A Social Clinic for the Future
I have been an advisor to the unMonastery project since its inception at the “Living on the Edge” confrence in June of 2012. Hosted by the Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division at the Council of Europe.
The unMonastery is a social clinic for the future. It is a place-based social innovation is aimed at addressing the interlinked needs of empty space, unemployment and depleting social services by embedding committed, skilled individuals within communities that could benefit from their presence.
It is a non-profit project that aims to challenge existing dependency chains and economic fictions, developed in collaboration with EdgeRyders LBG over the course of 18 months. Edgeryders started out as a project by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, which after termination developed into an international, community-run social enterprise.
I was heavily involved in unMonastery’s inception. Thinking through what it might mean to live, work, colaborate togther in the 21C in the name of service to the community. I am interested in the design of organisations and intituions of all sizes that produce their own orbital velocity (the speed at which they stick in reality, when maintenance becomes minimal). It is a question of self institutionalisation, where the rythmes of the physical space compliment the work undertaken in the space.
The first unMonastery opened its doors February 2014 in Matera, Italy. Working with Matera2019, the prototype hosted projects including CoderDojo Matera, Mapping the Commons, and unTransit, an app to follow the city’s transport system in real-time. Greater details on projects, people, and the community involved in the prototype are available on the unMonastery Matera site.
The unMonastery project produced and continues to produce lots of documentation covering its sucsesses and mistakes.