Blurbs of text that can be used
The main question that we will share is: how to make your nomadic lifestyle more sustainable?
To answer this question we will look more closely to our shared nomadic culture and how to improve our common eco-system: the network of people and structures that sustain our (neo-)nomadic lifestyles. One structure is a proposal called nomadbases, houses open to receive people who consider themselves nomadic. These people come to a nomadbase to find a (temporary) home, where they can come to share and connect.
The term nomad we use here for communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling 'permanently' in a fixed location. While most nomads are part of a rather traditional nomadic tribes (think here of nomadic tribes in Mongolia), there is also a small but increasing amount of young people (mostly in the Western world) who adopt a nomadic lifestyle, roaming around freely without a fixed house.
These nomads can also be called neo or postmodern nomads. Most of these nomads, especially the ones traveling without money, through hitchhiking or just in general who travel by trusting strangers, learn to receive, hence to give and share, according to their needs and possibilities. Related terms used to describe these neo-nomads are for example hobos: migratory workers who move mainly through trainhopping.
SHE in NY is also a follow up of a similar gathering that takes place in Berlin for 10 days (20-30 of November): the aim of this gathering is to create a network between already existing nomad bases and to promote the creation of new ones.
In the vision of SHE, a nomadbase would be a shared living space where all inhabitants (including the nomads - how temporary they may stay) feel at home, do their 'thing' and can learn and share with other people who live there. A shared culture of participation in common activities (household and events for example) as well as mutual care among inhabitants and visitors are highly necessary for these spaces to remain sustainable. Keywords: intiative, sharing, learning, hosting. Most nomads also bring special skills and crafts; some are musicians or writers, others are software-developers or website-builders, while others bring with them their carpentry or cooking skills.
Nomad bases can be different between each other: it could be a house, an eco-village or an intentional community rented, owned or squatted by one or more individuals who decide to also share this space with nomads. It could also be a temporary space on a temporary location like some piece of (squatted) land or a rainbow gathering. Each location has their own specific culture, aspiration, guidelines, focus, terms of living, minimum or maximum length of stay, intentions, and so on. A base works as an independent node within a variegated web of experiences.
The SHE gathering in New York focuses on connecting people interested in these ideas. It follows a philosophy of shared hosting. There is no main organiser, and however comes contributes to make things happen, while taking the whole of our community into account. An active attitude towards this goal is a requirement.
At the same time, the gathering will ask you to be a good host: care for the other participants and for the "house", facilitate discussions, take initiative. Run the space like your own (shared) house and behave consequently.
A loose network of nomads, skillsurfers, hackers, open space fanatics and hospitality exchange addicts is hosting a conference on (postmodern/neo)nomadic culture, with a strong focus on setting up spaces/bases/places that are open for nomads. The conference takes place in Berlin from the 20th to the 30th of November, or maybe even longer. And in New York from the 5th to the 6th of December See http://sharewiki.org/en/she
With this initiative we would like to better our existing ecosystem to sustain current forms of nomadism in the western world. In practical terms, we want to make it easier for nomads to go beyond conventional housing, jobs and schooling. We also would like to improve our real social networks (real social in terms of meeting up in real life).
What is a nomad? A nomad is someone who believes that traveling (physically or mentally) is a way to learn (about others and about themselves) and to experience life. Some of the nomads travel for work, others for study, others to learn from random encounters on the road.
In essence, we would like to create a shared way of living/ cooperating that goes beyond borders, and which brings these people together. What we would like to see is a network of bases that are shared with (neo)nomads.
The 'bases' we currently have encourage more cooperation, sharing and solidarity between participants. For most participants these places are life-learning/changing places, for many others they mean family. In addition, they potentially could also be great vehicles for experimenting new solidarity networks, practical skillsharing, exchange of nomadic crafts, social/political activism, p2p related projects, as well as nomadic cooperatives and other forms of social entrepreneurship.
The initiative for nomadbases is one that is closely related to hospitality exchange. In the past 5 years we have seen a great leap forward in this field, examples include networks such as http://bewelcome.org and http://couchsurfing.org See for an overview here: http://couchwiki.org/en/A_Brief_History_of_Hospitality_Exchange_Networks
Where hospitality exchange has a focus on P2P exchange for mostly (for free) short-term accomodation, we would like to go beyond, towards rather long-term hospitality.
In essence what we would like to accomplish is a self-sustained network of communities, houses, farms, squats, collaborative work-spaces, etc. that are open for shared living with people that travel as a way of life. These places would be autonomous nodes within a larger network that function as convergence places to teach/learn/share and to meet like-minded people who you connect with and work on projects together.
Closely related to this is also a rise of networks in terms of skillsharing. Examples include skill-exchange networks such as Traveling School of Life, School of Everything, Journeyman and Wwoofing. In an ideal world these networks would be more connected both offline as online, for example by having integrated/ exportable personal profiles (tag-system, friends, skills, desires). As such you would know who would be where when, and you would easily know where to be if you want to learn skill x and share desire y.
The potential of these networks and models is enormous, and go much further than what is described here so far. They are a basic vehicle for social transformation. Without going too far in terms of ambitions (which could be plenty), this conference is just a small step in bringing people together who share these ideals.