February 16th, 2020 18:53

Virtual Meetup for Microsolidarity hosts

Drew Hornbein
Drew Hornbein Public Seen by 109

A recent poll indicated enough interest in an online crew around discussing and connecting #microsolidarity.

Those who are interested in making a commitment please respond to this thread. The desired outcome is to choose an initial format and find a rhythm that works for the group.


Please answer each of these prompts.

  • Where are you? What is your ideal rhythm?

  • What are you looking to gain from meeting up? Tell us a short story about where you are at. Share your dreams.

  • How would you format a meeting?

Complete this prompt by March 1

Road map

  • We share and discuss what we want to get out of meeting, dream and ideate together.

  • We create a poll to determine the length of each meeting

  • We create a poll to determine the ideal rhythm

Drew Hornbein

Drew Hornbein February 16th, 2020 19:01

I'm in Denver, CO (GMT-7) and Monthly would be ideal.

I'd like to gain new skills around format and facilitation games for online and in-person crews. I see this group as a place to discuss microsolidarity practices, generation of documentation, and a place to test things out. I'm currently running a bunch of proto-crews and the patterns are really alive in my community.

I also want to start making money from deploying these skills, so developing ways to "sell" this would be cool.


I think we should have a rotating facilitator who is challenged to hold the space in an experimental manner. Each month would be a new and exciting experience. I think this would be a great way to learn technique and keep things fresh plus it would be a great opportunity for people who don't feel that skilled to ask for support from more seasoned facilitators.


I'm happy to continue to jump start this but I'd really love for someone (especially someone who is inexperienced) to step up as the leader/caller so I can drop into a support role.

Josh Fairhead

Josh Fairhead February 17th, 2020 17:34


I'm in Europe, often between UK, Italy, Holland and Spain - I'm generally flexible on time and monthly calls would be ideal (preference; new moon). This feels like an experienced group of self-organisation practitioners so I'm excited to get involved as a peer. I've been fostering regenerative culture for the last few years and we started building a network/congregation about half a year ago that is growing healthily. In time I'd like to see this collective intelligence become a thriving ecosystem that diversifies value flows into more regenerative practices while supports its participants and contributors.


I second the idea of rotating facilitator, but maybe two of them paired (experience with inexperience) to raise the forest of knowledge. I'd also like to see more swarm like organisation along the lines of this post I made a while ago. Consent > consensus and from experience paired programming/triadic structures can really accelerate things. The notion of embedding geometric structures in organisational patterns like Stafford Beers Syntegration also appeals to me, but perhaps for now simplicity is best :)

Participation is important so I'm happy to help facilitate and co-lead if required, however I'm deeply committed to the Hackalong.io community and wish to minimise overhead where possible. Ideally I would contribute supportive capacity.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett February 18th, 2020 14:26

@Rashid Owoyele do you want to chime in on this thread?

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett February 18th, 2020 16:05

Love this invitation, thank you Drew!

I'm in Italy, ideal rhythm is monthly, weekday evenings or weekend days.

I would like to give and receive support in designing/testing/running social processes for crews and congregations.

If microsolidarity proves to be a useful methodology that works in many contexts, then I would like to help people get paid to implement it well too.

Meeting format: I like the idea of rotating facilitation, possibly in pairs for continuity. So Drew hosts the first one, and then on the second call someone else leads with Drew's support.

We could focus on one person/group/context per meeting, e.g. let's hear all about Josh's project and put all our energy into supporting him for one call. Case Clinic is a good small group process for this. If there are many participants, maybe we split into parallel tracks and help multiple people simultaneously, then report back to the whole group at the end.

Rashid Owoyele

Rashid Owoyele February 18th, 2020 16:13

Of course!

  • Where are you? What is your ideal rhythm?

    • Berlin. Ideal rhythm - monthly most likely (depending on content and purpose)

  • What are you looking to gain from meeting up? Tell us a short story about where you are at. Share your dreams.

    • I am hoping to use this space as a platform for gaining access to communities and projects doing this work and being inspired for my PhD research. I am also open to other uses of the space - including the development of curricula, programs, retreats, conferences, etc.

  • How would you format a meeting?

    • At the moment I am particularly interested in the idea of a sort of Salon... one or two people sharing their work, struggles, fails, or wins and then having discussions and support circles or feedback sessions. (also addressing concerns about rotation of facilitation with this format) Selfishly, I am interested in starting to catalog techniques, methods, and frictions that folks run into for some concrete starting points for my own research 😅

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez February 18th, 2020 20:22

Hi all, thanks Drew for getting the ball rolling!

Where are you?

I'm in Easthampton, Massachusetts, USA, on land originally occupied by the Mahican confederacy and stolen by European colonizers in the 1600s. My time zone is GMT-5.

What is your ideal rhythm?

Monthly, around new moon is best, usually available most days (but not Saturdays) and anytime 8 am - 6 pm or 8-10 pm.

What are you looking to gain from meeting up? Tell us a short story about where you are at. Share your dreams.

I've been trying to develop these sorts of approaches with a variety of groups that I'm a part of, so the idea of a facilitators' circle is very appealing to me. I've found myself "calling" a lot of people into this sort of space recently and that can get tiring when I don't have others to reflect on the process with. Also I'll be curious to learn more from folks who have been working with groups in this way for longer than I have.

How would you format a meeting?

I like Richard's suggestions of rotating co-facilitation and rotating case studies.

Ronen Hirsch

Ronen Hirsch February 19th, 2020 13:07

Where are you? What is your ideal rhythm?

I am in a village in north-west Romania. Timezone GMT+2 and I am available aternoons and evenings weekdays and weekeneds. A monthly meeting feels good to me.

What are you looking to gain from meeting up? Tell us a short story about where you are at. Share your dreams.

  • I would like to participate in a shaping and practicing being a member of a remote group that is able to sense, deliberate and act gracefully.

  • I would like to directly experience and taste participation and facilitation patterns.

  • I would like to be relevant to others.

  • I would like to experience holding and being held by others.

I am a Yoga practitioner living in retreat, with very little contact with people, for ~9 years. I arrived in this reality by trying to both distance myself from anxiety and move closer towards meaning and purpose. I've known of Enspiral for at least 4 or 5 years and at some point (I don't remember when) @richarddbartlett became my "anchor" for the developing narrative that is currently presenting itself as microsolidarity. This narrative (and a few others that are similar or complementary to it) give me a fragile sense of hope and evoke in me a yearning (also fragile) to be amongst people again. Yet I am not physically amongst people and it is difficult for me to imagine that changing. Because of this, I feel hesitant to join this crew.

Given that I don't have a physical social context, my exploration has been directed inwards. Primarily this comes in the form of a daily practice. Then, during the warm seasons of the year, I spend much of my time shaping and improving my built environment: woodworking, earth-based construction, stove-building, bread-making, food preservation, scything, etc. These things do not come naturally to me, yet I find that working in the three-dimensional physical world is more nourishing to me than working in the abstract digital world (which, ironically, does come more naturally to me). The feedback of gravity acting on a shovel of soil has and continues to in-form me in many ways ... I feel quite literally more grounded.

I used to have dreams and aspirations ... and then life happened ... again ... and again. Now, the request to share my dreams makes me feel on a good day indifferent and on a lesser day defeated. The "dream" modality feels to me inherently over-reaching. I try to start every day (and if I can, every hour) with a clear sense of where I am and what shimmers for me now. From there, I try to take comfortable strides that each feel like a small but confident movement towards something more whole and more beautiful. I do this trusting that the strides will add up to a good journey without stretching my neck out to see or predict the destination. One small good step at a time.

How would you format a meeting?

  1. I would like the meeting to be a safe space that can contain intimacy.

  2. I like the idea of opening with checkins and closing with checkouts.

  3. I feel that a good conversation deserves a window of 1.5 - 2 hours (1 hour feels too short).

  4. I have trust in sociocratic consent as a bootstrap process for decision making ... and then using it to bring in other patterns and mechanisms in response to REAL evolving needs in the group.

  5. I would like there to be a conscious license for individual and collective silence.

  6. How can we incorporate asynchronous continuity of "the group" between meetings?

  7. There are almost no pictures of me online and I'd like to keep it that way.

  8. I do not use popular online corporate services like Google (anything that requires login) or Facebook and would appreciate it if the group operated without depending on such services.

My thoughts and feelings on leadership are a complex conversation and not a short comment.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett February 19th, 2020 15:11

Just registering at some point I would like to discuss the tension between intimacy and transparency. e.g. I would like to publicly share recordings of our conversations, and I would also like people to feel like they can show up fully without inhibitions, so I'm curious about how we walk that tightrope.

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez February 19th, 2020 15:14

hard no from me on recording these. written notes would be fine to share, maybe we could also practice some other form of synthesis on the call that could be shared, but I would find this space much more productive if it was held in confidence among the group, at least at the beginning.

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett February 19th, 2020 15:50

makes sense, I can see why confidential conversations could be very helpful.

one suggestion: we could reserve a few minutes at the end for quiet reflection and then record a short video of people sharing the main takeaway points they are leaving the meeting with. participants can switch off camera or drop off the call if they don't want to be included.

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez February 19th, 2020 17:07

Now we're talking! Love that idea.

Josh Fairhead

Josh Fairhead February 20th, 2020 21:58

It's a discussion on intimacy vs transparency right? So it's not necessarily an intimate space, although you suggest you would like it to be such?

I'm good with being recorded be it intimate or otherwise. I'd actually appreciate having the artefact of a recording to reflect on at the end, but can understand people having privacy concerns or being uncomfortable with such an arrangement.

Patrick Campbell

Patrick Campbell February 21st, 2020 01:31

  • Where are you? What is your ideal rhythm?

I'm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (EST time zone) and my ideal rhythm is monthly.

  • What are you looking to gain from meeting up? Tell us a short story about where you are at. Share your dreams.

I joined the microsolidarity thread in order to identify others whose interests and ambitions intersect with my own, in hopes that those shared interests might lead to something more productive down the road (support in the development or execution of each others' projects, sharing relevant contacts and opportunities, etc.). Unfortunately, I haven't had as much time as I would have liked to take the initiative on making those connections, so I don't feel I've made very good use of the platform or really explored the potential this resource might have for that purpose. I'm hoping that meeting in a slightly different format, like we're attempting to do here, might bring more focus to my engagement with this community and perhaps lead to some of those other benefits I mentioned.

This opportunity also comes at a time when I'm looking to transition from grad school to full-time employment, so I've been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in the next stage of my life. I have lots of personal projects I'd love to get off the ground, but the more time that passes, the fewer options I feel I have to try to advance those projects. Given that fact, I'd love to know how others in my situation are navigating those sorts of difficulties and what options I might have for carrying my projects forward post-graduation.

  • How would you format a meeting?

I'm not sure I have a lot to contribute on this one at the moment (although I might once we get going). I was just imagining something like a 1-2 hour Zoom meeting with a designated facilitator to guide discussion and make sure everyone is given equal opportunity to participate. I like the idea of rotating facilitators and some predefined structure (whether case studies, or anything else that makes sense), but I'd prefer that role be voluntary rather than expected of every participant. It might be nice to have an offline forum to kind of prep the group in advance for whatever we'll be discussing as well as to debrief afterwards.

I feel I should probably offer a quick disclaimer regarding my experience with small group meetings in the past and how those experiences may have colored my expectations and preferences for such meetings as an adult. I grew up a pretty devout evangelical Christian and spent lots of time in small groups in which we prayed, sang songs, and practiced various forms of group intimacy. I really got a lot out of those experiences in the past but feel pretty lukewarm about them now that I no longer belong to that faith. The reason I bring this up is just to put it on the group's radar how different people might be sensitive to different traditions like these, especially since microsolidarity as a practice is so rich with them. I would just prefer we be cautious about letting any particular tradition dominate our time or discussion, or start to feel prescriptive about how any particular participant should approach this activity. I know from past experience that that can be a very alienating experience, and not something I'd want to subject any of our members to. That being said, I do recognize that such practices have their place in this discussion and I think everyone should feel affirmed and supported in sharing their own traditions with the rest of the group.

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez February 21st, 2020 01:43

Thanks for this, Patrick! I'm also going going through a similar professional transition right now and would be happy to share whatever I can that would be helpful to you.


William Rogers February 21st, 2020 08:25

  • Where are you? What is your ideal rhythm?

UK - Initially monthly seems fine but when there's activity I'd hope bi weekly would be feasible as otherwise I fear momentum and connection dropping.

  • What are you looking to gain from meeting up? Tell us a short story about where you are at. Share your dreams.

I'll address the short story later, haven't even introduced myself she to time constraints - but I was keen to participate so responding to the rest.

Mainly what I hope for is 'solidarity'. I'm involved in work and it can feel lonely and disjointed from a wider effort. I wanted to feel the voices out there to lift my spirits. To feel seen and acknowledged -- not for validation before progress, but fortification in process.

  • How would you format a meeting?

Check ins. Shares. Needs.

Rashid Owoyele

Rashid Owoyele February 21st, 2020 11:02

I think that you might address this by inviting people to a podcast format and allowing them to censor themselves in that space rather than in the working-caring circles

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett February 21st, 2020 13:46

My personal preference is to work out loud and leave a "paper trail" as much as possible. I understand this can inhibit people so I won't overstress the point. But there is a qualitative difference between what people say when they are in the work together, compared to when you interview them about it after.


Sven February 22nd, 2020 05:12

# Where are you? What is your ideal rhythm?

During summer in Europe; Costa Rica and Taiwan during winter. I'm used to working remotely, anything between 2pm GMT until 5pm GMT would be fine in any of these timezones. To arrange with other meetings, a fixed weekday would be very helpful. Monthly sounds good to get started, but I imagine fortnightly would be good in the future - also because I feel much more fluent and creative in spoken conversations than written ones.

# What are you looking to gain from meeting up? Tell us a short story about where you are at. Share your dreams.

James Lewis introduced me to this platform just recently after we started picking up more regular conversations around the topics of trust, collaboration and sharing. My dream is to find and become part of a group that is defined by mutual trust. My experience from work mostly but also from friendships or relationships is that a lot of potential and motivation is being destroyed by the continuous fights for dominance. My dream is to overcome these hurdles causing unnecessary friction and open up a space where the energy and motivation of everyone can flow. I imagine it to be rather driven by the experience than the specific goals.

# How would you format a meeting?

As I believe trust is the fundamental ingredient, anything that has to do with open sharing, listening and support would be good. But I'm very new to a more formal approach to this so I'm very open and curious about ways to facilitate this.

Patrick Campbell

Patrick Campbell February 24th, 2020 02:22

Thanks for the offer, Alex! I'll be sure to reach out if anything comes to mind.

Markus Koller

Markus Koller March 12th, 2020 18:00

Sorry, missed the March 1 deadline!

Where are you? What is your ideal rhythm?

I'm in Winterthur, Switzerland, working remotely, and very likely going on extended travels later this year.

My ideal rhythm would be monthly, at least in the beginning.

What are you looking to gain from meeting up? Tell us a short story about where you are at. Share your dreams.

  • A space to connect, experiment, be vulnerable, hear other's experiences, exchange ideas.

  • Learning and practising facilitation methods.

  • Grow my network, find collaborators.

How would you format a meeting?

Hmm I like all the suggestions so far, and would love to try different things! I'm definitely more of a listener and observer type, so I'll appreciate formats that gently push me out of this comfort zone :)

Richard D. Bartlett

Richard D. Bartlett March 22nd, 2020 15:24

I'm sure everyone's priorities have shifted dramatically as the pandemic lands in your region. @Drew Hornbein I'm curious if you have energy to start hosting these calls?

Roberto Valenti

Roberto Valenti March 23rd, 2020 13:50

Hey guys,

... better late than never i guess ;-)

Where are you? What is your ideal rhythm?

I'm in Liminal Village, Rural Italy.

We align everything we do with the moon cycle (lunar sprints), starting and ending at new moon. So meeting once or twice a month on key lunar phases would align with our rhythm.

Full moon would be a good moment to pitch "moonshots", to a friendly audience (i.e. close circles) where we disclose interesting and wild ideas discussed during the previous two weeks.

New moon would be the best moment to share the results of what everyone hacked together during the entire lunation, and learn form what others did.

Solar events (Eg: solstices and equinoxes) assume similar pattern, with greater importance.

What are you looking to gain from meeting up? Tell us a short story about where you are at. Share your dreams.

I dream of a networked collaborative society where everyone shares and contributes to each other efforts, raising humanity as a whole.

An intimate meeting at full moon to share "moonshots" with close/trusted collaborators could give early feedback and a good signal to find early collaborators interested in hacking together within your trusted network.

A more formal sharing moment on new moon would inform everyone on the progress of the network as a whole, potentially cross pollinating solutions and ideas for the next cycle.

How would you format a meeting?

For the new moon meeting, every participant registers their participation on a shared google doc, where they put down all info they would like to share about their crew and location, together with any topics they would like to discuss. People who will want to get in touch with one crew or another after the call can find all practical information on this doc, and could be used as a reference list for 1-to-1 introductions (which are better to be done asynchronously)

Rotating meeting hosts can introduce an online version the sharing circle pattern to the participants.

The circle starts with everyone muted, and everyone that would like to speak use the "raise hand" button. People pass it to anyone who still has their hand raised, until no more hands are raised. Depending on the number of speaking participants, it is recommended to keep things short (3 to 5 minutes each) to give enough space to everyone to speak without being in a rush.

After everyone has spoken, the circle is closed. People can hang around the virtual meeting indefinitely, asking questions and text chatting while live music or live DJs are playing. All participants are still on "mute" dancing, or showcasing art, doing live demos of what they achieved, or just simply dancing etc... Participant can share comments in the main room, or just break out into private rooms for direct 1-to-1 communication.

People can then list their projects on a shared location (eg: we use https://async.hackalong.io/) where the conversation can continue asynchronously in their own threads. This will avoid the need to record the entire session and would decentralise the note-taking/summary of the events.