So, um, you two having fun over here?
It’s a lovely day in Athens, a bit rainy, but the sun just came out, and we’re happy doing The Good Work of the unMonastery.
When you guys are done, we’d love your help with continuing the unMonastery project. To be clear, we will do that anyway, with or without the help of any particular organisation or person, and regardless of what the title of the project is, because we are a collection of people who believe in it (although we’re not quite sure exactly what it is), and we love working together. That’s really enough, and holy crap we’re lucky to have found each other - thanks to EdgeRyders for amazingly inspiring LOTE’s and thanks to everyone who kickstarted unMonastery so far with getting the resources we need to all still be working together today. We don’t yet need to be a ‘do-ocracy’, or a ‘community platform’, or whatever, we will figure it out along the way, and we are figuring it out along the way, with (usually) lovely, peaceful, productive conversations, lots of post-it notes, with a group of people that care deeply about each other and the things we’re working on.
We’re not used to big fights, and we can go watch the wrestling on Sky Sports if we want to see one of those, please don’t bring them to us, we kinda don’t care and we want to put our energy on other things. We need to be able to communicate with joy, calmness and respect, and if our leaders can’t do that, we’ll go find some who can.
If you (that’s, anyone reading this) want to join us, the group is completely open, sorry if it doesn’t appear like that sometimes. You’ll need to know how to communicate with a reasonable level of calmness and respect, just like in any other group, so Nadia, you’re gonna have to work on that: the level of energy and aggression in your communication is enough to alienate some of the people you come into contact with (remember that time you chewed me out on Facebook? that was fun, though it kinda made it hard to continue working with you after that), even though we know you have good intentions and are working to support us all and do good work. Ben, as the defacto leader of unMonastery, you’re gonna need to step it up too - we’re all doing our best but these kinds of dramas aren’t ok for much longer and we care about you a lot so they affect us to our very cores. <3 to both of you from me, and I know many reading this will say that too.
unMonastery as a group is in the middle of sorting out some really important questions for itself. One of those is working out the basic organisational and legal structure for the project to be able to continue to grow comfortably. There are a group (you could even say ‘gang’) of people who are the temporary stewards of that project and we’re aiming to have a first pass at sorting out some of the structures we need within 3 months (oops, 1 month gone, only two left). Anyone who is intimate with unMonastery is welcome to join and should already have been invited. Anyone who hasn’t been invited to that party but feels like they should have should contact us. It’s gonna be a lot of fun, but to be honest, I’d suggest waiting until our first pass is done unless you really have experience with setting up organisations, or you really care about the unMonastery. To be clear, this work is mainly about the minimum structure we need to continue doing what we’re doing. It is not to facilitate control or direction of the org by any particular closed group of people, and should result in a mechanism by which anyone who wants to will be able to take an active role in guiding the community. To be double clear, as of right now, we just don’t work on those kind of businessy terms - we do not work on command and control structures, we do not work on concepts you recognise from business, we don’t work on holding people down to contractual commitments or getting angry when stuff doesn’t happen, there is nothing to ‘own’ here. When we’re done with that first pass, we’ll hopefully have a much clearer structure for the group which will allow anyone to plug in more easily in the right way. SPOILER ALERT: we probably won’t hit the 3 month target.
While that’s happening, unMonastery people are active all over the place doing all kinds of things, and we’ll be getting better at communicating all our projects, needs and wants out in future. If anyone feels like we’re not doing that, we would be sad, and you should come talk to any one of us directly. We’re quite present in Athens doing some good work here, but we’re also in London, Berlin, Norway, Switzerland, and of course, we’ll always have many good friends in Matera.
(This post written by me, occasionally assuming the identity of a ‘we’ with absolutely no authority or agreement from anyone else. If you want the ‘we’ I talk about or the unMonastery ‘we’ to include you, then it probably does. The description of what unMonastery is doing in its organisational work is also completely my own interpretation. No post-its were harmed in the construction of this post.)