unMon Report - Key Successes and Challenges

Key Project Successes

  • Bringing a disused building into use as active organ for human meetings
  • Opening Event - created vibrant additional meeting ground for community activists/entrepreneurs and other curious citizens
  • Public Transport Visualiser approaches functionality
  • Generated much discussion
  • National and international attention
  • The beautiful idea has had a thorough workout with reality

Key Challenges to the Project

  • The usual upstart problems - no hot water, heating, internet nor functional website
  • Creating an installation of socially skilled but critical citizens; the logistics of human resources absorbing the wisdom of poverty, chastity and humility requires a cultural intervention.
  • Breaking the sound barrier - by mistake the idea of Italian classes was written up as an in-house project and thereby was ignored in favour of other pressing concerns.  It should have been considered inter-face and therefore more important than our website.
  • Thrashing out a Culture of effective cooperation would always be a challenge, we had no mandate to import a ‘solution’. Six people in the start-up phase was a perfect group-size though it left us with a lack of Capacity.  Integrating new arrivals at various period of inconvenience required that we had either large amounts of luck or a profound initiating mechanism.
  • Time -  The four-month model was always a compromise that demanded a miracle. Growth has its own organic  rhythm -- forcing it doesn’t work.  When the landscape goes by so quickly it is difficult to set any but the most distant of survival goals.
  • Proving Long term value in a short term framework -- we recognise that for the benefit of the community we should stay on, finding the human resources to continue at such an intensity may be difficult.
  • Planning which of our efforts goes into extension
  • Communication has been strained both inward and at times with some of our nearest co-operative partners.  People became reluctant to spend endless hours in meetings. The desire for documentation in our outer spheres seemed immaterial to our daily life. Establishing reliable channels outward remains a challenge.
  • It may be speculated that unMonasterians need a certain amount of rejuvenative contemplation and collective practices that feed the common fountain of enthusiasm.