.

If we already want to start thinking of a first wave of sensibilization through the mainstream media (local newspapers and local TV), we have different options. I would consider building a one shot presentation for the TRM (local tv) 12 minute show during which they highlight interesting projects (we can work with them regardless of the distance). I have very good contact with the director of the TV and they are mt2019 media partners although I would advise to keep things distinct. During the 12 minutes, we could show the video (with subtitles?), and having a two-minute-each presentation of the LOTE3. This would also allow us to then have a 12min presentation in Italian to dispatch through our social media. Food for thought :slight_smile:

For the matchmaking, I suppose a template is to formal? I am just syaing this because, “knowing my chickens” as one would say in Italian, I fear that since it is still a long time ahead, the effort to take contact seems too much. Maybe if each registered person starts saying what they need (not only what they offer) one can already have a set of pragmatic channels for matchnmaking (on 40 ERs 37 need accomodation, for example).

Comes the next question: LOTE3 is not the moment to think of the “civic points”, right?

I like it!

I like it a lot! Also, some Italian communication could help spread the word in the country. Ideally, Ilaria, you could do an Italian version of the video yourself – or just think of a nice, creative way to do this that retains the international flavor but makes it easier to approach for Italians.

I don’t know about the civic points. The WT is a team of volunteers: what you guys want to do is the stuff that gets done. Are the civic point something you want and you are willing to put work into?

Translation: done!

Here you can find the wiki document for the Open Letter to Materani from the Edge.

Unfortunately playing on the edge metaphor is hard in Italian (at least for me), although it strikes me that Matera is a city built on the edge of a ravin, which is trying to bridge the gap :-). In the beginning I stuck to the text Noemi wrote, after I got a bit more personal. I still think it needs a bit more of a direct and warm tone, as well as some Italian will definetely have to be corrected.

Btw I’m up for being the Italian ER that recieves the proposals, if you want!

Once we drafted the final Italian version, what next? Proposals…

  • add related hyperlinks
  • make it sexy graphically and with the ER graphic and logo
  • dispatch it through personal contacts, social media

Then thinking of a mechanism for matchmaking will become quite necessary, otherwise the situation will become unbearable :slight_smile:

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I made a mess :frowning:

Sorry, Ilaria, I made a mess. I edited your letter in Italian, assuming that was the original… but the original is actually Noemi’s. Damn.

Thing is, I like mine better. It is more personal and feels less like and advertisement. What do we do? What do others think? Of course, that being a wiki, it is easy to go back to Ilaria’s revision.

Tranlation issues

Alberto, I translated Noemi’s letter in Italian as it was. Slept over it, and the next day when I read the Italian version I thought “hm, this will not work for Materani”. I modified it trying to do a mix between what the ER have edited in the past, Noemi’s letter, some hyperlinks and what I thought would be important to add in order for local people to understand also what brings you to Matera beyond the unMon and why you want to involve the community. Personally, I think that in general there could be a first elaboration of texts in English so all can contribute; the translation, however, is not only a matter of language - in this case. What I mean by that is that we are not only addressing people who do not speak English, but also who do not know ERs, who have probably never heard of “Euro hackers” or don’t grasp the sense of “leveraging creative communities”. However, this is a very precious occasion to spread the word and go on with the contamination process: language has to be direct, simple but also speak to the heart of Materani. Although there are some tangible proofs of conservateurism and resistance to change, I also believe that it is easy to find the way to the local passion, curiosity and interest. So yes, I personally prefer your version in Italian and I think that one should start dispatching the material in English and then, in a second moment, in Italian.

Concerning the video. I got in touch with the videomaker. I can pass next week and do the video: what do you think of this? I wrote out the text Nadia says, in English, and will translate it as soon as I am back in Brussels. I would like sharing it with you all. Also, it would be nice to keep the same music + logos and the rest. Do you guys have any advice on this?

Tell me where to send the music and logos…

I used as a source for the music. Where do you want me to send all the files e.g logos for the video?


Wow, just got lost in Mobygratis for a while! Shouldn’t have opened it before finishing my work :slight_smile: Is sending it to my gmail email through WeTransfer okay or do you need something else?

Tell me where to send the music and logos…

I used as a source for the music. Where do you want me to send all the files e.g logos for the video?

the current Italian version works for me too

I think it does a good job talking about Edgeryders the people in the community, where we are coming from, that some have visited Matera, so it makes it easier to relate as a reader, gives it a human touch.

So translate back into English?

I forget your Italian is actually very good, @noemi. Yes, as always I am a human-to-human communication hardliner. So, I would do it like this:

  • I finish the italian version (still missing the call to action part).

  • You translate it back into English (I’d like @ben, @bembo_davies’s, @toolosophy’s, @nadia’s and @la_gaia’s input on this, if possible).

  • we then publish both versions on our website, and the Italian version on the Matera 2019 community website. For symbolic reasons, I would probably have you, Noemi, create an account there and use it to push put the open letter. In this way, @ilariadauria and I can represent the Matera web team and local community on that website, whereas you (and others) can represent edgeryders/LOTErs.



I would also have the letter signed by individual Edgeryders : Noemi, Andrei, Ben, Bembo, Nadia etc and everyone that endorses it in the process of adding corrections before putting it up. the more the merrier, no?


Yes :slight_smile:

You’re a superstar :slight_smile:

Well done, I read it and i think i can understand added nuances, useful indeed.

I’ve shared with you our dropbox folder with Lote visuals so you can take your pick.

For links I added some in your wiki there, and suggested a small change…

Video would be great indeed, I dont know what resources you have.

I need to give the matching thing some thought, just to let you know so far participants at Lote have only been asked for commitment, not concrete travel/accommodation details whatsoever. So we’ll need to manage a second round of inquiries anyway. Last time we did it with a google form as interface and a large spreadsheet behind the scenes… Primitive compared to the civic points scheme, but doable (talking about up to 100 people)

Thank you!

People we could include in the mailing list

During the youth exchange I have attended a recently in Altamura, I have also visited Matera which I must say is breathtakingly beautiful. In the few days spent there I have managed to meet some interesting people based in Matera that could be included in our outreach about LOTE3.

  1. Sergio Fadini - I haven’t met him in person, but we exchanged some messaged on Couchsurfing. He writes in Italian here and on his CS profile he stated that “I live in matera and I like to know other people for to speak about responsible tourism and solidal economy. i write some time on my blog about it.”

  2. Carpar Dierderik - co-founder of StoryTravelers. Is from Netherlands, but lives in Matera. Great person to talk with. Seemed to have a genuine interest in Edgeryders and the unMonastery when we had our conversation.

  3. Luca Tamburrino - Works at the B-Link NGO (Associazione Culturale Basilicata Link). Really humble and friendly guy. Just by walking with him throughout the city, you can tell that he knows a LOT of people. We were even joking that he was a big authrity in the city, stopping to greet so many people in the street and have conversations. I met him through Couchsurfing and he hosted me for a night in Matera. BTW, he told me that there are about 24 active CS hosts in town.

4.   Nicola Loperfido - I regret not having the chance to talk more woth him. He travelled a lot around the world and was always ready to help and get involed i nthe activities we were organizing during the youth exchange. He also hosted a person from out group on Couchsurfing.

Hope this will be useful. Sorry, for gender imbalance.


CS, Angelsfortravellers and Blink

Andrei, it’s good to know that you stumbled upon such nice people for your first stroll to Matera. Do you think CS, Angelsfortravellers and B-link could be a good medium to start building the matchmaking and embedding collaborative actions in the local flesh? Did you have a chance to see the future unMo?

Hey you,

Andrei, thanks for sharing these my friend. Maybe now would be a good time to get in touch with those guys…? Especially see if they’d be up for joining Lote and helping lovely community of international change makers while in Matera. Priority no.1 is spare beds/ rooms, since a lot of participants need to be accommodated and the many free rooms the better. Here is the letter from Edgeryders in Italian which i think should speak to them. Let me know…

I got very nice impression from Italian authorities: an exchange was in Campobasso one year ago, that’s a small town, and we were very warlmly welcomed by the mayor and visited the parliament where the local TV came to interview us. they made us feel meaningful :slight_smile:

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