she conference berlin on nomadism

Last year we had a conference in the Casa about sustainable hospitality exchange (SHE). This was before this website existed. You can find many traces of this gathering all over the house, like the she-mindmap in the kitchen, the four open space principles near the entrance and some other sayings on the wall in the Zula, in addition to some stuff online: The thing you can notice in the casa the most though, is the way we host and how we resolved the traditionally unequal relationship between hosts and guests, which you come across in 85-99% of the cases you do 'couchsurfing'.

Staying over in Berlin for ten days and meeting people who share the intention of creating, or helping sustaining similar places like casarobino, made me think (again) to do yet another SHE conference. After talking with (some) people over at the berlin house (about whom I will write and talk another day more), but especially after talking with the people from the traveling school of life, I gathered enough trust that we can pull off yet another conference soon, but now with a stronger focus on nomadism.

As a result I started asking around who could help setting up a space to meet up for a weekend, and even potentially for a week if we want to also have a space to work on technical stuff such as websites (which platform to use?, can we actually do some coding to have some beta version running?) and communication in the weeks ahead and after. Several people responded really well, among who Anja, who was part of the skillsurfers trip. She contacted two places in Berlin where possibly we could gather.

After having been disconnected for more than a week, I am now in Northern Italy with good space to work and a laptop. So I started editing about this conference/ gathering. You can find some stuff here: I want to spread this invitation sometime soon through the networks we share, and was hoping that some of you could have a look at it, to add stuff, edit the pages, and get rid of what you do not like, before this one goes 'live'.

When organising the conference in Amsterdam last year, we (mainly Kasper and I) had no idea how it was going to be and who to expect. It turned out great, with the right amount of people, wonderful ideas and great atmosphere. It made people feel very empowered for example, and we made quite some good connections with people who keep coming back to the casa in Amsterdam because of what they have experienced during the conference. And, it really did offer the casa the right foundation.

The same applies now for the conference in Berlin. I have no idea if it will go through, how successful it will be, and how well we will be able to pull it off (with getting the right people to come, and to have the right energy going). So far I have not received a lot of responses from people I personally know well that they would like to join, for example. But I do know that quite some people in Berlin are extremely interested, and that bringing these people together to discuss (neo)nomadic stuff, can potentially be extremely beneficial to many of us, especially in relation to the sub-culture you are part of by being a nomad (which applies to almost all the people who have been in the casa).

On the other hand, talking with Lily and Charlie here in Italy, I also know that it would be hard for them, as well as for others, to join. Not everyone can be so flexible to just come over for a weekend or even longer to Berlin in the end of November. In that sense we have also been brainstorming about a conference in Barcelona at the same time or some months later. Who knows? All you need is some space, and some people who come to share their perspectives about the same ideas.

Anyway, to sum things up. I am currently looking forward to have a gathering of around 30 to 50 people in Berlin (more would be too much I think), and possibly in some other places at the same time, to discuss nomadic infrastructure and nomadic lifestyles. Though, I am not the leader here, nor do I have a lot of time to 'organise' this, so please, if you believe in places like la casa, join this effort if you can. I think we have a great possibility to make new and deeper connections among people we already know and those we yet have to meet, while at the same time gain a better focus on how to create more infrastructure to sustain a nomadic lifestyle for nomads now and in the future.


Mirto's picture

She will be there, She is here

OK, I will be in Berlin, end of November.

I declare myself eager to give a hand in the preparation. Let me know where and how can I be useful.


lauralou's picture

I'm there

I definitely am looking forward to speaking beyond abstractions (though I consider abstraction necessary to create incentive for asking the technical questions). I think maybe we should have some pre-meetings?

alisonshine's picture

want to help

I really want to help with setting up these bases as it is something i believe in but i will be studying in England at the time. I might be able to make it but i am computer illiterate, does this make me completely useless at this satge in the game? In the future i will be able to help with property law etc. but this won't be for a few, can i help?

valentina's picture

I believe we could have a

I believe we could have a skype conference at some point during the SHE conference.

I'm trying to go to live in a female collective in NY and to visit as many community as I can meanwhile here.

Also, it would be great if someone could introduce me to Paxus (Ganas community) so that I could go in Staten Island to say hello!

robino's picture

why don't you organise a

why don't you organise a gathering with interested people around the same time in Boston (a B-city, just to stick with the B ;))? Might be not easy to get the right people together in such a short time-frame, but who knows. It might work as long as you keep it relatively small with people who are all more or less on the same page.

Concerning web-casts etc. For sure a wiki would be kept updated, but other things would depend on what participants will set up, in addition to the technological possibilities.

valentina's picture

A B-city? Then it would be

A B-city?
Then it would be Brooklyn.
I'll see what I can manage to do here. I don't know many people yet but the few are great.
So far, NY seems to be way more aware on sustainability (in food, food culture, bikes, dumpster diving) than what I thought.

Several communities run co-op for local food production; others organize critical mass and repairing bikes workshops. Artistic collectives seems the standard in Brooklyn (especially in Bed-stuy, Bushwick, Williamsburg).
Dumpster diving tours are open to media at

People are very friendly and enthusiastic.

However, the nomadic bases are something different from most of these realities, especially because the accommodation is the main financial worry for New Yorkers and very few are open to host for long periods for free.

I'll try to get in touch with as many people I can, any suggestions and contact is welcome.

mucho amor para todos
(lots of love for all of you)

stove's picture

Though I don't know him well,

Though I don't know him well, we met last year at Casa. I would be willing to check out the place on State Island when I get back.

stove's picture

What about those abroad

Any chance for some sort of webcast/daily forum so that those abroad or otherwise physically indisposed can attempt to contribute?