In conversations leading up to MoI 2020, the purpose and the implementation of the Month of Introspection (herein MoI) have been regularly questioned. A specific point of unclarity is who is invited and why.
We had our first MoI (then MoC = Month of Calm) last year, largely copied from other communities who do a similar thing (e.g. Tamera). It felt like we needed it, and we enjoyed it so much we're doing it again soon :)
For me, the purpose of the MOI is the Kanthaus community: to care for it, celebrate it, 'do maintenance' on it, strengthen it, relax into it, etc.
Communities are groups of flesh-and-blood people. They are therefore never truly fixed — people come, people go — but they are 'fixed enough' that a critical mass of relationship(s) can build. Cohesive communities appear to be a critical feature of successful commons!
The rate of 'coming-and-going' at Kanthaus is generally high. We also have a lot of visitors that only come for short periods of time. Building relationships takes time, so, sadly, newbies dilute community.
"Who counts as a Kanthaus community member?" is, I think, the wrong question to frame the MoI. I prefer to ask: how do we create a period of minimal social turbulence? (Both questions escape scientific certainty!)
I believe the criteria for who is (not) invited to MoI is something like this:
- Invited: current Members and Volunteers
- Not invited: complete newbies (even if they seem cool) and groups (even if we know the people in them)
- Conditional invitation: current Visitors and previous residents (any position)
- 'Non-resident': continuation of existing, regular, non-residential events which involve 'external people' (i.e. FFF meeting, Open Tuesday)
Whether people in the 'Conditional invitation' category get invited or not might seem arbitrary, but when I think about it more there appears to be a fairly clear set of requirements:
- Intent: does the person want to come for the MoI and be part of the Kanthaus community during it?
- Period: are they able to arrive when/before it starts and stay for a decent period of time (~10 days?) OR arrive after it starts and stay an even longer period of time (~20 days?)?
- Opinion: do current Volunteers and Members not resist/actively support the person coming?
This last requirement seems to be most unclear part. Until now people have done 'asked everyone' or posted in our internal team chat channel #kh_vol_and_mem and looked for resistance, which is our default procedure.
I don't like arbitrary process, yet I think the process is unanimous, so I would like to formalize it this MoI for next :) The only new proposal I would make is to formalize the 'opinion requirement' by modifying our evaluation process:
- request posted in #kh_vol_and_mem
- 👍 = support, 👌 = accept, 👎 = oppose
- one week/until everyone in channel has emojied
- outcome same as evaluations: invited if 3 👍 to 1 👎 or greater
- (unlike evaluations, discussion/voting will be asynchronous)