Wed 12 Dec 2018 5:03PM

I'm stepping down from the board, and into becoming.

H Hugi Ásgeirsson Public Seen by 253

I'm stepping down from the board of the Node and fully into my role with Blivande.
I am now a regular member of the Node, and here to answer your questions about Blivande and how the Node fits into the larger meta-structure of that new organism. Ask questions about Blivande in the AMA thread.


In 2015 I first set foot on the fourth floor of our building on Sickla Industriväg. At my first encounter with the Node, it was already a space that made me tingle with excitement. Through the hard work, dedication and personal sacrifice of above all Hampus, Joannis, Fanny and Alexander, an abandoned office had transformed into the sort of radical community center that I thought was reserved for cooler cities than Stockholm. Throughout 2016 I started spending a lot of time at the Node, initially as a community organiser for Urban Burn. I eventually figured out that the best thing I could do was to use the skills I had from starting associations, fundraising and serving on association boards to help set out a direction for how to make the Node into a financially sustainable project. At this point, the Node had been running out of the pocket of its founders and didn't have any formal members or organisation behind it. We started an association, kicked it off with the first "Nodting" gathering (during which we started this very Facebook group) and set out a plan – to have at least 200 monthly paying members by the end of the year. It would prove to take longer than that, but we finally got to that point a few months ago (though we've since revised the point of sustainability to 300 members as our target). As we leave Sickla, the Node now has enough funds to manage more than a whole year of rent at the new location, which was the plan we set out to achieve in early 2017.

During my time as vice chairman and strategist of the Node, I've not always been very present in the flesh. An adventure working in politics in Iceland late 2016 to 2017 and a total of 150+ days on the road for work in 2018 has had me be very absent at times. I've done what I've could, done our taxes every year, set up a system for bookkeeping among other things. But having been a small but hopefully significant part of building this community is one of my biggest sources of pride and hope for Stockholm. I fucking love the Node, I've often felt like an absent family member. My position in the community has often been that to support it with strategy, but so many have done much more than I have on a day to day basis. You, we, have built something amazing here.

We always knew that we would lose the location in Sickla eventually, and we knew that renting a large space as a non-profit would not be easy. We had a ridiculously good deal in Sickla, one that only comes around with extreme luck and timing. And the relatively accessible location of the Node has meant that people from all over town have been able to come to the Node. Finding good and centrally located space in Stockholm, that the Node could afford on its own accord, would most likely have meant that we would have had to scale down our ambitions.

Hampus and I started talking about the idea to combine the Node with an art space in late 2017, primarily because it would be awesome to keep the synergy that has been possible by having the Node and Stugan in the same building, but also to perhaps be able to afford something bigger and better than what only the Node could muster. But looking at the prices and quality of affordable spaces close to central Stockholm, we started to see that we might need to add other components to make ends meet. To me, this started becoming a very interesting experiment. Cultural community spaces are often reliant on the good will of municipalities and public funding, which also puts them in a continuously perilous situation when politics shift. Always having to stand with your hat in your hand towards higher powers drains energy and the lack of self-reliance makes for low self esteem. We became very interested in trying to work out how we could solve this conundrum. Can we create a company that lives in symbiosis with other organisations in our community and creates a protective shell around the things that are not very profitable yet extremely important, while finding ways to make up for that by other means and also acting like an interface to the outside world?

We decided to try, as the next step of building community. A new company called Blivande would create that layer of protection and predictability around the Node, start a new workshop for artists and makers and also found a co-working space for those of us that wanted to make their living in close proximity to the community. This way, the Node could stay an inclusive community congregation while still getting access to space that otherwise would be outside of its reach. My hope with Blivande is that it will act like a container for this gradient between the trust, relationships and meaning that we build with each other at the Node, through to the artistic force of creation at Studio Tau, with a path to the possibility of making a living for yourself together with others at Studio Beta.

I really believe in this vision. It really, really excites me. But it soon became evident that while The Node will be in synergy with Blivande, the legal reality is that the Node and Blivande are also in a professional relationship with each other, where the Node pays Blivande for having a home there. This presented a problem, since three (Hampus, Cindy and I) of the Node board members were now also on the board of Blivande. Eventually, we should all step down from the board of the Node. However, since all of us leaving abruptly at the same time would be a significant disruption to the Node, I decided to leave the board first. It makes sense for me to leave first, since I am in charge of budget, finances and contracts at Blivande and will be in a position of writing those contracts we will have with the Node.

And this is why I stepped down from the board of the Node at the last board meeting. My focus, from now on, is on building the meta-structure and organism that is Blivande. As such, I will also be answering questions about what Blivande is, how it works, what our plans are and anything else you might want to know. Our community is first and foremost built on trust. Are you curious about if anyone gets paid at Blivande (we don't get paid anything at all right now and are rather spending our own money to get things started, but hopefully Hampus can start getting paid a little bit per month in 2020), about what our long term plans are (creative container buildings in the harbor and ways for the community to find ways to make a living) and what is planned for the different parts of the house (photo studio, CNC-machine, meeting rooms, concert nights!) – please ask! And ask here, on this Loomio. I will answer as an ordinary member of the Node, and as a board member of Blivande.

It has been an absolute privilege to serve this community as a board member of the Node. I am looking forward to doing so as a board member of Blivande.

Love and always becoming,


Pontus Holmgren Wed 12 Dec 2018 8:15PM

Saw blivande today for the first time guided by Cindy. So exited about the potential of the great multipurpose multi community space.....


Naima Clevenhag Thu 13 Dec 2018 5:20PM

Tack för allt ditt engagemang Hugi! <3


Aron Sehet Pettersson Tallbarr Sun 16 Dec 2018 10:31PM

Thank you for all the great work, it's invaluable!