Sun 5 Jan 2020 2:54PM

Microsolidarity 2020: a significant update (published)

RDB Richard D. Bartlett Public Seen by 65

Update: thanks everyone for the amazingly helpful feedback, the post is now public. Feels like your input made a huge contribution, so I'm deeply grateful.

You can read it here:

How To Weave Social Fabric: 3 Essential Pillars For a New Mutual Aid Community

Thank you! ❤️


Ulrich Schur Sun 5 Jan 2020 4:06PM

Good read! I am missing nothing.

I found only 3 typos:

  1. ... I can make a unique contribution to ... = an unique

  2. ... it needs to be more than more than 12 people ... = to be more than 12 people

  3. ... or an amazing conference,start a crew while you’re feeling high. = conference, start


Richard D. Bartlett Sun 5 Jan 2020 7:00PM

Thanks for the bug spotting! Believe it or not, "a unique" is correct! because the "u" sounds like "you" not like "umbrella". Wacky language.


Ulrich Schur Mon 6 Jan 2020 1:08AM

Oh, I learned something new.


Patrick Campbell Sun 5 Jan 2020 10:01PM

  1. Greater than the "sum" of its parts (rather than "some").

Enjoyed the update. Thanks for sharing!


Bernhard Resch Tue 7 Jan 2020 4:59AM

Thanks for inviting us to this writing process!

I really enjoyed reading it and love the three practical steps + all the links!!

Two comments for your consideration:

The intro could be more precise for me. First, you say that you don't found a new congregation, but then you are talking about starting Enspiral Europe. Also, you are mentioning your refined self-understanding as a journalist or librarian of the movement. Consequently, as a reader, I'm longing for some teasers of what is to come during the next year. I hope more than a list of links :) Maybe you could tease some of the cases that you want to write about (more meat about specific projects, people and their experiences)? I'd love to hear the (cautious) tales of Enspiral's Pandas or Root Systems for example.

The part about hosts feels a bit daunting to me. What if we are a group of excited people without community leadership experience - aka most of the people? Maybe you could add some quick links and tipps of what to do? e.g., do Art of Hosting Training, try intentional culture building with community canvas, engage the Hum,...

I'm really curious to see where this is going. Thanks for putting your thought out!


Richard D. Bartlett Tue 7 Jan 2020 7:14AM

Excellent feedback thank you, super helpful


Drew Hornbein Tue 7 Jan 2020 3:49PM

+1 to Bernhard's feedback.

I felt like the cult thing in pillar 2 snuck up on me. Things are really groovy then you make a hard right and warn me not to be starting a cult, I think this could be softened.

gatherings like this put people into a vulnerable space, so care must be taken... the worst outcome is cults...

Something along those lines.

Also the discussion of MDMA, while a good metaphor feel risky to me. Perhaps it's because I've been working with people who are a bit more square and worry they might draw the wrong conclusion. I think it's a minor point, but you could allude to drugs without naming them? Then again, nothing wrong with chemicals and they aren't shameful and don't need to be hidden.


Richard D. Bartlett Wed 8 Jan 2020 8:10AM

super good feedback too, thanks matey :)

I will make some of these changes next time I am in writing mode


Ria Baeck Fri 17 Jan 2020 9:29PM

Hello Rich,
It took some time, but eventually I did it!

I think in the draft post you are confusing the role of ‘caller’ and ‘ hosts’. In your description of crews, you describe the role of caller – and to me, on the level of congregation or network, there is a similar role to be taken by one or more people. As you describe with crews, the callers don’t need to be the hosts/facilitators – but many times they are, at least in the beginning. 

I would suggest you describe your number 1 as ‘caller for a congregation’. In the Art of Hosting global network we have some clear view on what a caller is. It is pretty close to what Tom Nixon names as ‘source’. To me it is a pattern that holds on all levels; as a fractal.

Also your number 2 – Gatherings – or meetings, is for me a pattern, or a fractal coming back on many levels of scale.
It is the gatherings that need some hosts, and possibly also regular meetings, although there it seems easier to let that role move between the participants. 

As someone mentioned in a previous comment, the caller first is looking for some like-minded folks, and not for a host first. I think it is the same on community level. Someone feels a need to link up different crews, find others who share the same need or idea, and from there it comes into being; most likely through a gathering-retreat of sorts.


From my perspective, I don’t think these hosts-callers are ‘hard to find’. I would name the problem rather in terms of: there aren’t many people who see the bigger picture (of the congregation), beyond the specific crews they are part of. It is also work that holds a wider timeframe, not many are called to do just that.


About 3 days and nights. Remember my blog post on Pop-up communities? You might find some inspiration there, or could link to it maybe?


What I miss overall in the description of Microsolidarity is the PURPOSE of the crews. That’s the first thing to articulate, I think. It’s the work of the caller(s) and the first people who want to join. Then comes all the rest like setting a rhythm etc.

Lastly, you can look at Percolab cells also as crews in my humble opinion, maybe they can also be mentioned?


My two cents for now.


Richard D. Bartlett Wed 22 Jan 2020 5:29PM

super duper useful feedback Ria, you make my heart warm and my brain turn a few more cycles!

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