Towards LOTE5: two great proposals and a problem. How do we move forward?

In the past few weeks two interesting proposals for LOTE5 have come up:

  1. Athens, proposed by @katalin and centered on Social Cohesion - Survival Strategies (read the post). 
  2. Brussels, proposed by @ireinga and centered on failure (they prefer to call it "Fuckup", actually – read the post)

These are both interesting because both build on the strength of an existing community within the broader Edgeryders space. The Athens proposal is driven by a group of veterans of unMonastery Matera; the Brussels one by the Antiheroes movement. Both groups can count on a proven ability to deliver, (wo)manpower, presence on the ground and even some access to local partners and possibly sponsors. Finally, they are both definitely “on the edge”.

They also have differences. Locations are very different; Athens is cheaper to stay in, Brussels cheaper and easier to get to, for most of us. Athens is definitely more “at the edge of Europe”, while Brussels can offer more opportunities to partner up with local businesses and to build bridges to institutions. An Athens solution might appeal more to the hardcore Edgeryders community; a Brussels solution might attract more of the people who have been watching us with interest and are considering dipping a foot in the water. The mood also seems to be different; darker, more urgent for the unMonastery crowd, more fearless in a light-hearted kind of way for the AntiHeroes ladies (though this is just a personal impression). Finally, the Athens proposal has the advantage to be more in line with LOTE3 and LOTE4, which were both invested in the unMonastery as a flagship project; the Brussels proposal has the advantage of investing in a new initiative, that has been developing separately so far but could now seek closer ties with Edgeryders.

Additionally, we have a problem that concerns both proposals. Edgeryders LBG is, as always, committed to supporting LOTE events, but we are struggling with a lenghty handover of financial and legal records from Arthur (following his resignation as director in mid-April) to those of us who remain on the board. We had been meaning to have this conversation in February, and hire a conference coordinator right away, but we have been prevented to do so: it sounds and is really stupid, but we don’t have control of our bank account. We are not even sure how much money is there. This is being solved, but it may take several weeks before we can make an informed decision as to investing in LOTE5. We may even have to reschedule, from the traditional fall to early 2016.

Given all that, how should we (where “we” means “the Edgeryders community”) move forward? Attempt to reconcile the two proposals? Make a choice among them? Skip a year? Do something else entirely?


How much lead time does the slowest option realistically need?

Perhaps it is possible that by that time you have info on finances?

What was the last LOTE financial requirements and can we realistically assume to be in a similar ball park? Not necessarily I would think - but I’m not sure.

Are there other related meetings/events that we can (and want to) piggyback onto?

Well, now

Honestly, I think we are already late for the fall.

But it’s not so much a matter of funding. It’s more a matter of funding process, which is the thing no one wants to fund. I cannot speak for the board here, but what I personally would like to do is hire a person who takes responsibility and give her 6-9 months of runup to find venues, partners, sponsors… with some seed funding from ER LBG. This is so much more interesting: if you just book a venue from a venue-renter, you solve a problem. If you find a way to do something useful for somebody who, in return, gives you a venue (like the building in Matera later to be known as the unMonastery for LOTE3), you have a new ally. Building alliances takes time, but I’d rather fund the time of an alliance-builder than just rent a venue.

Of course, finding partners who also contribute with resources might be easier in Brussels than in Athens. But the real issue, I think, is time… unless our brave teams in Athens and Brussels have already done most of the set up work.


Sounds very sensible

Unfortunately, I am relatively thin on connections for both these locations. Well, for Athens I had a lead which I posted a while back. Maybe if I have the time I could stretch my antennae into Brussels more - but I doubt that I’d find anything you don’t know already.

Generally taking this as an opportunity to build allies sounds like a very good idea. Perhaps offsetting the date by a day or two, so you allow sharing but avoid crowding would be helpful.

I agree that we need more time to plan and organise LOTE5 by now…so i guess beginning of 2016 sounds more realistic. Are we still open to consider other locations or we are choosing between Athens and Brussels now? I find the idea of reconciling both proposals quite possible and as we already have contacts in Europe maybe we can move the event to Africa and find allies where people are in real need of it?

If we are open to consider Marrakech as the destination for LOTE5 as I have proposed earlier I can find venues, partners and sponsors and will have a proposal ready by September when I get back to Morocco and start the set up process.

Right now people are getting ready for Ramadan and things slow down in summer in general, but everything will get back to normal in autumn after l’Eid L’kbir.

1 Like

General consideration: ryde sharing + stopover at allies

The location & logistics question just rattled lose a thought (just thinking aloud):

With an event happening in somewhat out of the way places it might be possible to “band together” at one or two hubs before the last leg of the trip, maybe even for a day of stopover at a potential ally. If the mode of transportation allows (e.g. train or ship) one could already begin the meeting while moving among the public?

The latter part could also work for a centrally located place like Brussels. One could also argue that working together “on the fly” is fundamentally an important skill for collaborators/connectors (especially if you can involve several contacts along a path) in dispersed networks. Being able to coordinate travel to increase likelihood of face-time and cross-pollination would be pretty nice.

1 Like

lote5 on the move

Hello, I’m the rather quiet lurker on this webforum … after Nadia and Alberto’s recent visit to Cairo, and reconnecting to others in the local community like Hazem, I feel it’s cool to have local accessible gatherings. We will never be able to have everyone come to one location. so having few (not the same) hopping from one location to the next, like butterflies in open space, sounds attractive to me :slight_smile:


Maybe mixed?

Thanks for the comment! Perhaps one could have different modes of meeting and try to cover the needs of different communities in ways that complement one (or a few) relatively big meeting. I think there is value in trying to bring all people together. But one has to be realistic and see that this is not always the best option for each sub-group, and sometimes smaller meetings are also more enjoyable (and productive) for some individuals. But I think it is not necessarily the best idea to do this completely randomly. There is probably a way to organize this more or less good with regard to topics, time, and space…

I wonder is other people can come up with ideas that could be implemented realistically for LOTE 5 already.

Also, I am not sure how to try to make the ratio of “Big Meeting” vs “Small meetings” best.

Good point @Alberto!

Completely forgot about the formalities of getting visas for non-Europeans. This definitely means that we need to plan well ahead and have the dates fixed at least a couple of months in advance to give the opportunity for non-EU members apply for visas and send them invitations as a proof for the embassy. It can take up to a month to gather the necessary paperwork to apply for schengen visa.

Not sure about Egyptians, but Armenians, Georgians, Ukrainians and Belarusians do need visas for Morocco and they need to get it from the embassy in Kiev or Moscow(it’s possible to send the passport through an agency and get it done in 2 weeks).

As Loesje says “Is the dream a passport full of stamps or a world without any borders?”

Heads up: Bucharest!

Hi everyone,

As over the last 3 months some of us have been building Futurespotters project in Bucharest as a pilot for the city’s bid as a European Capital of Culture (ECOC) in 2021, we are now asked to write a follow up proposal for the next year, starting this fall. Me, @Nadia, @Alex_Stef have been discussing to budget for a LOTE (LOTE5 or the next one? or a satellite to LOTE5? not sure) in this proposal, to happen somewhere between Feb-April in Bucharest.

What we want to do with the growing Futurespotters here is use the ECOC bid as a context for building new models of living and working in collectivities, and to a certain extent build infrastructure re-appropriating underused assets (focus on physical). This would be a nice follow up to LOTE4 The Stewardship, but using Bucharest as a practical sandbox.  A quick overview at the core of our proposal is here. No guarantees though, will need another weeks/month to know if it is happening or not…

The reason I mention it is that finding resources & context to organise LOTE imho is a key criteria for mobilization…



If you are talking about re-appropriating physical stuff (e.g. buildings), one critical aspect would be establishing visibility of this process, right? This usually means paint/street art. I ran into this a while back in a video about UK circular economy efforts. It sounds a bit unspectacular, but it actually is a really good idea - the catch usually is either the logistics or the (manual) sorting and emptying. Newlife would be up to helping with some expertise but I think all that could be locally sourced.

Also, since you would be using the paint to do mostly street art and not paint walls all in one color the sorting would be much less problematic. And as for the logistics part - within Bucharest/outskirts this would probably be very doable on foot. You would have a whole bunch of reasons to be supported by the city (old paints are expensive waste to dispose of - better upcycle it a little and use it! People often let it sit for decades and never get around to recycle it (properly). You could just go around and collect the stuff while at the same time trying to recruit (hint, hint) potential supporters/helpers for any activity you happen to need people for. Perhaps it would be possible to get some kids engaged in the effort as well (jump into classroom on last lesson, do 15 minutes of infotainment on commons and (social) networks). See if it would be possible to collect unused paint in the neighborhood (check safety/insurance issues).

Also: EU vs. not

In der Vereigniter Europa we have grown accustomed to invisible borders and reasonably good general state interoperability. We wave our IDs if we are flying, and that’s it. But Egyptians need Schengen visas, at a minimum. So do Moroccans, Armenians, Belarusians etc. Our ability to do “last leg traveling together”, or indeed even just a simple meetup, is limited by these issues, unless it’s within-EU.