When: August 12th - 29th 2016
Where: Berlin (Food Sharing Festival), Pritzwalk (New Healing Festival) and Reinlands (Climate camp 2016)
Who: fritz, lara, selina, paul, adrian, ask, andre, nillie, max, talicia, anna
A group of around 10-12 people met at the Foodsharing festival in Berlin through yunity. The group stayed for 2 nights in Berlin at Bjorns flat before deciding to go together to the New Healing Festival 50km away to create a yunity space on-site. There, the group were given a space for 4 nights and successfully created a "free-space", promoting sharing and exchange of objects, skills, knowledge - engaging many people. The group continued to the Reinlands for the Climate camp 2016. Many connections were made between individuals and projects, due to the large number of activists and engaged people. yunity awareness was achieved through a workshop held by Adrian and Dr Friederike Habermann
on sharing economy; plus a yunity/foodsharing workshop and discussion held by Paul, Adrian and Anna.
This short action-tour was unplanned. The group met at the Foodsharing festival (via yunity network) and shared the motivation to travel onwards in a group. Decisions took longer to make at the beginning (many people and unfamiliar communication channels), but became easier throughout the 17 days. There was no formal desciosn making system: probably because it was a temporary time together. But most members were aware and normally using the systematic consensus approach.
Method of group synchronisation was rounds/circles. This gave space for everyone to voice their needs, opinions, wants. At the beginning these were more regular than the end.
To combine individual aims/visions for the New Healing Festival, the group created a dragon-dreaming session. Dragon-dreaming sessions are made up of 4 stages: dreaming, planning, doing and celebration. Reasons for going were written by each member on pieces of paper. These were collected in a mind map. Steps were made to plan how to initiate the ideas. This was an effective way to make sure the group went to the Festival with similar reasons, goals and felt perhaps more on the same level. It was effective in collecting resources, as the group spent half a day sourcing everything they needed, after the dreaming/planning
session (see resources).
The group moved from each place by hitchhiking. Groups formed (2-3 people) and remet at the destination.
Created space at healing festival
The space was created by waste/ recycled material. Nothing was bought (see material section below). The setting was in a forest and 1 day was taken to clear the ground of brambles and create a safe walking space. Each of the group were aware of new people entering the space, and took time to explain the project or yunity (depending on their perspective). There was a fair-share point, which was very actively used by the Festival go-ers. There was a communal food area. People came and cooked many things on the campfire. The fire also gathered people at night together. Many people came and shared ideas, information, knowledge, skills.
Human connection workshop (add to this please)
The group tried out a human interaction/connections workshop which was not so organised and a little experimental, but very fun.
- Foodsharing/yunity workshop
At the Climate Camp, Adrian gave a workshop to over 500 activists. Then Adrian, Paul and Anna did a workshop to roughly 10-12 people. It was meant to be focused on yunity but we ended up talking about foodsharing and dumpster/diving mainly.
Many links between people, organisations, initiatives, movements were made at each location, whilst gathering resources and hitchhiking. Adrian was partically focused on spreading awareness of yunitys ideals and composed a tool for communicating (add here Adrian)
The group saved some food from the foodsharing festival (mainly vegan cheese)
In Berlin: we checked trashwiki for dumpster diving points, and some fair-teilers in the city (foodsharing points). We asked at many bakeries and recieved a lot of bread. We did not ask in the name of foodsharing; only expressed personal interest in saving foodwaste.
In the countryside, we collected fruits from trees, wild herbs and flowers to eat.
At the Healing festival there was a vegan food kitchen where people could eat in exchange for money or helping out. Some members paid and others helped out.
At the climate camp, there was a food kitchen offering food for donation. Some members donated and others helped out (if they were living moneyless)
The Urban Oasis at Metzplatz offered the group to stay for a night after the Foodsharing festival (camping)
Bjorn offered his flat - 15 people spent 3 days in his flat.
The group camped at the festival and climate camp - 3 tents.
Some people spent nights camping between the festival and climate camp (whilst hitchhiking)
To begin with, the group had personal items and 3 tents.
For the healing festival all the material for the space was sourced by walking around Berlin.
The group looked for shipyards for waterproof sheets/rope and instead met a man working on a construction site who offered unused materials in his garage. This
included some tarpaulin, a swing, a lot of wooden floorboards, chicken wire and many other items His boss lent the group a parachute. The group also went to some fair teilers around Berlin and collected paper, string, fabrics, material.
Tools were borrowed from the Healing festival. Musical instruments brought by one member of the group.
The car belonged the the flatmate of Bjorn - who offered the group to stay in his flat in Berlin. Its battery was dead but a spare, new one found in (5 minutes?!)
after calling a mechanics. We were able to borrow it for the week to transport materials to the festival. We returned it to Bjorns flatmate after the Festival.
It was used for dumspter diving in Berlin. One person offered to pay for the fuel.
We reflected throughout the month. 5 members were together a few weeks after the end of the month and reflected together. We also did a presentation to some people within yunity at the Wuppbreak in September in Munich. This is what we talked about:
1) Internal group reflections
Importance of a common vision
The group came together with common vision despite not planning it. This included: Strengthen communities, Empower people, Encourage self organisation, Transform hierarchies, Build bridges, Network and connect, Personal growth and learning
Keeping an open mind
It is important to keep open minds to new ideas and constantly challenge your point of view. A fixed idea can make it difficult to listen to others. An open and dynamic group is flexible and has the ability to be really creative.
Taking care of each other
Group dynamics is important - and so it giving everyone a voice. Circles at the beginning of the day and the end, with the intention to synchronise or express emotions are important. Bonding time, connection time is worthwhile, resulting in happy people and a solid plan!
We were not lead by an individual however, different people took on natural positions of 'leadership' at appropiate times. This still lead to 'productivity' and achieving goals. One property of effective leadership can be seen as being sensitive to others with a quieter voice, and supporting/teaching those who feel less confident to also take on role as leader.
Sensitivity is the key word of this tour. Its important to be aware of the 'vibes' or feelings between individuals. It is effective to be aware of oppressive behaviour and how to talk about it openly. This can be through informal conversations or formally, in a circle.
2) Outreach reflections
- Spreading awareness of unconditional sharing
Communication with different circles of people is always different depending on who the person is. It's important to see from their perspective and communicate appropiately. Sensitivity and awareness is also important - to see how certain communities already function, and where sharing can fit it. This requires looking at two things: needs of a community or group, and skills/attributes/resources they already possess.
In terms of spreading the idea of yunity - it seems to work better if you focus on the concept of unconditional sharing first, before explaining the difficult history, structure and concept of yunity. However, in every situation this is different. It can be useful to direct someone to slack, but also difficult for a new person to see how they fit in. Likewise for the wiki (which is even more confusing for people). It's strange to describe something as social as unconditional sharing and then direct them to an internet website.
3) Random points
- Don't need so much space for a group (14 people, 3 days, one flat in Berlin)
- Don't need to be doing the same things in each place e.g. Healing festival = creating sharing space, Climate camp = connecting to people.
- Think about your own personal emotions and take rest to avoid burnout (travelling and connecting is tiring!)
4) If we had more time?
- Hold events promoting sharing
- Create sharing spaces
- Make an easier online site, rather than the wiki and slack.
- Think of ways to communicate unconditional sharing to even more groups.
- develop more ideas of human connection workshops