What would you bring to the Unmonastery?

Hello all, I am in Matera and have started a discussion on the Unmonastery as summarized by Edwin in this report. The occasion is that Matera is bidding for European City of Culture 2019, and they asked me to help make their bid more cutting edge. They are interested. The facilities seem to be there.

Now, would you help me take the discussion a little further? I would need some examples of the projects that a successful Unmonastery could undertake. Urban permaculture? Hardware hacking? Social currencies? Microsolar? Peer-to-peer health care? What would you do if you were given the opportunity to join the Unmonastery?

Possible rules of engagement: the minimum duration of the residency in the Unmonastery is one month. You are given bed, board, travel to Matera; you are put in touch with the members of the local community who are interested in the same things you are, and encouraged to work with them on improving the city and the region; you are welcome to bid for funding of your own, and we could even try to help a bit.

Visualisation and facilitate creation of new projects.

The thing I like to do is to create easy to use tools to facilitate creation of new projects. Already started with a deck of cards (draft here) to define projects and to ideate. To create things and structures that becomes catalytic. My skill that I think would be best to add is the make processes visual. How to present things visually.

Also would like to do a small-town version of the citizen photo journalism project I’ve been working on. Examples Georgia Stories and The Photo Book of Sweden

One down

Thanks Ola, great material. And that’s you. Vinay (here) wants to do software, in particular Free Software for Enterprise Logistics - figuring out on maps and spreadsheets how to manage resources for events like Burning Man (fun) or natural disasters (Work!). Anyone else?

deck of cards?

this sound gamestorming! i cant open a link though.

Me neither

Neither can I. Maybe it wants me to create an account to Instagram… do I really have to do it? :slight_smile:


This picture of the deck of cards works better!


Now I can see them.

Made me think of board games as well. How abt developing one which is uniquely Materian?

Speaking also abt local social currency. I like this term.

wow the photobooks

Can be combined with a bit of journalism, Something in this genre? - greencardstories

Otherwise its all about caves on the internet.


The Photo Book & Georgia stories are journalism. Photographers depicting everyday life with photo and captions. It’s about smashing the tourism picture most countries have and to diverse that narrow interpretation of peoples realities. Maybe it would be cool to let people describe Matera themselves. So we crowdsource instead of “doing research”…


Written by ppl from Matera. Someth like participatory interviews, woth questions developped by ppl from Matera too, we just coordinate the project. (book or exhibition someth)

I tried someth similar in Malmo, can prototype it in Matera too.

Art&research mix.

have you seen google images results for Matera? Impressive, isn’t it? Only caves and beautiful views.

Can it be the part of the (megalomaniac) project: to get <<DIFFERENT>> pix of the place to appear on search engines?

So what are people in Matera are into? What do you feel is a local buzz?

I see there is the agriculture and engineering faculties there, and a city has a techie side, right? Where do the locals see the potential at the moment?

Are hacker spaces and urban farming might be in field of interest because of the Uni?

But do these fit into the bidding on culture?

And does it matter?

Had a quick look at bambuser broadcasts, tweets, meetups etc, but there are not so many in the area. May be it’s a good thing - not too many info to create stereotypes from beforehand.

The place is stunning and a culture heritage site: I always find it blinding. Iternet seach gives a lot about a great view. Though I’m not that good at googling things in Italian.

I feel like the only way for me to understand what are the best things to prepare and to bring is doing some ethnographic action research on the spot before becoming an UnMonk. I would love to do that before everything is set up.

Do you think it will be usefull to to get few locals on the platform?

Send these thoughts over to Nadia, Ben & Edwin earlier…

“Have been thinking about the idea. Think it’s really important that we involve the local edgeryders there. Think its important that we not only become a pack of internationals/nomads. Think they should get to live in the house too. They will bring highly important skills and knowledge about the place/local community. That’s a really important enabling factor for all of us.”


I remembered Andrea Paoletti is also exploring something in Matera with co-living spaces. he wrote that…

Normally young people from Matera go to big cities for university and once they complete their studies they continue to live outside the region.

unMonastery - 2 questions…

Lovely idea…but 2 questions…

Will this be part of the 2019 City of Culture programme of events ?

(If so, I think forecasting what will be the key issues then is a very hard thing to do! Though, Vinay’s suggestion about distributed resource utilisation chimes nicely with our shared expectation that we will be less energy rich by then and environmentally poorer so everything will have to made as energy efficient as possible…)

Secondly, is there a link to ‘Edwin’s report’ that is cited a few times? I cannot find it on the site…

Here it is:

This one is the first introducing the unMonastery idea:



The description of UnMonastery is here.


Well before that

I think, Arthur, that the Unmonastery should be doing its own thing. I am proposing a pilot: six months, starting in spring 2013. I hope, however, that the experience can help writing the bid (to be finished in June 2013).

Great stuff…let me know if there is anything I can do to assist…