[P2P-F] [commoning] The Co-operative University (Hoeschele, Wolfgang)

Dante-Gabryell Monson dante.monson at gmail.com
Sat Dec 28 10:52:09 CET 2013

Hi Wolfgang,

Thank you for sharing your
it overlaps with approaches I like to take.

I see a number of potentially overlapping and emergent "layers".
I like to hear from other people's dreams or personal experiences.

I see the potential for an understanding of distribution / aggregation
layers, mutually empowering each other in an emergent way, building up
critical diversity for further emergence, resilience, and ( ideally ? )
viable systems.

I ll be happy to map out our non linear understanding. ( a mapping tool
where we can export our data ? )

*// in advance, apologies to Silke - this will be a long post with a lot of
links //*

Some layers I experiment(ed) with , followed by a few projects.

I want to talk about Nomadism, as it embodies imho an understanding of
distributed systems - understanding I wish to use even when not moving (
geographically ).

I see *layers of distribution and aggregation mutually empowering each
other in an emergent way.*

Short, medium and long term approaches , and resilience through their
overlap, can also be taken into account.

I want to bring forward potentials for synergies and emergence ( based on
"critical diversity" ? ), and using Integral
City<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_City>and some research ( if
one can call this research ? ) I did or am doing, to
compare or apply it to.


*- Nomadism :*

*- it can imho be translated into the experience many more have, for
example at a city scale , or also via "seminar hopping" lifestyles , movie
production lifestyles, etc  -*

talking from personal experience
of a type of nomadism based on a low ( monetary ) threshold ( hitch hiking

I would aim at experiencing a flow of temporary autonomous zones ( often
events ), hitch hiking from the one to another, taking into consideration a
"logistics of options" to direct myself across europe. ( moving east or
west, north or south, depending on how events may seem to empower more
options for intentional convergence and supporting needs at later stages )

I am glad Wolfgang mentioned "non places".  Much of the time was spent
crossing "non places", moving towards aggregators where, for a moment, some
shared "warmth" could be experienced.

Nomadism ( especially moneyless , or almost moneyless )  , in my view,
embodies *an experienced understanding of a distributed system of
distributed systems* : hitch hiking as intentional distributed system -
used as a layer to facilitate access to - ... hospitality as a distributed
system - being hosted for a limited amount of time - ... which can empower
meeting people, which itself can lead to events , to shared learning,
distributed information networks, etc ...  each of these potentially
empowering distributed intentional "tribes".

Such social capital constantly being worked on - if not, the energy imho
dissipates over time.

Such understanding of nomadism ( / of distributed approaches ) can be
applied within more specific geographical environments, such as a
particular city itself.
I guess others wrote about this ... ( Negri, Hardt, ... )

I personally like the contents of this site :

It is important , imho, to reduce "empty places" and time ... as to make it
viable.    Focusing on places where there is a higher density and diversity
of mutually empowering potentials, that can , even if one uses a temporary
autonomous approach, further feed other processes and enable a continuity
of flow.

This is some of my shared experience of too much "spreading out" :



Convergence may be possible in cities - yet the cost of space , in monetary
terms, or of securing access to space ( if one squats ) is often very high,
itself leading people to allocate their time to service such monetary cost,
reducing availability, and increasing the potential for "empty places" ...
or "empty social places", as people are "too busy" ...

Finding distributed approaches to use such spaces and generate spaces on
top of existing infrastructure , as to converge social networks /
aggregate, may be one approach.    Narratives imho also play a central role
in such flows of aggregation.   Time, too, plays a role.   High turnovers
in certain cities may not enable long term continuity or development of
projects, unless a combination between longer term residents and short term
residents can be found.

Planning is not always possible when there is such constant reshuffling -
hence the potential for stigmergic information tools to manage logistics of
options and generate flow and emergent collective intelligence.


As it requires constant work on social networks,
but also as I sense there is a need to create reference points for oneself
to return to,
aggregators which can overlap as to enable continuity , rather then leaving
empty spaces of nothingness,

after 5 years on the road I needed to find solutions for places of
unconditional return.

A tribe , even if it morphs, yet enables shared intention, can be such
"home" - even if and when it moves in space.   Sometimes families can
represent such form of tribe, yet in western societies , imho, families end
up being instrumentalized in favor of dominant socio-cultural narratives.
 In some cases, people like me who wish to generate alternative / less
coercive narratives may end up marginalized from both society and family.

Underlying logic that I notice from people in mainstream narratives being :
"if I "have" to do this, why would s/he not , hence I can not support him,
as it would furthermore requestion my own sacrifices over time to survive
in this system".      Not all adopt such stance - and it is interesting to
understand what processes or contexts opens people up ...


I see a need for overlap in terms of time frameworks.

At casarobino ( a nomadbase.org which hosted over 1000 people in a small
flat over a 3 year time framework ), I noticed how overlap between short
term ( a night or two ), medium term ( a few days to a week ), and longer
term ( a few weeks ? ) residents enabled transfer of self organized
cultures and information needed for such self organization, and how it
enabled some form of fluidity in terms of internal social dynamics.
Furthermore, the casa seemed to serve an aggregation role, enabling a place
of return on a longer time framework, leading to individuals coming back to
the space, feeding and at the same time maintaining what imho looked like
intentional subcultures enabling its self organization.  ( may be
interesting to study this further in depth : the role of such aggregators,
and intentions that may serve as shared engagment and underlying social
contracts )


For the moment, debt seems to be one of the powerful forces leading people
to be prepared to share engagement / generate social contracts. ( often
generating more centralized control and artificial scarcity ? )

To free ourselves from ( monopolistic and hierarchical ) debt information
systems of control, I sense we need to generate alternative distributed
engagement tools.

Reification is imho risky business ( in terms of control - see this
, yet worth experimenting in a distributed form - to facilitate temporary
aggregation ,  as stigmergic tools ?   ( hence mentioning the netention
research, which also includes understanding regarding Linked Data, ... )

Yet, indeed, "places" can be aggregators.
I see the risk of "institutionalization" of places ( and centralized
control )

Potentially, such institutionalization of spaces can be ok as long as
networkes are not enclosed within it, and that such networks can access
sufficient diversity, as to never depend on any one source ... yet be able
to build on top of institutionalized infrastructure, although I do not see
this as a solution.   Ideally, one would aim at enabling distributed forms
of ( temporary ) infrastructure away from institutional influence and

In some cases, there may be potential to support a distributed commons
through institutional support, playing on the strategic interests of
specific institutions in doing so - yet rarely does this seem to come,
imho, without a cost / conditions.   Mapping externalities can be a
potential of tools such as suggested by netention research - including
practices visualizing open value networks ?


Here is some research ( draft ) I did as to attempt such approach in


The idea being to benefit from existing infrastructure, at a lower cost (
in terms of debt ), and creating a sufficiently great diversity and amount
of individual projects, as to build distributed systems on top of the
proposal of the usership of a living space

Prices in Leipzig now seem to have increased - so I needed to change


Using the potential for FabLabs / local small scale manufacturing based on
open source research and development,

I imagine using vacant spaces ( in urban or countryside environments )
to build up temporary housing.

Eric H. used the terms "pop up villages" and "furnitecture" ( portemanteau
for furniture and architecture )

see : http://sharewiki.org/en/Spime_Housing

It can include approaches such as wikihouse ( http://www.wikihouse.cc/ ) ,
Ideally, I imagine modular and parametric approaches ( I noticed some
designer and architect active on Edgeryder forums think so too )

Some cities, such as Brussels, see imho high turnovers ( 15 to 20 percent
of its population annually ? ).   There is a lack of housing, prices are
rising as population increases, etc

In such kind of context, I also see the potential for some of the
approaches expressed earlier on ,

using the potential of massive amounts of vacant space ( for example : over
2 million square meters of empty office space )

to generate temporary contracts where temporary structures ( furnitecture /
urban pop up villages ) can be set up, as some form of temporary living.

For example in Brussels :

Various subcultures can / are converging and overlapping, with each having
high turnovers, or people keeping a base while living nomadic lifestyles -
for example dancer networks, theatre networks, but also all kinds of
students, people doing internships, people on short term contracts for
international institutions or businesses, etc

The environment itself can generate new layers and opportunities.

Beyond reducing costs / increasing quality of life with limited monetary
income via a sharing economy approach,

it can be about generating conviviality , liberating time by reducing
costs, and increasing potential for interactions around shared intentions
or interests.

Freed time opens up potential for participatory action research and

Approaches that combine subcultures and generations can also be adopted.
It can be an evolution from the "co-living" approaches which have permeated
into many urban living / social practices.

In effect, such types of temporary spaces generating defacto "free schools",
some of them leading to "project incubation"

Also see :

http://opendoor.io/  --> projects


I wanted to generate such spaces for a number of years,

yet I realize that a more specific and easily understood narrative is
needed to enable shared intentional engagement.

A narrative for a "school" can be an example of a way to bootstrap such
engagement.   Incubators , coworking spaces , or even, in the countryside,
permaculture or construction / renovation projects can all be narratives
attracting people for a certain period of time.

Yet often there needs to be a "spark", and the threshold for such spark
often requires a minimum of resources ... which itself already requires

Although I shared this link earlier on , also see :



Convergences such as

seem to already be a filter for those ready to engage in setting such
prototypes...   hopefully building on the experience of past "communes",
but hopefully also enabling neo nomadic / distributed overlap, as explained
in this mail.

On Sat, Dec 28, 2013 at 12:28 AM, Hoeschele, Wolfgang <whoesch at truman.edu>wrote:

> Thank you for your thoughts, Anna, Dante, Wouter!
> Something that I wrote that resonates with what you are saying, Dante, is
> here:
> http://www.scribd.com/doc/49712621/Making-Place-for-Abundance
> And of course, at the Commons Abundance Network, we are seeking to provide
> links to any initiatives of the types that you mentioned, and develop our
> network as a virtual collaboration space to help such things develop. The
> more networking there is among such initiatives, both online and in actual
> places, the more they will be able to coalesce into real alternatives.
> Wolfgang
> -----Original Message-----
> From: commoning-bounces at listen.jpberlin.de on behalf of Wouter Tebbens
> Sent: Fri 12/27/2013 4:54 PM
> To: Dante-Gabryell Monson
> Cc: commoning at listen.jpberlin.de
> Subject: Re: [commoning] [P2P-F] The Co-operative University (Hoeschele,
> Wolfgang) (Hoeschele, Wolfgang)
> Dante,
> I love the idea of such "uncompromised temple". It would be a reference
> site where so many free/libre/open/commons-governed/knowledge initiatives
> would come together.
> Ideally it would be in a bottom-up organised country. And it would of
> course be a node in the distributed network of already existing nodes.
> Some would spend more time their while others, even with a longtime
> commitment, would only come there physically from time to time. Teachers,
> learners of all disciplines would join in special sharing sessions to
> construct collective knowledge and common projects.
> As you say, if such initiative can be seen as a kind of insurance, it will
> be easier for some to invest/contribute. The transition is probably not
> going to be easy for many people, so assuring some basics would be helpful.
> I need to continue other conversations right now, but the ideas discussed
> here have my interest. Thanks and best wishes for sustainable and solidary
> systems.
> Best
> Wouter
> Dante-Gabryell Monson <dante.monson at gmail.com> escribió:
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