I also agree with Ola that the combination of T-shirts and the unMonastery narrative are not ideal at the moment.
My reasoning: Because we are trying to create a different culture around work, meaning and humanism and aesthetics are an important tool. We need to not get too close to the corporate communications with the unMonastery visual narrative. The approach towards design, production and use of unMonastery wearable artefacts I feel is more in the domain of functional art than tech event swag. Plus I despise the startup rhetoric and don’t want the unMonastery to be associated with that culture.
I also agree with Alberto that there ought to be some kind of visually distinct and easily identifiable garb. I just don’t think something “good” enough can be developed for the event. Rather I would use produce booklets/Nametags similar to the ones we produced for the futures knowlab with different colour stickers on them for particiapants, session leaders, etc. It worked very well for the knowlab and also solved a lot of practical problems (schedules, where stuff is happening, session information, important contact info, participant bios etc). We have the design but would need help with producing the print file to send to the printers.
I think it is important to remember what it is we are doing, why we are doing it and the spirit with which it was initiated: building infrastructure to support alternative responses to systemic crises, p2p. And collaboratively creating the means for more people to be able to access and build on it.
That infrastructure is technosocial. The unMonastery is one part of that infrastructure. However it would not even have happened had we not created the other infrastructure on which it and other projects rely. Creating the conditions for this unMonastery prototype to even happen before most of the people in this thread came into the picture took a huge amount of effort from some people, and small efforts from many generous individuals.
Without those contributions we would not even be having this conversation about T-shirts or anything else unMonastery related. That infrastructure is a platform and shared commitment to build sociotechnical infrastructure that makes us stronger and more capable by enabling us to collaborate and learn from one another, p2p, across the globe. Pooling, growing and making knowledge, tools, contacts, skills, collaboration and resources accessible to people all over the planet. Not just a priveledged few who can travel with ease all over Europe.
I would have loved to have had 1-4 month residency with a bursary to work on using some of my training as an engineer on one of the challenges, doing something meaningful. But others did not do the boring, unpaid, often unseen work to create that opportunity for me to make use of. Or put their personal professional credibility and trusted relationships on the line for that to happen.
This work that for most only makes sense to contribute if we feel we are part of building something together, as a community. Your dismissing those people as “nameless members of a 2000+ platform” is both disrespectful and counterproductive if you want to see the unMonastery idea spread, thrive and develop as common infrastructure built by and accessible to many more people.
I would ask that we reframe this discussion towards thinking about how we can use artefacts to make people meaningfully feel part of a shared whole, not how to keep some inside and some out.