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Live following of the Meeting!

posted May 14, 2009, 2:42 AM by Lucian Cosinschi   [ updated May 20, 2009, 1:45 PM ]
There are many things to clarify that we have been postponing for a while. As one meeting is not going to be enough even to start the conversation on some essential points for us I think we should have a series of meetings. First one will start on Monday 8pm. The meeting will be split in two sessions each 1h with a break. The meeting on Monday will be followed by meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, same hour, same format.  I will receive here and by email ideas, issues and concerns on any topic related to the project. It may be that we will not get to all topics raised but my hope is to start thinking about some of the most important ones. The agenda will be posted here and the details will freeze Sunday evening - we will not approach issues that are not on that agenda.

'Why' Day  (Monday)
Session 1 Why are we here? What do we hope to get? Each gets a few minutes to tell the others. Questions allowed in that time frame. 
Session 2 New Members? vs. hosting? - Who is a member? What can we do about people who want to join

'How' Day - Resources (Tuesday) 
Session 3  Basics - time, communication, website, financial costs - food, other spendings, rent may/june
Session 4  How do we organize the house such that we get what we hope for in Session 1

'Overview' Day (Wednesday)
 Session 5 Take up new points raised in the first two days
 Session 6 Review, bring them together 

We are not making any decisions now, we let the others know what we think and we think together about common topics. 

Day 1 - Why?

Session 1-Initial point

Presence in the meeting: 15 ppl at 8.15

Strauss, Manuel, Jake, Ula, Paul, Sebastian, Clayton, Paul Babinski, Christian, Natalie, Emma, Timmy, Daan, Tau, Lucian

8.29 pm Strauss leaves

8.43 Fabio comes from his walk

8.56 Vicky comes and Christina too

Clayton said it´s good to share that and keep track in our log.

Clayton: this is the way he wants to live, share and will be doing this until he is eighty something.

Jake: Found us online and agrees that this is the way he wants to live. He was first a couchsurfer. He enjoys the Hospitality as a comunal experience. Continuously learning comunity. This community is very open and there is representation from many countries.

Timmy: Likes diversity. Common goals and communal living but different lifestyles. Closest way to travel without traveling. The New Zealand family is a unique experience. The hosting is a great opportunity.
-Where are we going and what are we trying to do?

Enthusiasm when we come up with an idea and it is spread through the house in very little time.

Sebastian: Likes diversity. It's similar to traveling. Good to meet different people and help reorient himself. Value of hospitality is really healthy/good way to live. We don't know what's good for you. Visitors remind you that it is important to care about others.

He doesn't have an expectation but wants to contribute while here and might be off out of the city some days.

Natalie: She comes here sometimes because this place gives her hope about humanity. Since she is in Berlin humanity hasn't been disgusting anymore, it is nice to watch and be a part of the way we live. It's more than a CS house and more than an open door. Coming here open a lot of possibilities.

Paul: We are all here for a purpose, it's not just happening casually so we are intentionally willing to do things and do them together.

I want to find somebody to share and I want to learn. I want to use the talent. I came because I wanted to share and experience with more people.

Ula: The project was something new as she always lived alone. >Found this online and liked it. This 2 months have been amazing. Living here there is no time for reflexion but being away for 3 days she realised how she liked living here and the people.

She thought she needed a break. She is part of it and thinks she shouldnt be making division between the original people and the new people. She thinks that she is also responsable about the whole thing.

Babinsky: Comes here and is involved for friendships and comes and meets more people. What he likes are the openness. Whoever comes is welcome. Likes watching people when they interact and there are things going on all the time. We can watch each other and learn from that all the time. And he feels close to our concerns as we feel close to his.

Emma: She came to Berlin tired of a life of working and studying social enterpreneur. She needed to take a break and find out what she wants to do. She didn't really understand the project through the website but from the first day she liked how everybody was so open. She likes it to much but sometimes it is overwhelming. She wants to think about it and need to find a goal for the project and have workshops like the sex one. Even if she leaves she is always going to be part of it.

Fabio: Looked for something like this before. He had an experience like this before in Napoli but it wasn't successful. Lookes for interaction with people and living with people. It is an art project and a life project. There are many ways of interaction. He doesnt speak very good english. He believes in communication through art.

Chiara and Fabio are different. This place is much more organized than the place her was living before. He was living with many people in the same room and that ws impossible.

Christian: He was hungry at home, in Danmark and left. Fame, glory, milk, love, honey. He doesnt know what to expect yet. This Project fast food. He keeps being hungry so he remains here.

Daan: Volunteering in a Bar is quite the same like project volunteering. Always drunks, never clean for lo, meet lots of people and some stay longer and become your friends. The door of the bar is always open, you dont ask if you can get in.

Im not the best to work in team so maybe to be here is not the best or I am not he best for here. I like to do things on my own. I dont like to teach I like to learn. I dont like to host, I like to meet people but it doesnt need to be about me. You just give a piece of chocolate because you like them and not because he'll like them. I am somebody who does things on it's own. I think we need to achieve together somethings.

My dad cooked for everybody and then we left to the restaurant. There was a need of cooking for the night.

Manuel: I joined the project in September. I never lived here but still it's been 9 months since i joined. It was because of two concepts: I like learning community and sustainable community and this place potentially fits both places.

Ecological footprint: a way to measure your ecological sense in square meter. A way to measure is how many ppl are you living with. The more ppl/sq. meter the more sustainable you are.

I am still here. Lately less present. I feel some conflicts between me and the project. >I am still her eebcause Ibelieve problems are always temporary. Also because unlike the purpose of the project I have a concrete view of what I like and expect. Focused on sustainability and learning and sharing.

Most of us have a lot to teach, but all of ... cut by time.

How do we plan to do things? To talk tomorrow.  

Vicky: I joined because I was curious. Heard the idea but there was no developed community. Also I was looking for a place to live. I am very young and came directly from home. I was looking forward to community experiences and I was challenging myself about how fare I could go.

After living here for a while, i think the project changes really fast and for that I can't live here right now as I need some more stability. I have a very defined expectation of the project and it is different than everybody else so. i can still be an observer for the moment. I'm still curious.

Christina: She has the impression that we are very used to our community lifestyle. She is impressed and curious to live how we live here. She is very interested. When I came here I thought it was naive from me to have though how it would be. I saw that it is a growing community. 

Lucian: During a volunteering experience I notices as if for the first time in my life that I'm doing things differently then I have a motivation outside me. This has to do with the way I choose the thing to do, the way I do it, what I learn from it and what I feel about it. 'Volunteering' in 'Project Volunteering' stands for this different frame of mind that one has when one is aware he made most of the choices about a certain situation- 'I really want to do this thing I'm doing'.  'Project' means that I don't have necessarily an object that I am for, it means that I believe a 'good life' is a process, there is no recipe. That affects the way we do things -it means hard work, reviewing, reflection - rather then just doing it. 

 The slogan that came with the title shows the fundamental principle that I will not impose on you something that I think I know. I am going to talk about it but for any change to happen we'll be working together. Particular choices I make are supposed to reflect this principle (the wiki-form of the website is a good eg. for it). The slogan also puts a bit of pressure on you (maybe you'll ask the question 'what is good for me?' and it implies that talking to each other, 'communication' is crucial. 'I don't assume anything about you - so you have to tell me a lot, while I take it upon me to have enough time for that'

Tau grew up with 6 sisters, 2 parents and 5 cats, and after she started living with only a sister and  amother was dissatisfied with the group activities she organised.She had the masterplan to move to Berlin to start a community, not this project. In a way she is the project. She enjoys honest, friendly people. She wants people to care about each other and do the things that they hope to do - she like bringing or cooking food and have people eat it. 

Check and update initialPoint.

Session 2 - (New) Members

by Daan aka El Marcel

How to get new people.

The 'policy' at the moment is:If you want to come then come.

Any problems?


We will get a bigger one probably

We pile up in here and then move there

We could contact and tell people we know who are interested about here

'the right kind of people'


its a process for people, so we give them a possibility to move here, and then make up their minds. We dont tell them to stay or go, it seems to be more a self regulatatory way. (is this true?)

Some people say its harder to do workshops with more people around. Other think its the kind of workshop

But anyway, should we have any expectations for new people who stay indefinatly? Someone thinks we should take people who know nothing, and we had (have?) the strength to compensate. Someone else is impatient, but believes we should work very hard to make them care. Should we have a rite of passage? Should living here be being part of it? Should we have a selection procedure?

People change, should we try to change them? Maybe people who stay here always have at least a slight interest in the project. But maybe we also take the level of knowledge the 'ancien(t)s' for granted, and we should expect some interest. We do have to realize the website is very confusing, and getting to know our project trakes many many hours. Do we expect people to read through it? Should they just get an idea from it through hard work, or should we have a summary? Maybe more is better. Maybe less. It's easier to change our ways (eg interaction with new residents) than ask them to do things. It's hard, if not impossible to know before they have at least a short trial. Are they choosing us or are we choosing them?

We are close to the limit of people here. The common private room is needed, how long can we block it? Perhaps they should only use it during the night. Do we like people living there for a few days? People tend to ask, although the New Zeelandic people just happened. They were on the site and calendar, but we still seemed surprised. 

We need to keep making sure we are here in a sustainable way. The first weeks, we didn't say hi in the dorm/workroom. NOw the situation seems to have deteriorated a bit. It's important to maintain a culture of respecting working or sleeping people. We don't grow if we are not able to maintain our personal interests. Guests in the office (communal pc) are problematic.    

Having a streetlevel thing could be nice, so we provide more of a service thing. Think voku, or even the caravan lounge. Caravan cafeteria! This is related to growth. Do we need to grow? It seems our curtrent space is a compromise, and it feels to small, especially for some workshops. We need a bigger, reconfigurable space to do a lot of different things in. Is the growth in itself a good thing? Is the growth the point It was a general consensus from the start that this space was too small for our goals. TOOOOOOOORSTRASSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! - is expensive -

Remember when we raised 7000 euros in a few days, 500 euros from somebody who knew us for 4 hours? We believed in it so much, and that made us convince people! That place was so big and nice and we could have a kitchen table! And then we got so fucked and homeless!

Day 2- How?

Session 3 - Basics

Here: Lucian, Ula TimmyTimmy, Emma, Christian, Paul and Babinski, Clay, Tau and Daan

Today is about achieving what we talked about above. WHat are the basic things that we need to talk about? Living here, paying the rent, etc. The second step should be about projecting ourselves forward.

We suck, because we don't know (well) what we consume or even what we're paying.

And then Vicky enters the room.

We need to have a good idea

And then Manuel enters the room

before we can think about buying something new or get a new place. For food we more or less tried to spend 15 euros a person a week. The intent was to have a full kitchen, and also what you liked. Sometimes it seems kinda empty lately, and there seems to be some need to organize the Yorkstrasse trips on Saturday. We are also going to talk about organising the space, in special relation to the guests.

We kinda thought about a common pot, but that was not documented. We should though. In the beginning, it looked liked we all spend the same amount of money at Yorkstrasse. Now it seems like the spending is more unequally spread.We all like the market, so its kinda strange not so many people go anymore. Its also more difficult to contribute, because the list on the fridge is gone. We should put it back.

There is some confusion about the use of donation money. Can it be used for Turkish market? It seems food is cheap enough to use. Lucian is happy to take care of monies, but he's leaving very soon. Organise market, calendre, bla. On the other hand sometimes the Yorkstrasse food falls below the standard, even though it was very cheap. At the very least we should clean the food too. Its a general consnsus that we need to care more about our food, and our guests have to know it. Food standards are very much a personal thing.

We can use a colour coded system for food (savbe it, use now). We can encourage contributing after using food.

Will me make decisions now? or later ....


We miss the dishwasher,and we miss our old decent shower. We need a new shower. Drying racks should go in the entrance of the work rooms on top of each other. It|s very annoying when it stays there. Everything clean is a prerequisite for doing anything. We should have more windows open, to circulate air. Wash dishes after you use them. My name is not conchita. But maybe there is not my dirt and your dirt. There is mainly responsibility. There is also engaging guests.


Donation goes to our cost bills. What is left over from ppl paying rent should go to donations. There is a lot of confusion about who is paying what bills. Vicky says there is this contract. We rent this place as if it's here. Cold 1060. 200 euros that are for heating, hausmeisterlohn, trash, stairs cleaning, some water (?). Electricty 150 euros, which we are not paying rights now every month. Internets are 50 euros.

We don't know where donations go. Maybe it will go to repairs or final water bill, but prolly not every month costs.

Session 4 - Beyond basics (the interesting stuff)

Donate more money for May

NOTE: they can update that independently

1150 Euro
Minus Paul - so far - may be here for part of June



 - Follow your committments.

Properly promote event
People vs. Quality

Filtering for Quality.

Decision making and action that follows?  How to be more effective.


Why we weren't able to realise our initial goals/planned activities
 . whatever .
Did we ask too much of ourselves
Did we lack commitment
Did we fail to prioritise

How can we stick to targets?
How do we manage and integrate guests into our activities
How do we encourage community, cs and local, involvement.

How to allow time for reflection? A reflection workshop..? hehe
 . Debriefing.

Self analysis is essential.
 . Chris commented re: change needed page of web site.
 . Should we  have regular meetings-discussions-whatever
 . Lucian feels that sometimes we forgot about reflection and fall off the same page.
 . Emma feels a disconnect in small conversations from the effective nature of a larger meeting which might allow more concrete decision making
 . if small discussions are documented, then perhaps that would allow cohesion.

Paul would have people think about comittments that people share to allow them to flourish into activity, as opposed to scheduling.

Lucian has been trying hard not to give only one direction to the project and perhaps that could result in no direction.

How can we harness our individual passions to create results that achieve more than just socialisation.
re: caravan lounge. is engagement but how
do people know if they are welcome and how to we reflect without imposing on creativity and spontaneity
documentation helps us learn and also other people from and about that which we do
. they can contemplate their own potential involvement

we should do what we say we will
not allow workshops to be eaten up by socialisation specifically
promote involvement

Clayton. find something, one thing, you like and do it.  commit

Day 3 - Review

Meeting 3 - Review

Present - lucian, fabio, sebastian, emma, natalie, christian, tau, daan, clayton, vicky, manuel, paul babinski, jake, cristoff

Guests: johannes, mark

Lucian - say two things each - what did we learn

clayton - long but necessary, more communication = less assumptive, more apparent, reassuring to hear peoples opinions. I want a more regular shorter meeting -
informal sit downs are good - maybe an hour, but no set time
sebastian - found enlightenment about the project through the meetings, likes the volunteering aspect of it, the meetings provided clarity, can you change my name from sebastian dern to sebastian - (this sparks a debate about names on the website, privacy, etc - 
                                    Lucian - this is a discussion that needs time - privacy is hiding
                                    - a debate for a later time

Paul B - got a sense of how well people can work together, that meetings are good and can work - perhaps wrong to call it a meeting. i wonder what this would be like as an informal conversation

sebastian - likes openness

vicky - likes the meetings because we used to do it before - it was positive and everyone got to know each other. Its nice to learn that ten different people can say what they feel and accept one another.

johannes - no agenda, suggests organization of virtues - "autograph on same kind of project"

sebastian - dislikes eating and drinking on the mattresses - other room for meeting
    vicky - likes connection of talking in the dorm

manuel - we are not relaxed enough for the meetings. i want longer meetings but more relaxed. meetings solved a doubt that we all have the same goals

daniel enters the room

daan - dislikes longer meetings - not as productive. best part of meetings is that it gives us food for thought

sebastian - these meetings can feed into continued process of development

tau - the meetings have created bonds between us. dislikes that lucian is banning things and giving an opinion that seems like dogma

paul babinski - begins side discussion about dogma, accusatory tones that can take meaning out of context

fabio - not a dogma, merely a question of yes or no

emma - we needed to talk together. important that some takes the step to have meetings. she wants to reflect on the meetings more. meetings maybe once a week .5 to an hour
    question raised - do we need an agenda
    daniel - does it just have to be about this community?

natalie - i learned a lot. learned importance of meetings and what they are about - also allowed her to feel more like a participant. face to face is more important than internet posts


jake- communication is essential. meeting overload shocking but perhaps essential. he suggests shorter, informal meetings (no length-cap) perhaps with an agenda, that can be informative and fun

fabio - individual expression has been very important - no secrets - an open moment with many people. better understanding of people - potential to heal misunderstandings with people through openness - opportunity to forgive mistakes - 

clayton - we are different thus it is important to understand one another

johannes - suggest embracing the virtues of the individuals

christian - [happy and sleepy] 

lucian - i agree with paul, manuel, daan, and clayton in meeting issue. these meetings should happen all the time just because we are together thinking about these issues.
we are all here - we need to develop the discipline to focus on issues - lets think more together everyday, do more creative things everyday.

clayton - not about legacy or posterity - the good life for me is about caring for people. 

daniel - appreciates project 

Lucian Cosinschi,
May 20, 2009, 2:18 AM