Paris is beautiful, of course. And it was really fun to be there.
We began with CollabCamp, which was different than I expected but made fruitful by the fact that Leander and Sybille were both there, and Kate for the beginning. Leander and I were able to get a lot done in preparation for our presentation at OuiShare Fest and beyond, and it was ideal to be able to do it in person. Sybille, Julien and I made plans for moving forward on the Wezer software that they’ve created (Sybille as principal visionary behind the project, Julien as great collaborator/contributor) that we’ve chosen to become the Mutual Aid Platform, or MAP for the Main MAN.
I enjoyed the people I met and spent time with at CollabCamp, but felt a missed opportunity to get to some of the concrete work I’d expected due to lack of internet connectivity and not enough structure to contain any real kind of flow, including we weren’t all together at the same time very much.
But Paris is a lovely place to be for that kind of structurelessness, if you’re going to be having it.
Then OuiShare started, and it was pretty great. First, the venue – Cabaret Sauvage, in the wonderful Parc de la Villette. The fact that France has a tradition of taking care of its people and treating them kindly is palpable in this park, which has tons of cool free things to do and was built for the people, in a district without a lot of money.
The whole Ouishare Fest was full of life and activity. A lot of the presentations focused on cooperative development, so that was cool.
Our workshop was great (imho:). Well-attended and well-received. Leander did a cool trick to keep the intros short and light – he started with his hands apart and moved them toward each other, closing them together at the end of the allotted 10 seconds each person had. It made people smile and it was fun to watch them talk faster as hands came together. And it was remarkable how well people pared what they care about to its essence when they had their visible 10 seconds. According to the timekeeper, though, it hurts to hold your arms up that long.
We did the general MAN overview, and handed out the Posh-terity budget tool for people to work on. It seemed to work really well to give that to people – made it more real than I think we’ve usually done. Several people told me later that they plan to MAN Up themselves, including someone from the Czech Republic. I also heard from someone inspired to start one in Berlin because of Anne Snick’s workshop. Awesome!
There were a lot of highlights of OuiShare but I’m not going to write about them here…
I left Paris May 21 and flew straight to San Francisco, where I stayed at Berkeley Co-Housing and then drove to Asilomar Retreat Center the next day for my first 5-day immersion for my BALLE Fellowship. Report on that, and subsequent Bay Area MAN events coming soon…
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