What we have learned about building resilience of community powered projects and the people who drive them?

When members of this community move as a collective, things happen and the world notices. We’ve seen it with twitterstorms, LOTE events, the unMonastery and the City of Matera’s winning bid for the title of European Capital of Culture 2019. So what are steps we can take to act on the lessons learned from our four days together? To answer this question we need to turn the huge amounts of documentation from the sessions into a short community report summarising our findings:

1. What is out there?

  • Trends/new ideas
  • Opportunities/ strengths
  • Challenges/obstacles

2. What is missing?

  • Bottom up: Gaps as seen from session organisers/participants perspective
  • Top down: Gaps as seen from curators' perspective

3. What can be done to plug gaps?

  • Small steps we can take in our work and lives:
  • Big ideas/ concepts:
  • Windows of opportunity:

4. How can we use what we have to build what we need?

  • How we have gone from ideas to results in the past:
  • Community skill and resource mapping: 
  • Where self-interest of individual community members align or overlap:

5.  Proposals for shared activities, individual commitments, and collective projects

  • What would you yourself be willing to put some time and effort into realising?

There is a simple way you can help transform all this knowledge into action points and concrete steps forward for you and others. Pick one of the documented sessions and based on it write a post which answers some of the five questions above.  If you don’t find the answers in the documentation itself, do make up your own :) When you are done with your post, please upload it on Edgeryders (the Lote4 group) and update the table below.

Documented sessions Post answering one or more questions Author's Twitter handle
TRACK 1 : Stewarding Physical Assets: Documentation available at https://lote4.hackpad.com/Stewarding-Physical-Assets-EVxm8c6PyiU

Introductory Session/Opening Panel,

Art vs. Science

LOTE4: The Stewardship, Matera/ Lote4 writeup on Edgeryders Big Ideas/Concepts: Looking for excess capacity and ways to unlock it,  market failure in the sharing economy, use of guard labour in keeping unused assets, forming radical cooperatives that use internet as platform, guaranteed minimum income, skepticism of economic theory: at environmental scale the use of money causes damaging psychological disconnect

Using online tools to map/serve/render visible offline communities

Follow up LOTE4: Thoughts on Stewardship in context. Challenges/obstacles: Barriers to residents ability to access community assets,  Structured vs. Ad hoc systems of organisation, What is missing: Stewardship ought to include keeping eye on legal loopholes which allow for profit actors to create artificial scarcity around community assets,


unMonastery in a Box session notes

Wenn Hacktivisten wie Mönche leben

Article in the German online magazine Krautreporter: LOTE #4 was partly a review and an outlook for the unMonastery. Challenges/ Obstacles: the balance between documentation so that the wider community can work on tweaking and improving the process and documentation viewed as excessive. The risk is that big amounts of documents are piling up online – without being contextualized or (maybe) even read. documentation is very time intensive eg weekly dinners that were popular with the people of Matera had to be sacrificed for an information session for the wider Edgeryders community.


The unMonastery: a commune for the Internet age

The theme of LOTE4 was The Stewardship, or the communal management of resources when government structures break down. That is, how do we keep the toilets flushing and the wi-fi working when public infrastructures (inevitably) fail? 

unMonastery critique: ambivalence of “anarchic” or “punk” program tied to governmental structures for support. As unMonk Ben Vickers puts it, that’s precisely the goal: “It’s been about seeking an understanding of how a network can interact with power.” And given today’s rampant inequality and increasing centralization of resources, finding strategies for collaboration with industry and government without being subsumed by profit-making models is indeed an urgent (and brave) task. But throughout LOTE4, it became clear that the flipside of that challenge is equally necessary to its success: how a network can interact with those not in power.

Case Study Adventures: Keynote session notes

Summary here. Opportunity: Stewardship as simply humanity: seeing a problem in a community and trying to solve it by providing for people, creating a sense of solidarity.

Stewardship as exchange: I’m doing something for others rather than for myself.

Hidden opportunities inside legal/ social norms: sometimes it needs transgression of rules to produce change.

Obstacle: Keeping the projects going and non-dependent on key people or resources: stewards should be interchangeable, and documentation is a key part of that. Slower routes (Stokholm chicken story) help distribute the ownership of the process.

Obstacle: Self care. Stewards have a constant tendency to overextend themselves and get burned out or disillusioned.

ladyniasan, llapidge, benvickers_
TRACK 2: Stewarding Digital Assets: Documentation available at https://lote4.hackpad.com/Stewarding-Digital-Assets-TcwWjyrhnis

Stewardship and policy. Lote4 post reflection. Big ideas/ concepts: politics is inevitable in building community stewardship, we need to learn to interact with civil servants, especially local ones. What can be done to plug gaps? Contacting members of parliament can be frustrating. “Still, it is my belief that a reasonable, constructive cause for the embetterment of our communities will merit the attention of publicly elected officials and the very least one can do is give a few different elected members of parliament the opportunity to know that they may be rejecting something good.” 

The Future of Care in the eyes of the Hackers

A conversation has emerged around access to and provision of healthcare and is part of a broader one we have been having around well-being in general. It is going towards care by open-tech wielded by hacking communities as well as building social-economic-technical infrastructures that support more well being. The conversation continues at #31c3: what is happening and how you can help.

TRACK 3: Stewarding Communities: Documentation available at https://lote4.hackpad.com/Stewarding-Communities-F8r2VazmLYw

Diversity trumps ability: why senior civil servants, political leaders and entrepreneurs are teaming up with hackers, squatters, artists and activists in the name of stewardship

In the global social innovation scene …at the moment we have a really difficult, pressing problem: the state, after centuries of building public assets (from road networks to hospitals, from libraries to mass literacy), seems unable to continue to steward many such assets, and is in retreat. Can citizens come together as communities, step into the breach?


unMonastery Follow up is everything, Transitions, by Patrick Andrews

I may be wrong, but this is what I realized at this year’s Living on the Edge. Challenges: Finding the way forward for projects born at the intersection of communities, like unMonastery.  Proposals for individual commitments: More Edgeryders community members are needed to steward the collective knowledge, as well as the openness and diversity that are at the core of our work but may go unnoticed due to focus on getting things done. 


Transitions with Patrick Andrews (video)

Reflections on community after Lote. What’s out there? Opportunity: building trust as a key to building community and inspiring people to commit. Plugging in gaps. Opportunity: enable community members to participate in decision making; build inclusive ways in -> transparency


Ruminations on Lote4. Big ideas: ER community needs a grand plan and effective narratives: inner and outer. Challenges: the ability to listen as important as the ability to talk in a community “LOTE was great because I felt there was exchange (listening as well as talking). And that created a basis for trust.”

@katihausel, @bezdomny @ladyniasan 
Hackpad Curators' Feedback notes

Closing Lote4 with curators’ reflections: what have we learned about Stewardship?  Windows of opportunity: stewardship interfaces with politics in one way or the other: stewardship challenges models based on ownership. It opens up and enhances the use value of things rather than holding it captive. Is leaving the government out a sustainable way to move forward? Contacting politicians gives you documented support of your issue being important which is helpful for local authorities (teirdes).

Overlapping self interest: how do we steward the stewards and the long term, sustained, intensive effort? Communities versus platforms: How do we not compromise communities when the platform is centralized?

Plugging gaps: It’s not enough just to put a digital project up as open source, and expect that to create freedom. We need to make work open for public contributions (Matthias) 


Learning to learn about futures thinking (session notes)


Platforms: financing and governance (session notes)

The future of disaster response in the eyes of the hackers

Notes here. Advice especially in communications: “Online platforms are a way to map out the resources that we have. The idea is to how to have the communities work on disaster response without the state using online communities” (Millie) “the enabling capacity is mesh networks and people who know how to run them: things like network servers in a box, solar powered or whatever. My advice is communication first; and make communication as independent as possible from any grid.” (Leo) “AirBnB-like actors are actually in the way. They try to prevent “spokes” to connect to each other. When the disaster hits, they can not talk except by going through AirBnB.” (Nadia)