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The Forest
4 min read
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This message is directed to an initial circle of trusted folks and comes to you at a pivotal moment in our journey.  A lot has happened in the past few years examining the meaning of our work and its impact, and we believe that this can only be explored further in a broader conversation and deeper committed action with you all.

In May 2020, during the onset of a climate & social catastrophe and after the first taste of a global lockdown, with a clear embodied perception of the finite, we invited our closest friends to take the chances of the pandemic to dive deep into the unknown portals of the next decades: living together.  

Coming from the broken metronomes of our globalized lives, between two dialectical poles, the irreconcilable nature of modernity and tradition made us realize, altogether, the overwhelming opportunity to sew the fragmented peripheries of our inner and material worlds.

We found ourselves in a temporary (?) exile: a recurrent genius loci for those who embark in the transhumance of knowledge and care work, carving paths between the souths and the norths of new human geographies. A condition that demands non-belonging and estrangement, expanded by other non-human sensitivities as life is passed on to new generations.

A central city like Berlin gives us the privilege to hear the echoes of the world’s peripheries even louder, shedding light on the self-evident truth that large human settlements like this are, themselves, the peripheries of this Planet. Indeed, walking on a weekday in the meanders of the industrious soul of Berlin or of any other big urban agglomeration, grants anyone the perception of the collapse of civilization that is inhabiting it. It allows us to refine our gaze on the not-in-vain of those who preceded us, our ancestors.

As some of you may already know, a group of us has been living together in the Dachgeschoss (top floor) at MOOS in Moosdorfstr. 7-9, Berlin, experimenting with radical forms of mutual care, seeking just and better alliances with the several ecosystem services out of which the human food value chain originates, joyfully rewilding our relationship with community and landscape by nurturing deep collaboration with our human and non-human neighbors. In these months we’ve been plotting a nontrivial reconsideration of what rent and currency could be in a city like Berlin. We have found a word for all this playing: placemaking. More specifically, and adjacent to upcoming (or maybe already worn-out) grantmaking buzzwords: regenerative placemaking.

In our temporary living space, we have hosted multiple series of events, witnessing the emergence of a very tender yet determined community of purpose-entrepreneurs, artists and visionaries, all interested in deep ecosystemic collaboration at scale. In its conversations, this emerging scene has been glimpsing the many—still unexpressed—opportunities existing in the in-betweenness of the many topics of our interest.

Particularly in the past decade, we’ve all been exploring new models of value creation and contribution accounting in different communities, teams, and projects, and we now believe that times are ripe and urgent enough to double-down on the bet that these models can actually constitute the connective tissue of a regenerative, creative and entrepreneurial society. A society where asymmetric risk is considered integrally in all its forms of contribution and beyond mere financial investment, a society where risk-taking is rewarded fairly and not based on historical dependencies from outdated institutions or privileges.

The sensemaking and meaning crisis of the current global socio-economic system is asking us once more to experiment with new forms of organizing work, entrepreneurship, and ownership. For too long, too much vital cash has flowed away in private fiscal paradises, and too much fragility has been externalized locally worldwide in the lives of our kids.

Fortunately, as compared to a few years ago, we witness the emergence of a platformized world economy that sparks a flame in us. It’s decentralized, valuable, local, circular, tribal, regenerative, and just more real. Modern Management Theory which is at the core of mainstream corporate culture has been established after World War II upon the least interesting aspects of cybernetics, as it separates the individuals from their landscape and their communities juxtaposing a layer of artificially-created desires that are now threatening life on Earth. We now understand that this layer of mimetic, scarcity-based induced thinking clearly does not match the real underlying need of humans to meaningfully connect and express their identity in safety. In a world that is rapidly entering a post-industrial complex age, we believe that new integrative research and infrastructural work is now needed to stalk the perception of other pedagogies, other possibilities for the social and economic systems of groups, organizations and networks of all sorts.

The transformation needed to harness our true collaboration capacity at scale is not merely a technological one. Thinking that is delusional at best. Rather, a technological transformation can only be sustained by a deep cultural & economic transformation. A transformation of the imaginary, of what is possible and desirable for everyone and everything on the planet. People, culture, competencies, processes, and tools are now converging again into a coherent tapestry ready to address the fragmentation, the paradoxes, and the socio-economic complexity of our times. We believe that it’s time to experiment with the creation of interconnected steward-owned community ventures to address large-scale societal transformation. To nurture and foster the potential of these ventures we are prototyping a set of ecosystem services: other ventures whose purpose is uniquely the one to support other enterprises to integrate their efforts and flourish.

Disenchanted by traditional institutions, we believe we have very little to lose and that there’s no time anymore to merely think about our own self-subsistence.

Starting from where we live, at Moos in Berlin, connected with our global siblings, we want to invest in and nourish the creation of purposeful ventures that connect landscape and community in the age of interdependency.

Together, we want to explore the future of citizen entrepreneurship, collective sensemaking, and care-organizing in a moment of global shift.

moos.garden() is a research center, but we’re not just creating another agency, another space, another brand just to add to the noise and to the sad carousel of desperate survival self-branding of grant writing blue-collar wagons. Instead, we want to invite you our communities to design and hold together an inter-organizational body of adaptive, self-sustaining communities to develop products, services and contexts to empower individuals, teams, and organizations to express their identity in the form of meaningful ventures addressing systemic risk across multiple dimensions of the biosphere and society.

We believe that, at the moment, the most compelling part of our job is to provide a physical space, a home, and some initial resources to the many folks already engaging with these ideas.

We want to build a place for people ready to commit their talent, acknowledging the diversity of this talent and investing in it.

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