Friday, 4th, Brooklyn Urban Sanctuary:
Expectation from base:
Jamie: radically self reliant, radically self expressive, relatively sober, leave no trace. No references, no requirements. Nomad can pay fear amount. no free loader. legally run. division guest/host.
Saturday, 5th, Brooklyn Urban Sanctuaryt
-Distinction between Tourist, Traveler, & Nomad -Nomads want to create (art, etc.)
-Berlin Conference re-cap:
-Nomad base goal, creating places where nomads can find a place to rest, sense of home -What are our expectations and hopes from a nomad base?
-Participation & Contribution as essential values
-Goals of SHE in NYC: create connections
What is a Nomad?
-Mike: One who travels, either permanently or often; Not having a homebase (ie. own apartment, no short term or long-term)
-Sara: Agrees with 'no homebase'
-Darryl: Thinks of classical definition of nomad as needing to travel for livelihood
-Anton: Traveling to learn
-Dan: neonomad definition versus classical definition of nomad -Division between physical location and mind: nomad can travel physically or mentally (life as a journey)
-Jamie: -Key distinction (neo)nomads travel as a lifestyle choice vs classical nomads for livelihood -Distinction between nomads and refugees (not nomads, not by choice, looking for home) -Making some fundamental break with mainstream society -Hardcore nomad: no lease, bills, car, insurance, maybe not even bank account, financially independent
-Someone: Nomad have to travel to sustain themselves. Someone else agree.
-Valentina: Very important to draw this distinction between classical nomad and neo-nomad -Neo-nomad: someone who participates, shares, grows
-Sarah: nomad is someone who is on the move. Wants to create a definition of nomad-base that is open to more people, not just for travel-savvy, trust-fund kids, but places open to more people that can include 'refugees', etc. Nomad bases would also serve people who may not self-identify as nomads, but need the space to stay.
-Darryl: Agrees with Sara. Also agrees with neo-nomads "participating, sharing, growing"
-Anton: Working to travel vs. Traveling to work. Nomads work to travel.
-Jamie: Wants to figure out a way to effectively serve all these groups (nomads, refugees, migrant workers); Wants to be inclusive rather than exclusive, but figure out how to do this in a way that doesn't threaten security of the base
-Valentina: Another element of neo-nomad culture – rather than consume, prefers to create. Doesn't go to places to exploit, but to create something (human connection, shelter, work of art, etc)
Someone: neonomad have impact on communities. NO B/W definition but flexible, open.
-Sarah: Wants to flesh out idea of nomad as NOT a tourist. Wants to talk about how we identify personally – where we are coming from and our motivations, in terms of practices and intentions rather than a strict definition.
Start of circle, discussing our backgrounds
-Daryl: Was a pilgrim for a year and a half. Wasn't going to sightsee, but because he was interested in how he could learn and grow in a spiritual way. So was going to sacred, special places with teachers. Now thinks of nomad in terms of social justice and volunteering. nomad can also travel to perform/make art. they share and contribute. they affect surrounding communities in positive ways. A nomad is not a tourist.
-Dan: connect a lot with what Darryl said – been considering myself a pilgrim lately, trying to find value in the process --- the journey, not the destination. This has been in some ways more obvious
I've been traveling to learn, after growing up in a somewhat sheltered environment, to force myself to adapt to new experiences, environments people. I value change, balance. Search 4 situations that force you to adapt.
-Jamie: 3 points: nomads travel open-endedly, without a finite window of time. Tourists have a finite window. Neither is better nor worse, just different. Tourists vs. nomads. Pilgrim is a spiritual nomad, who looks at nomadism as a spiritual path. Also luminary, sabbatical travelers (professors, professionals)
- Valentina: Agrees with all. Nomad is someone who travels as a lifestyle. What kind of nomad is Valentina? -- Nomadism doesn't have to be geographical or spatial movement, but can also be inner movement. She tries to challenge the borders of her ego – to put herself in a condition of perpetual travel, even if it isn't always through physical moving of spaces. She tries to take a spiritual, and psychological approach. Questioning herself, and the borders of her ego, and how ego can get in touch with other egos. What Neo-nomad is not: freeloader, consumer
- Charlie: was a nomad for a while before he realized he was a nomad. Wherever he went along his journeys, he ended up staying in places where there were people around like family. More about emotional stability than locational stability. “Home is where your stuff is and home is where your heart is.” Everyone, deeply inside, is nomadic: they just did not figure out how to make it work.
- Sara: Agrees with Darryl, about potential contribution in terms of social justice from nomads. Traveled after studying in Copenhagen. Especially in this world where most communication is spread by mass media, it's important for people to move around and personally share stories (storytelling) and learning opportunity. Agrees with Dan about importance of change leading to growth – that's why she wants to be on the move. To sum up: social justice & personal growth (knowing yourself). Also , relevance of storytelling and traveling
- Anton: Being nomadic is largely an internal goal – way to step back and make sense of his reality in order to make clear decisions.
-What is a nomad base?
-Matt: a place where someone can stay for an extended period of time. Definition of “extended” is not yet known. There must be some sort of contribution / participation, whether it's labor, financial, etc. This should be determined on a base to base basis. Expectation from Base to Nomad is: contribute to cleanliness and be clean. Expectation of nomad to base as very basic: shelter and security. Everything else cannot be expected.
-Sarah: Doesn't necessarily have to include roof over head, ie. Open air camping environments.
-Anton: respect others and other's propriety.
-Jamie:Expectation of Nomad: Facilities and security and safety --- water and toilet, kitchen, trash, etc.
Expectation of Bases: If it's a burner base, the BM 4 principles (no trace, radical self reliance, radical self expression, piss clear...)
Valentina: -Would also like to have a base where she can leave stuff, storage. Also expects/wants internet access. Higher level expectations: family, community, connection, should not make her feel like a foreigner. No distinction between hosts and guests: inclusive. Space where she can do her own stuff – have time to create, whether it's art, e-mails, etc.
-What base expects from nomad: Agrees with nomad having to contribute. Non-violence and respect.
-Dan: Expectation of Base to Nomad: Cleanliness, leave no trace, some sort of contribution/participation – can be as basic as washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom. To more complex as Expectation of Nomad to Base: Security, Shelter as basics. Sense of family, participation. Social projects and community projects – artistic, humanitarian, ie. Food not bombs.
-Charlie: Draws a distinction between what travelers can expect from a shelter on a very basic level sense, and what a nomad can expect from a Nomad Base. From a nomad base, he would expect to find other NOMADS. Nomad base as an exercise in sustainability. A place where that is work. Nomads can come and be helpful to the process, to help keep it sustainable.
-Matt: Agrees with Charlie's distinction between Nomad Base and a crash pad. Thinks of it as a bit longer-term, not just for passing through.
-Sarah: Thinks what we're talking about now is more along the lines of an intentional community. Needs of nomads are central to a Nomad Base Intentional Community – they are who the community is for. Using the term intentional community in the sense of a group of people coming together for a purpose, who choose to create a community together. Nomads are centrals and are in the base with a specific purpose.
-Daryl: What can one nomad base expect from another nomad base? networked bases, hub that is connected and connects. Helping nomads in finding other bases.
-Jamie: Nomad bases can refer good nomads to each other. Distinction drawn between “referral” and “reference”. Nomads have to be trustworthy.
-Sarah: Different ideas exist about what safety/security means in a base, and what a good nomad is. Safety and respect mean different things to different people.
-Jamie: We are operating under the assumption that all people are fundamentally good, until they prove themselves otherwise.
-Valentina: In her ideal nomad base, there is a space for skill sharing. Learning sharing opportunities also pro
-Anton: Transparency of operation. Every nomad, upon leaving a base, should have the necessary knowledge to setup a nomad base.
-Valentina: If a nomad base is asking for money, there should be transparency of finances.
-Jamie: Agrees with preceding principle, on the condition that the nomads are bearing the majority of the financial burden for the space. If they are a minority stakeholder, financial transparency is a the discretion of the landlord / majority stakeholder.
-Charlie: A base should have a manual – ie. Garbage needs to go out on certain days, maps of where furniture goes depending on what types of events are being held. Anybody should be able to come in and know how things work in the base.
-Jamie: In the military, it's called Standard Operating Procedures.
-Daryl: Thinks of aforementioned manual more of an initial orientation, including advice about navigating the city, etc.
-Valentina: Should a nomad base be eco-friendly?
-Daryl: Been thinking about it, but I don't know.
-Matt: No. More of a base by base definition. A goal but not a requirement.
-Jamie: 3 levels of sustainability for a base. 1) Financial stability, being in the black. 2) Giving something back to community. With Brooklyn Urban Sanctuary, they're not just breaking even but living abundantly – long-term, 10 year goal.
-Sarah: Draw a distinction between nomad base and 'crash pad'. Nomads have to be central to run the base.
A NOMAD BASE IS A SPACE THAT FULFILL THE BASIC NEEDS (shelter, food, safety and security) of people in transition - geographical, spiritual- where the nomads themselves create a community that is central to run the place (they are the primary contributors). A base needs to support/provide infrastructure and info-structure (orientation, hub, connection). It is not a place to crash or an hostel. Nomads can stay extended period of time (eventually paying or contributing with work).
Sunday, 6th, Ganas
December 6, 2009
SHE_in_NYC, Day 2, Meeting Notes
2:45pm – Introductions and Intentions
3:00pm – Skype Conference Call with Robin, in Brussels
-Robin: Berlin SHE conference recap – goal is to plant seeds for nomadic hospitality -There at least 40-50 people involved, staying in a place called Tea House – sot of a potential model for nomad base – business selling tea and food in front, sleeping space in back
-Question by Dan: further recap of Berlin conference? Robin: -Aim of creating infrastructure for a new culture, gathering ideas, brainstorming outloud -Working definitions are not finalized, but in-progress drafts/notes have been put online -They have a list of 10 existing places that can be considered as nomad bases (“identities”) -- but are currently working to create a concept/identification model of what a Nomad base is and is not
-Question by Sarah: Have you discussed outwards community involvement as pertains to Nomad Bases? Robin: -Example of a space in Milan that asks travelers to stay a minimum of one week and get involved with projects -Example of space in Tallin, Estonia – that organizes a community centre – travelers coming in can decide in which way they want to integrate with existing activities
-Question by James: Can you elaborate on what you meant by 'new culture'? Robin: -Culture of sharing, exchange, thinking of others before self -”The race is over. There is no race.” -This culture is contrary to the type we grow up with in Western societies, but is the one that works best - promoting a idea of a “sharing culture” - citizens’ rights and responses when you come in. Share what you want; take what you can - societal, economic, and spiritual change. How to enable change in oneself? How to break your culture; give before take instead of using your elbows. A lot of social and economic models have been in place. Good balance of group and individual.
-Question by Anton: What is the decision-making process? How will you decide which model to apply? Robin: -It's a very difficult question, and they are still working on figuring out the best way -If anyone is interested in getting involved, get involved through the Nomad Base website -Trying to avoid the mistakes that other hospitality networks have made - Through wiki and forum.
-Question by Valentina: How do we define who is a nomad and who is not? How do we build a system of trust when deciding who can enter this network, in a non-judgmental way?
Robin: -3 Models, none of which are satisfactory yet: -One option is to have network completely closed – only people can join through personal connections and being vouched for by others on the network -Option 2 it is to be completely open, anyone can join -Option 3 is hybrid model -Weren't able to come up with satisfactory answer in Berlin -Considering that a new member has to be personally vouched into the network -Don't want to do references on the website - Safety and security issues w/ an open network
Question by Sarah: Do you have any questions for us? Robin: With all the overlap with other existing networks (WWOOF, CS, etc.), do you understand how the network we are trying to build is distinct from what is already out there? Daryl: Believes that we are trying to create a network with more sustainability in terms of relationships created through the website
Question by Sarah: What are you working on right now after the Berlin gathering closed? What's a short term plan and general direction and goals? Robin: -We've been taking a break since Berlin -Next steps. There are 3 working groups in different locations. -Need to filter the information coming out of Berlin and New York and organize them into workable formats -Need to work more on the website, and focus more on working definitions that can be agreed on for the next meeteing -Going to plan 2 weekly meetings via IRC
4.00 pm: Open Space A –
How does a culture of nomadism contribute to broader society?
- It breaks down barriers that communities establish and the sense of Western individualism for a culture of sharism.
- Nomad movement could be considered part of socialism.
- Nomadism can spread through word of mouth; person to person; electronic capabilities.
- Establish the interconnectedness betw. ppl. places, etc... Felt life in trees.
How can nomadism keep places sustainable?
- Nomads are ambassador to people of other nations, places, etc…
- Can spread philosophy: Culture of sharing; value added; making the world better
- Communities more interconnected; be autonomous and work w/ other communities.
- Nomads offer services; hosts teach skills; sharing info, skills, etc…
- Carrying seeds of info: web of relationships and info.
Concern w/ skill-learning and easily accessible services: creation of tools when not needed; dumpster diving when not needed or exploited by other groups w/ diff. values that those of nomads. Most nomads are greatly concerned about preserving the environment. Therefore, there is strong correlation between nomadism and environmentalism. An existing model is a “Smile networks”, an inclusive network whose rule is to always smile no matter what shit that happens.
- Criteria for network Matt wants to establish: Responsible dissemination of information; Impt. to learn own skills before being reliant on nomad bases for everything; Lessons- simple, hard lessons ie how to respect someone else’ space, are impt. to have before using info; Nomad network- members must show dedication so tools responsible; Initiation system to make sure nomads would use info with discretion or appreciate tools; Being able to provide for safety- something Couchsurfing and other sites haven’t been fully able to do; Matt thinks that if the network is open it would re-create what other sites have already done.
Darryl’s experience in San Marcos, a New Age attraction in South Am, is that Westerners are taking advantage of indigenous. Could nomadism create an opportunity for change?
-Nomads’ skills that they can share :Carpentry; cooking; intelligence that stems from not having a home base; ability to adapt to a place or “read” a place.