How much does it take to teach an activist a lesson? The price of your Saturday dinner.
What do we need to learn?
If a social initiative fails, it is mostly because of the lack of social skills. A group of goodwill people, with a great idea, gathered for the common good, after a few months become a bunch of disenchanted individuals, disappointed in each other, who will probably not want to do anything for the common good ever again. Sounds familiar?
Where is the wisdom?
Yet there are groups which last for years, getting more and more integrated, achieving their goals, performing, holding together. How do they do it? What are their secrets?
This is just what we want to uncover, and share the knowledge with everyone. The work has started already: in Quest 1 we have reached out to several stable, self-governing and freedom-oriented groups in Greece. We now have their commitment to share their inner wisdom how to build and maintain stable, acting community (more about Quest 1: http://expeditionfreedom.org/2013/07/02/quest-1-summary/)
These are groups engaging in cutting-edge practices to face the crisis. Their activities are diverse – gardening, food distribution, solidarity social center, sustainable technologies research, ecovillage –, but they face the same challenges as all action groups:
- how to select new members
- how to make (and execute) decisions
- how to solve internal conflicts
the list goes on and on.
What's the next step?
In September and October 2013 we shall visit them and make extensive interviews with their members. We shall take part in their assemblies. We shall see how they do their work. And then we shall make a series of instructional videos, presenting their ways of successful self-governance. And we shall publish them in the Internet, free for all - as in 'free speech' AND as in 'free beer'. IF WE GET YOUR SUPPORT.
The travelling team will consist of three people - the storyteller, the filmmaker and the local guide (position still to be filled, probably rotational). One person will provide "ground control" from home.
Description of the project. Main features, strengths and differentials.
We shall provide social contributors anywhere with practical solutions to major challenges every community faces. They will be no theory. They will be practical knowledge, topped with some reflection. Every person, trying to set up any community will find inspiration, examples and sometimes ready-made solutions. All real and tested, shared by people who already succeeded doing this - and in quite unfavorable circumstances. We plan this to be the beginning of a growing network of knowledge, counterbalancing mainstream 'social conditioning' focused on hierarchy and authoritarian methods.
Why this is important
Because everyone who starts a community, social initiative or a long-term campaign group, faces the same social challenges to keep the group coherent and working - and people happy.
We will provide practical knowledge, shared by people who already succeeded doing this - and in quite unfavorable circumstances.
The priceless practical knowledge, shared with everybody for free. That IS important.
Goals of the crowdfunding campaign
The only objective of our crowdfunding campaign is to collect funds needed to complete Quest 2.
Prepare and promote the Quest in Poland and Germany.
Interview in depth the shortlisted communities in a 3-6 week long expedition.
Prepare instructional videos for activists wishing to establish long-term communities.
Setting up (upon agreement with participating communities) a network of internship positions for activist, to provide them with practical experience.
Petros: full time social contributor - a travelling commoner, anarchopositivist, political writer and homeless activist.
I am a political writer, speaker and storyteller. I believe that storytelling is an important counterbalance to impersonal, devaluated internet media noise.
At the same time I am involved in bootleg technology. Co-founder of the Warsaw Hackerspace, I also took part in several low-tech initiatives, always considering them tools for better self-governance for local/intentional communities.
Raf: have worked as a cinematographer for the past 5 years, mainly in the UK but also elsewhere in Germany and Poland.
My educational background in film comes from Polish National Film School in Lodz, and from schools in London (London College of Communication and Westminster Film School). Years of stills photography work has also enhanced my visual approach.
I am a member of South London Squatters Network and keep in touch with my friends from Rozbrat squat in Poznan, Poland. https://vimeo.com/50757846
Jan: living in Poland, Germany, Chile and Spain I experienced the global economic ties at its best and worst. This must be why economy of gift driven by practical knowlegde and the Commons aproach seems to me as both romantic and highly rational solution that needs to be spread. I believe I'm doing just so by supporting the idea of FreeLab and Expedition Freedom by covering Spanish and Portugese initiatives.