An opportunity has come up for us all (meaning: the unMonastery, MT2019 and Edgeryders). No rest for the wicked, it seems! While this is good news, we need to allocate some bandwidth to it in order to take full advantage of it.
It all starts with Riccardo Luna, the highest-profile journalist covering innovation in Italy. He was the first chief editor of Wired Italia (which was a big success); he is now covering innovation on Repubblica – more or less the Italian equivalent of the Guardian, as well as being the chief editor of CheFuturo . Riccardo runs for Repubblica something called Next - La Repubblica delle idee
: it's a sort of TED-like event that aims to open windows on future-building stuff. This event is televised and streamed through the home pages of the highest-traffic websites in the country.
Paolo negotiated that one of this year's events is run from Matera on April 11th. Riccardo called me to tell me that he reserved a slot for the unMonastery; this slot could also be much longer than the others; 10 or 15 minutes instead of the standard 3 to 5. This is a great opportunity because it generates a high quality video that we can re-use to show people what the unMonastery is and convey its magic and sense of urgency.
Riccardo asked me to run this, acting as narrator/MC, but he is flexible on the format. I promised to think about it and come up with a proposal. The context – constraints and affordances – are as follows:
- Italian language. We have to use it.
- Big stage. The event is run off a theatre, so there is a large stage. This does not need to be a TED style one-person show, though it can be. We can bring people and artefacts.
- Megascreen. It's there – we can use it or not.
To these constraints I am going to add one more: I am putting this opportunity out here so we all can collaborate to make something beautiful, but I am claiming last word on it. It is a benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy. This is based on competence: as a regular at Riccardo's events, I know what works (and what works not) in that space probably better than most of us. It is also based on responsibility: the invitation was made to me personally, and I have no choice but to accept it and bring on stage something that I am proud of, or refuse and distance myself publicly from whatever happens, good or bad.
I already know I don't want to focus on the unMonastery's internal process, but on the social dynamics that generated it and with which it interacts. So I want to give adequate visibility to the Edgeryders community as its forerunner and "parent", to MT2019 as its partner and local enabler, and to the things large and small that unMonasterians are cooking up with Materans.
The fallback position is a TED-style presentation with nice slides. But I am sure we can do better. Riccardo, easily the best communicator I know, told me something interesting: he said "The point of engaging in an exercise like this is to communicate something very well" and "I recommend you make the unMonastery pop". He clearly thinks we can break into mainstream level.
Here's what I would like you to do:
- decide whether you want to participate in making this artefact, the unMonastery presentation at Next. This entails signing off to the above.
- if you do, work with me, from concept to delivery. We start with the concept: the fallback position – if you all disengage – is a TED style presentation by me, but I am sure we can do better. For example, I would like to physically show people and things, conveying the idea of the unMonastery as a space for interesting people and their artefacts.
- once we agree on a concept and high-level scripting, we will iron out the details and produce materials as needed.
With [Ben], [Nadia] and any willing unMonasterians we now turn to do this together.